There are multiple causes of female infertility including structural factors such as adhesions or fibroids, infectious causes such as Chlamydia resulting in PID and tubal blockage, hormonal reasons such as polycystic ovaries and ovulatory problems, genetic factors causing premature menopause or embryo defects, and declining egg quality due to advancing age.
The most likely causes for female infertility are:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)–
PID is the most common cause of infertility worldwide. It’s an infection of the pelvis involving one or more reproductive organs, including the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the cul-de-sac, the cervix or the uterus. Sometimes PID spreads to the appendix or to the entire pelvic area.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCO) –
This condition affects 5 million American women and is another major cause of infertility. In PCO, the ovaries produce high amounts of male hormones, especially testosterone. LH levels may be abnormally high while FSH levels are abnormally low; thus, normal follicle grow and ovulation do not produce occur. Instead they form fluid-filled cysts that eventually cover the ovaries. Other hormonal problems may be linked to PCO like elevated testosterone which can contribute to medical problems like obesity, diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
This disease is another common cause of female infertility. Endometriosis refers to a condition in which sections of the uterine lining implant inside the pelvis. These implants eventually form cysts that grow with each menstrual cycle and may eventually create inflammation and scarring that can affect the egg capture by the fallopian tubes . The scars can then block the passage of the egg, the fertilization of the egg, and possibly the implantation of the embryo.
Fibroids, are usually benign growths that may form in the uterine muscle near the fallopian tubes, in the cavity of the uterus or cervix. As a result, the sperm or fertilized egg may not be able to reach the uterus or implant there. Fibroids in the uterus are very common in women over age 35.
Premature Menopause –
Some women may experience premature menopause, when their ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone and eggs. Often the cause is unknown or may be due to a lower number of eggs a woman has in her life time. If this occurs, donor egg may be the best option for a successful pregnancy. A few cases may be due to genetic conditions in the female.