General Health

#KnowIVF: 5 main causes of infertility in women | Updated 2023

In a society that views childbearing as a major lifetime achievement for women, infertility causes more than subtle harm. Changing the way society thinks may not happen overnight. Until then, we can empower each other and treat infertility for the condition it is. The infertility club is such that nobody wants to join.

In order to withstand and treat this condition, the first step is to educate yourself about the causes of infertility. Next week KnowledgeIVFIn a blog series on understanding fertility, we explain five main reasons for this condition in women.

Causes of Infertility – The Biology

Ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes are the three main organs in the concept of female fertility. Female eggs lie in the two oval ovaries on either side of the uterus. A girl is born with about 1 to 2 million eggs, which die off as she gets older. During a woman’s reproductive years, there are (on average) 400 ova. At the end of each menstrual cycle, an egg matures and is released into the fallopian tube.

This process is called ovulation and takes place 12-14 days before the next period. Hormones control the entire process – the length of the menstrual cycle, the maturation of the egg cells and the timing of ovulation. In order for you to conceive, this ovulated egg should meet a healthy sperm within 24 hours of being released. If not, then the egg disintegrates in the uterus.

5 main causes of infertility in women

Let’s understand what are the most common causes of infertility in women:

#1 Ovulation Disorder

It is one of the most common reasons for female infertility, accounting for almost a third of cases. Ovulation is the process of releasing an egg every month. This can occur due to any of the following:

  • A malfunction of the woman’s ovaries is called premature ovarian failure.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by abnormally high levels of androgens in a woman of childbearing potential.
  • Poor egg quality can be due to genetic abnormalities or the woman being older.
  • Excessive production of the hormone prolactin produced by the pituitary gland, also known as hyperprolactinemia, can also inhibit ovulation
  • Ovarian tumors, stress and malnutrition can also inhibit ovulation.
  • A hormonal imbalance such as suppression of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) inhibits the full development of the follicles in the ovaries, where egg cells can mature. With immature eggs, the chances of fertilization are zero. Deficiencies in FSH and LH can occur due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and malfunctioning of the pituitary or hypothalamus.
  • Unruptured follicular syndrome is when women are able to produce a normal follicle but it fails to rupture to release the egg.

#2 Obstruction of the fallopian tubes

  • Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes. This is known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Due to the lack of symptoms, it can go unnoticed. However, with each episode of PGD, the likelihood of infertility increases – 15% for the first, 35% for the second and 75% for the third round of PGD.
  • Non-sexually transmitted diseases such as genital tuberculosis, schistosomiasis and endometriosis; Infections after childbirth and after abortion can also lead to infertility
  • Abdominal conditions such as appendicitis and colitis can cause scarring and blockage of the fallopian tubes.

#3 Uterine Factors

Factors such as congenital malformations, fibroids, and uterine adhesions due to infection or abortion can interfere with male sperm movement or embryo implantation.

#4 Cervical factors

  • A very narrow cervical canal prevents sperm from entering the uterus.
  • Low levels of estrogen, which can lead to insufficient or very thick mucus in the cervix to allow sperm motility
  • Presence of antibodies in cervical mucus or fluid that keep sperm inactive

#5 Other factors

  • Scarred ovaries from surgery
  • Premature menopause
  • Any previously performed sterilization treatment such as blocking fallopian tubes.
  • Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy also impair fertility in women.
  • A new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism says adults with high cholesterol may have trouble conceiving.
  • Behavioral factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, being overweight or underweight, and drugs such as marijuana or anabolic steroids.
  • Environmental factors such as lead and ethylene oxide in pesticides etc.


Infertility is a health problem and there are treatment options to combat it. One of the most effective healing methods is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Learn more about IVF in our chain of articles – KnowledgeIVF.

For more information and free personal advice, please contact a credible medical expert on +918010994994.

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