Female Infertility Causes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,462
    Dr. Roger Lobo, of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine explains the causes of female infertility.

    Dr. Roger Lobo: Hi! I am Dr. Roger Lobo for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Today we are talking about 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. Dr. Janet Choi: Another condition is normal female aging. As when we get older, sometimes the pattern with which woman ovulates might be altered and that can also lead to more difficultly in conceiving. Dr. Roger Lobo: Because of changing hormones and decreasing number 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 track, typically, affecting the fallopian tubes or uterus. This can interfere with 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 tubes. Scar tissues can also involve the ovary, and other reproductive 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 for infertility cannot be found. However, research is being conducted to find the 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 fertility, including causes of male infertility.