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Female Infertility: Risks, Causes, And More


Infertility may be a serious issue that affects everyone involved. In the case of female infertility, the woman is unable to get pregnant for over a year after regular intercourse. 

The reasons for female infertility could be different for different individuals. Hence, it would be hard to diagnose the precise cause of infertility.

In this article, here we discussed the causes and risk factors related to female infertility. Along with this, the treatment could help you during female infertility.

What Is Female Infertility?

Female infertility is a medical condition in which the female partner fails to ovulate or get pregnant after unprotected sex.

A woman may get the signs after not being able to get pregnant for over 12 months with regular unprotected sex. Hence, you may consult a gynecologist for the best advice in these cases. 

Generally, infertility or inability to get pregnant may occur due to problems in men, women, or both partners.

Hence, both partners should undergo medical tests to gain clarity in such conditions. If the female partner is infertile, it would be called female factor infertility.

Causes Of Female Infertility

Infertility in women may occur due to multiple reasons. But, the reasons aren’t obvious until adequately diagnosed. Some of the common causes of infertility are mentioned as follows:

  1. Uterus Problems

    Women may have some problems in the uterus cavity[1] that could be the reason for infertility. Some additional uterine growth, like polyps, fibroids, adhesion, or septum, could prevent pregnancy.

    Generally, polyps and fibroids grow untimely depending on the favorable condition for their growth.

    But, some women have a septum in the uterus at birth. At last, an adhesion mainly occurs after some surgeries like dilation and curettage.

  2. Ovulation Disorders

    Among all the possible problems causing female infertility, ovulation disorders are the primary cause of such a condition[2].

    Hence, due to ovulation disorders, women fail to ovulate timely or do not ovulate at all for fertilization. Here is a list of common ovulation disorders that may account for infertility in women.

  3. PCOS

    PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an ovarian disorder faced by numerous women worldwide.

    You may experience hormonal imbalance[3] resulting in irregular ovulation, hence, an irregular menstrual cycle. 

    PCOS could be detected with multiple symptoms like insulin resistance, abnormal hair growth, obesity, acne, etc.

  4. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

    Primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure could occur due to an autoimmune response or early loss of eggs from the ovary.

    The possible cause of such a condition could be chemotherapy or genetics. But, due to the disorder, women may no longer ovulate and reduce estrogen production early.

  5. Excess Prolactin Concentration

    The lack of ovulation could be due to hyperprolactinemia, in which the pituitary gland excessively produces[4] prolactin.

    Such high prolactin production may cause reduced estrogen production resulting in infertility. Sometimes, the condition may arise due to certain medications for other medical conditions.

  6. Hypothalamic Dysfunction

    The pituitary gland produces two hormones, i.e., follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), that play a vital role in regular ovulation.

    But, due to several conditions[5] like excess stress, increased or decreased body weight, etc., the pituitary glands fail to produce these hormones sufficiently.

    Hence, such irregular production would result in no or less frequent ovulation.

  7. Fallopian Tube Problems

    The eggs are released into the fallopian tube during the ovulation process. Hence, any problem[6] with the fallopian tube may lead to female infertility. 

    Pelvic inflammatory diseases caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia could be significant causes of fallopian tube issues.

    In such conditions, an infection in the uterus or fallopian tube blocks the egg’s movement, restricting ovulation. 

    Women with a history of pelvic or abdominal surgery may face infertility conditions. Moreover, women who have undergone ectopic pregnancy surgery may find it difficult to ovulate.

  8. Issues With Egg Number And Quality

    Every woman has all the eggs for ovulation throughout their life at birth. Due to some circumstances, the stock may finish before reaching menopause.

    In such cases, the woman may not be able to get pregnant. Sometimes the eggs contain wrongly distributed chromosomes resulting in an inability to fertilize and grow into a healthy fetus.

    Such chromosomal issues may harshly impact other eggs in the ovaries.

  9. Unexplained Infertility

    In specific cases, couples never find the exact cause of infertility. An assumption is made that multiple minor factors accumulate[7] to cause such unexplained infertility.

    In these conditions, you may not be able to get accurate treatment. But, these conditions may naturally reverse to the normal state with time.

Risk Factors For Female Infertility

In a few cases, female infertility may occur due to internal reasons. But, several factors play a significant role in increasing the risk for female infertility.

