Causes of Infertility: Female
Anovulation and/or ovarian failure may be due to a number of problems including:
- Problems with the endocrine system that controls hormones, including the parts of the brain, pituitary, thyroid, and other glands
- A specific ovarian disorder, called polycystic ovary disease (PCO)
- Ovarian failure due to aging
- Decreased ovarian reserve (not enough eggs left in the ovaries)
- Premature ovarian failure, or menopause earlier than normal
- Tobacco use, which can decrease ovulation
Some of these causes of anovulation, for example PCO, can be treated medically.
30% of female infertility is due to problems in the Fallopian tubes, usually because of a past history of pelvic inflammatory disease or tubal surgery.
Endometriosis, in which the uterine lining gets deposited outside the uterus, can cause 15 % of female infertility. 2 to 3% may be due to uterine or cervical factors including fibroid tumors, cervical polyps, a congenital abnormality in the uterus, scars in the uterus, or poor quality of the normal mucous in the cervix, which can occur as the result of infection or smoking.
10% of female infertility cannot be diagnosed specifically.
Doctors will do a thorough evaluation, starting with a health history and physical examination, to try and find a reason for a couple’s infertility.