Causes of Female Infertility


Dr. Roger Lobo, of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine explains the causes of female infertility.

Causes of Female Infertility

Transcript

Dr. Roger Lobo, of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine explains the causes of female infertility.

Hi, I'm Dr. Roger Lobo from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Today, we're talking about the causes of female infertility.

There are three main causes of female infertility. Problems with ovulation, structural problems, and unexplained infertility.

The most common cause of female infertility has to do with ovulation which is a process during which an egg is released. Up to a third of female infertility cases are due to ovulation problems. For many of these women age plays a role. Another condition is normal female aging. As women get older sometimes the pattern with which a woman ovulates might be altered and that can also lead to more difficulty conceiving. Aging leads to infertility because of changing hormones and decreasing numbers of eggs. In addition, eating disorders and excessive stress and exercise can negatively affect hormones and result in anovulation, which means not releasing eggs.

Another factor is structural problems in a woman's reproductive tract typically affecting the fallopian tubes or uterus. This can interfere with the transporting and implantation of the fertilized egg. Some women are born with problems in these organs such as an abnormally shaped uterus. Others may have fibroids which are benign tumors growing in the walls of the uterus. This can affect the ability of the embryo to implant. But damage can also occur with conditions such as sexually transmitted diseases, infections, and previous surgeries leading to blocked and/or scarred fallopian tubes. Scar tissue can also involve the ovary and other pubic organs. Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissues normally found only inside the uterus are deposited in other places in the woman's body. This process affects many aspects of reproductive function and typically causes pelvic pain as well.

The last cause is, unfortunately, the most frustrating because it cannot be explained. For some women, the cause of infertility cannot be found. However, research is being conducted to find answers. Finally, it is important to remember that for many women infertility is often due to more than one cause.

To learn more, check out our other videos on infertility, including Causes of Male Infertility.

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Patient Ed Icon

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Before attempting pregnancy, a woman should make sure she is healthy enough for pregnancy by adopting a healthier lifestyle and taking prenatal vitamins. If she has a medical or genetic condition or risk of one, she should seek advice from a medical professional before conceiving (becoming pregnant) View the fact sheet
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Basic Infertility Evaluation

Dr. Roger Lobo of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine discusses the various methods to evaluate infertility. Watch Video
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Infertility Treatments

Dr. Roger Lobo of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine discusses the various treatments for infertility. Watch Video
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In this video series, Dr. Roger Lobo explains the basics of infertility, including causes, treatments and coping methods. Watch Video
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Patient Ed Icon

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