  • Age

    The number and quality of eggs gradually decrease with age. A woman in her mid-30s may experience increased follicle loss leading to reduced[8] egg number. 

  • Smoking And Alcohol Consumption

    Smoking could be the primary cause of aging ovaries and premature depletion of eggs. Moreover, it may damage the cervix and fallopian tubes, increasing[9] the risk of miscarriage.

  • Weight

    Gaining and losing excess weight may disrupt the release of certain hormones, resulting[10] in reduced ovulation. 

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

    Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea may damage the fallopian tube, preventing ovulation. Moreover, women having unprotected[11] sexual contact with multiple partners would increase the chances of getting STIs.

  • Autoimmune Disorders

    Women diagnosed[12] with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, etc., may have the risk of infertility.

Tests For Female Infertility

Female infertility could be diagnosed by some physical and laboratory tests. The physical tests could be done at the doctor’s clinic.

The standard physical tests for female infertility are an overall physical exam, pap test, pelvic exam, and breast examination for unusual milk production. 

But, finding the reason for infertility isn’t possible. Hence, several laboratory tests are prescribed by healthcare providers. 

Blood Test: The blood test type would be finalized after checking the patient’s past medical records.

Generally, doctors ask for thyroid tests, prolactin levels, ovarian reserve, and progesterone levels in the blood test.

  • X-Ray Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

    The test checks for any blockage in the female reproductive organ. A dye is introduced into the cervix region that moves towards the fallopian tube.

    The doctor thoroughly examines the movement of the dye using X-ray photographs.

  • Transvaginal Ultrasound

    The test is similar to the abdominal ultrasound. But, in the test, the ultrasound wand is inserted[13] inside the vagina to better view the uterus and ovaries.

  • Laparoscopy

    In the test, the doctors insert a device in the abdomen called a laparoscope to view the organs.

  • Hysteroscopy

    Hysteroscopy is done with a small medical device with a mounted camera called a hysteroscope.

    The device is carefully inserted into the vagina through the cervix and gently moved into the uterus to view internal organs.

  • Saline Sonohysterogram

    The test checks any structural abnormalities in the uterus linings. Hence, saline water is pumped into the uterus to better view the cavity while performing transvaginal ultrasound.

Treatment For Female Infertility

Female infertility treatment could be performed by following several medical techniques. But, the treatment method would depend on certain factors like age, cause of infertility, and the health of the individual and partner. 

The treatment for female infertility could be surgery, medication, and reproductive assistance like IVF. But, a few cases may require multiple methods to completely cure infertility in women.

  • Surgery

    Surgical methods[14] to treat infertility are rarely practiced, as several advanced treatments are available.

    But, surgical techniques are highly beneficial in curing abnormally shaped uterus, unblocking fallopian tubes, and removing structural outgrowths like fibroids.

  • Medications

    Generally, medication for infertility involves compounds like hormones that may help encourage or regulate ovulation.

    Hence, medications are mostly preferred during hormonal imbalances. Clomid is also one of the most common medicines for female infertility treatment. Any medication should be consumed only after a proper diagnosis and prescription from the doctor.

  • Reproductive Assistance

    Some commonly preferred reproductive assistance methods to treat female infertility are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and assisted reproductive technology (ART). 

    In IUI, millions of sperm are released into the uterus during ovulation. In-vitro fertilization is an ART that involves the removal of the egg from the ovaries and fertilizing them using sperm in a lab.

Natural Treatment For Female Infertility

  • Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is a traditional technique to treat several diseases. In the method, small and thin needles are inserted in various[15] points of the body to stimulate the body’s energy flow.  You may make ovulation and menstrual cycles regular by using the acupuncture technique.

  • Yoga

    Yoga is an effective method to improve infertility conditions. You may have to perform different postures[16] and breathing to relax and lower stress levels. Moreover, it would be helpful for women undergoing infertility treatment.

  • Fertility Diet

    Following a good diet with all the essential nutrients for fertility, like folate, zinc, iron, Vitamin C and E, could help reverse infertility.

    Moreover, you may consume probiotic supplements to improve overall health essential for fertility.

  • Essential Oils

    Aromatherapy is another traditional method to reduce stress levels by massaging essential oils. These oils are prepared using different plants’ roots, leaves, or seeds.

  • Tea

    Certain herbal teas like green tea may help improve[17] female infertility conditions. 


