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Female Fertility Problems

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Fertility refers to the natural capability of giving life. In more scientific terms, fertilization is the fusion of the male (sperm) and female (ova/egg) gametes in order to produce a new individual. Infertility, on the other hand, refers to the inability to conceive after 12 months of regular and unprotected.

According to Medical News Today (What Is Infertility? What Causes Infertility? How is Infertility Treated), the higher percentage of cases of infertility are due to a problem in the women.

There are multiple reasons for infertility in both men and women. Firstly, lets look at the factors that affect the fertility in women.

Reasons for Infertility in Females

Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

The most common reason for infertility in women is the inability to ovulate. An ovulation disorder refers to the inability to release an egg/ova into the oviduct.

A couple of factors that could cause ovulation disorders are: hormone imbalances, vitamin/mineral deficiency, low body weight, high body weight, and chronic illnesses. The majority of ovulation disorders are caused by hormonal imbalances. According to C.Health (Common Reasons for Infertility) “Hormone imbalances refer to not having enough of a certain hormone or not releasing a hormone at the right time.”

Hormonal imbalances are often causes to to communication errors between the hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland in the blood.

According to FertilityCommunity.com (Ovulation Disorders), “Ovulation disorders, infrequent or absent ovulation (anovulation), frequently result in infrequent periods, (oligomenorrhea).” The results of ovulation disorders are fewer oppurtunities for conception to occur in a woman, causes the egg not to break though the follicle (caused dues to hormone imbalances, because LH levels might be decreased), creates difficulty discovering the periods in which the woman is fertile, and cause a preterm or late release of the egg making the egg off sync with the other factors that are imperative for fertilization and implantation to occur.

Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

Age can be another reason for infertility in women.

The fertility of a woman declines as she gets older. The usual age at which a woman stops producing eggs is at the age of 40.


Here is a graph to show the changes in a woman’s fertility as she grows older.



Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

Blocked fallopian tubes are another reason for infertility in women. They are the anatomical problem that lead to infertility.

According to C.Health (Common Reasons for Infertility) “A woman’s fallopian tubes get get blocked due to past infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, or by abdominal surgery. Sexually transmitted diseases can also causes blockages.”

The fallopian tube (also known as the oviduct) are the tubes that carry the ova/egg to the uterus, and is the location of fertilization. A blocked fallopian tube can cause problems for conception to occur in a woman. If sperm are present in the oviduct, the egg will be fertilized, otherwise it dies after about a day. Therefore, if the fallopian tube is blocked, the egg and sperm can’t meet (hence no fertilization, and there is no exit from where the egg can be transported into the uterus (the cavity where a fertilized egg will implant itself and where a fetus will develop).

Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

Cervical mucus problems. According to Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, MD and Dr. Anjali Malpani, MD (How to Have a Baby: Overcoming Infertility), “Cervical mucus is a jelly-like substance produced by tiny glands in the cervix called cervical crypts.”.

This is also another anatomical problem that leads to infertility.

There is no particular cause for cervical mucus problems. There are no specific factors that can trigger it.

Changes in the menstrual cycle cause the mucus lining in the cervix to change. The mucus lining, is the lining in the uterus which sperm use as a medium of travel from the opening of the uterus (cervix) to the oviduct. This lining is usually too thick for sperm to pass through, although during ovulation, it becomes more elastic, gains a higher pH level (less acidic), and easier for the sperm to seep through. The sperm are able to travel into the oviduct thanks to these changes, and can then fertilize the egg. Infections of the cervix can cause the mucus lining to become thick and hostile to sperm. They make the sperm thick, to harden travel, and more acidic, hence killing the sperm.

Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

Endometriosis. This is an anatomical problem that leads to infertility in females.

According to Melissa Conrad Stoppler (Endometriosis) “The cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory is that the endometrial tissue is deposited in unusual locations by the backing up of menstrual flow into the Fallopian tubes and the pelvic and abdominal cavity during menstruation (termed retrograde menstruation).”

The term endometriosis refers to the unnatural/abnormal growth of endometrial cells around the outside of the uterus.


Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

Simple life-style choices can also affect the fertility in females. For example, smoking considerably increases the chances of infertility in women.

This is also an example of how our modern day environment is affecting fertility. As more women, teenage and adult, are being exposed/addicted to smoking, the risks of infertility grow higher in females.

Smoking is a life-style choice, and can be caused due to negative exposure to our living environment.

According to Rachel Gurevich (Female Fertility and Smoking): “Approximately 23% of American women with the age of 18 over smoke cigarettes, and up to 13% of subfertility (lower fertility) has been attributable to cigarette smoking.”

According to BabyHopes.com (How Does Smoking Affect Fertility?): “Some studies suggest that smoking reduces the amount of estrogen that a woman’s body produces”. Estrogen is one of the two female sex hormones, and is produced by the ovaries. The role of estrogen in the female body is to repair the lining of the uterus after menstruation, to prevent more eggs from developing by signaling the pituitary in the blood to stop producing the Follicle Simulating Hormone (FSH, stimulates egg development), and also signals the pituitary to produce the Luteinizing Hormone (LH, triggers ovulation). This could lessen the chances of ovulation (bursting of the follicle, which releases the egg into the oviduct, and the turning of the remains of the follicle into the corpous leutem/yellow body) because less or no LH is being produced, and cause anovulation.

Smoking can also be a factor leading to the destruction of non-mature ova while they are still in the ovaries, hence reducing the egg count. Lastly, according to BabyHopes.com (How Does Smoking Affect Fertility?): “Finally some research has suggested that smoking may even negatively affect the ability of an embryo to implant in the uterus.” This is not good, because in order for the embryo to further develop into a fetus, it needs to implant itself on the uterus wall.

Reasons For Infertility


How It Affects The Woman

Another type of life-style choice that can lead to infertility is obesity.

This is also another factor that shows how our modern environment is affecting fertility. As more and more teenagers and adults are being attracted to fast food franchises such as McDonalds, due to their persuasive marketing strategies, the risk of infertility in women is increasing. As you can see below, the obesity rate of girls in the U.S. is at quite a high level.

Obesity is caused by one’s choice of life-style. An unhealthy life style can lead to higher risks oh being infertile.

According to Woman’s Health (The Link Between Fertility and Obesity), “Estrogen is found in two sources in the body: the ovary and the adrenal gland. The ovary makes estrogen in quantities depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. The adrenal glands make something called ‘androstenedione’. These hormones are connected to cholesterol and in the case of androstenedione; fat cells convert it into an estrogen called estrone.”

Therefore, if one is overweight, the increased supply of estrogen from the conversion with affect the functioning of the ovaries. Hence, disrupting the natural ovulation cycle, and leading to infertility.


These are the, age-related, anatomical, and life-styli related issues/problem that could lead to infertility in women.

Like females, infertility in males can be cause by multiple different reasons. Most of which, are due to anatomical reasons, and life-style reasons. The factor of age does not affect the fertility in males.

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