Causes of Female Infertility

A variety of factors can impact fertility in women and men. Generally speaking, it is recommended that a woman under 35 who has been trying to get pregnant for a year, or a woman over 35 who has been trying for six months, consult with a fertility specialist to determine the best course of action. Women who have had more than three recurrent miscarriages should also seek the care of a specialist. Many women who have had miscarriages go on to have healthy pregnancies, but it could signal a fertility problem. Keep in mind that infertility issues are common, one in eight couples have trouble conceiving.

Female infertility is quite common, which is not surprising given the complex set of the normal events that must occur in order to give birth. Female infertility factors contribute to approximately 40% of all infertility cases. Normally, a woman’s body must:

  • Have a good reserve of healthy eggs
  • Mature the eggs properly within the ovaries at the right time and pace
  • Have clear fallopian tubes so that both the egg and sperm can enter and meet
  • Develop a normal lining in the uterus at the right time to welcome an embryo
  • Allow proper implantation of the embryo
  • Fully nourish the fetus throughout its development during pregnancy
  • Carry it for the full term

It is a complicated process that does not always go as planned. However, our physicians, along with cutting-edge technology and advanced medical techniques, can help resolve a large number of fertility issues.

The most common causes of female infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility naturally tends to decrease.

Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:

  • A hormone imbalance
  • A tumor or cyst in the ovaries
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Thyroid gland problems
  • Excess weight
  • Stress
  • Intense exercise that causes a significant loss of body fat below normal
  • Extremely brief menstrual cycles


Damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • A previous infection
  • Polyps in the uterus
  • Endometriosis or fibroids
  • Scar tissue or adhesions
  • Chronic medical illnesses
  • A previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
  • Congenital anomalies of the genital trac


Abnormal cervical mucus can also cause infertility. Abnormal cervical mucus can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.