Female infertility could be a severe concern for several couples. But, it isn’t a matter to worry as multiple treatment methods may help get back the fertility. 

You should be careful regarding different infertility-causing factors as some of the causes could be prevented with precautions.

Moreover, you should never avoid natural treatment methods during infertility treatment to boost the process. But, you must consult the doctor before opting for any natural treatment method.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Carlo Bulletti, Maria Elisabetta Coccia, Silvia Battistoni, et. al. Endometriosis and infertility. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2010 Aug; 27(8): 441–447. Published online 2010 Jun 25. doi: 10.1007/s10815-010-9436-1
  2. Matthew H. Walker and Kyle J. Tobler. Female Infertility. Date of Publication: May 26, 2022. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556033/
  3. Carrie C. Dennett and Judy Simon. The Role of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Reproductive and Metabolic Health: Overview and Approaches for Treatment. Diabetes Spectr. 2015 May; 28(2): 116–120. doi: 10.2337/diaspect.28.2.116
  4. Emmanuel Ajuluchukwu Ugwa, Adewale Olufemi Ashimi, Mohammed Yusuf Abubakar, et. al. An assessment of serum prolactin levels among infertile women with galactorrhea attending a gynecological clinic North-West Nigeria. Niger Med J. 2016 May-Jun; 57(3): 178–181. doi: 10.4103/0300-1652.184068.
  5. Sasha Mikhael, Advaita Punjala-Patel, and Larisa Gavrilova-Jordan. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis Disorders Impacting Female Fertility. Biomedicines. 2019 Mar; 7(1): 5. Published online 2019 Jan 4. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines7010005
  6. Ms. Danielle G. TSEVAT, Harold C. WIESENFELD, Caitlin Parks, et. al. Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infertility. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jan; 216(1): 1–9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2016.08.008
  7. Mohammad Reza Sadeghi. Unexplained Infertility, the Controversial Matter in Management of Infertile Couples. J Reprod Infertil. 2015 Jan-Mar; 16(1): 1–2.
  8. Sara Deatsman, Terrie Vasilopoulos, and Alice Rhoton-Vlasak. Age and Fertility: A Study on Patient Awareness. JBRA Assist Reprod. 2016 Jul-Sep; 20(3): 99–106. doi: 10.5935/1518-0557.20160024
  9. Cristina de Angelis, Antonio Nardone, Francesco Garifalos, et. al. Smoke, alcohol and drug addiction and female fertility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2020; 18: 21. Published online 2020 Mar 12. doi: 10.1186/s12958-020-0567-7
  10. Zeynep Özcan Dağ and Berna Dilbaz. Impact of obesity on infertility in women. J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2015; 16(2): 111–117. Published online 2015 Jun 1. doi: 10.5152/jtgga.2015.15232.
  11. Péter Apari, João Dinis de Sousa, and Viktor Müller. Why Sexually Transmitted Infections Tend to Cause Infertility: An Evolutionary Hypothesis. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Aug; 10(8): e1004111. Published online 2014 Aug 7. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004111.
  12. Jamilya Khizroeva, Cecilia Nalli, Victoria Bitsadze, et. al. Infertility in women with systemic autoimmune diseases. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Dec;33(6):101369. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2019.101369. Epub 2019 Dec 2. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31837981/
  13. Laveena Kondagari, Jenna Kahn, and Manvinder Singh. Sonography Gynecology Infertility Assessment, Protocols, And Interpretation. Date of Publication: June 23, 2022. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK572093/
  14. J. Bosteels, Weyers, Mathieu, et. al. The effectiveness of reproductive surgery in the treatment of female infertility: facts, views and vision. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2010; 2(4): 232–252.
  15. Liu Yun, Wu Liqun, Yao Shuqi, et. al. Acupuncture for infertile women without undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART). Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jul; 98(29): e16463. Published online 2019 Jul 19. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016463.
  16. Pallav Sengupta. Challenge of infertility: How protective the yoga therapy is?. Anc Sci Life. 2012 Jul-Sep; 32(1): 61–62. doi: 10.4103/0257-7941.113796
  17. Sajid Ur Rahman, Yingying Huang, Lei Zhu, et. al. Therapeutic Role of Green Tea Polyphenols in Improving Fertility: A Review. Nutrients. 2018 Jul; 10(7): 834. Published online 2018 Jun 27. doi: 10.3390/nu10070834

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