5 Major Causes of Infertility in Women

5 Major Causes of Infertility in Women
Female fertility declines significantly after the age of 35.

An increasing number of women are diagnosed with infertility. Be aware of the factors that can affect your fertility.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : September 13, 2023 8:01 PM IST

In recent years, the world has witnessed a concerning rise in fertility issues, leaving many couples grappling with the emotional and physical toll of infertility. Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive despite constant sexual intercourse for a year or more.

Here, Dr Kekin Gala, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Apollo Spectra Mumbai, listed out 5 major causes of increasing fertility issues in women.

1. Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle is one of the major causes of infertility issues. Smoking, alcohol use, stress, and weight issues are lifestyle factors associated with fertility issues. These factors can cause hormonal imbalance, poor egg production, etc. Excess weight can lead to irregular periods and problems with ovulation, while extreme weight loss can cause a condition where a woman is unable to menstruate.

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2. Delayed Parenthood

Another prominent factor contributing to fertility problems is delayed parenthood. These days, couples are waiting longer to start a family due to various reasons, such as career ambitions, financial stability, or personal choices. Unfortunately, female fertility declines significantly after the age of 35, making it more challenging to conceive. As individuals delay parenthood, the quality and quantity of eggs in women tend to diminish, while the risk of medical conditions that affect fertility, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), increases. To combat this issue, couples are advised to consider their reproductive health earlier in life and seek assistance if needed.

3. Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are the most common tumor in women, and their prevalence is high in patients with infertility. Fibroids may be the sole cause of infertility in 2 3% of women. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of women develop uterine fibroids. What is the size of these nodules and in what area are they located? This determines whether they will affect fertility. Tumors inside or on the lining of the uterus can affect fertility. Due to the change in the shape of the uterus, sperm cannot enter, which can lead to infertility. Blood supply to the uterus may decrease. This reduces the ability of the embryo to adhere to the uterine wall or growth.

4. Environmental Toxins

Environmental toxins, such as exposure to pesticides, chemicals, and pollutants, are increasingly recognized as contributors to fertility problems. Toxic substances in our environment can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance required for fertility. They can affect egg quality, and even lead to reproductive disorders.

5. Post-abortion infections

Infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), if left untreated after an abortion, can spread and cause havoc to your reproductive system, which can cause infertility issues in the long run. This is because PID can lead to scarring of the fallopian tubes, causing tube blockage and difficulty fertilizing eggs. Untreated sexually transmitted infections can also result in infertility issues.

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