Fertility Blog

Common Causes of Female Infertility

For women, getting pregnant depends on various factors in the female reproductive system. However, conditions like endometriosis can disrupt the female reproductive system’s functionality, thus causing infertility and making it more difficult to get pregnant naturally. Fortunately, early medical intervention and fertility care can often improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.

Conditions That Cause Female Infertility

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects women, often during their reproductive years. In PCOS, the ovaries produce higher-than-normal levels of androgens (male hormones), which can lead to various symptoms and health issues. ne of the main challenges is that PCOS often leads to irregular or absent menstrual periods. Irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation (anovulation) can make it difficult for individuals with PCOS to get pregnant because the release of a mature egg is necessary for conception.


Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, affecting fertility. Symptoms vary among women, and it's often misdiagnosed as regular menstrual problems. Common signs include abdominal and pelvic pain, lower back pain, ovarian cysts, lesions, and scar tissue. Conceiving can be challenging, leading to potential complications. Surgical options like laparoscopy can remove the tissue, and in vitro fertilization {IVF} can assist in achieving pregnancy.

Fallopian Tube Issues

Several fallopian tube issues can contribute to female infertility. These include:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Tubal damage
  • Ectopic pregnancy – when a fertilized egg implants and grows in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus; ectopic pregnancies are not viable and can lead to a rupture of the tube, posing a serious health risk
  • Salpingitis – inflammation of the fallopian tubes, often due to infections, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Hydrosalpinx – when a fallopian tube is blocked at its distal end and fills with fluid, creating a swollen, closed tube

Cervical Issues

Female infertility can be linked to cervical issues. The cervix produces mucus to assist sperm in traveling through the uterus. However, if this mucus is too thick, it can hinder egg implantation and raise the risk of miscarriage. Various conditions, such as stenosis (narrowing), cancer, dysplasia (abnormal cell growth), cervicitis (inflammation), and polyps, can affect the cervix.

Regular Pap smears or pelvic exams are essential to detect irregular cell growth. Symptoms of cervical issues may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, fatigue, or pain during urination. Intrauterine insemination {IUI} bypasses cervical obstacles by directly depositing sperm into the uterus, increasing the chances of pregnancy.

Genetic Factors

Other than PCOS and endometriosis, genetic conditions impacting women’s fertility include:

Understanding the Causes and Treatments of Female Infertility

Female fertility can be affected by various conditions and lifestyle factors, underscoring the importance of monitoring your health and seeking early diagnoses. If you have questions about infertility or wish to schedule a consultation, we encourage you to reach out to Washington Fertility Center today.