Common Causes of Fertility Issues in Women

For most women having a child is a natural step on life’s road, one that’s anticipated with excitement and a bit of anxiety. It’s a miraculous and beautiful process, but it isn’t perfect and effortless for everyone. In fact, around 10% of couples in the United States trying to conceive will have trouble. Some of the problems are on the man’s side, but around 30% of the time it’s an issue with the woman. These problems are difficult to anticipate, with very few symptoms and no idea that trouble is on the horizon until it happens. But if you take the time to understand the potential concerns you can react quickly if problems do arise, and hopefully spend less time afraid and upset. Here are some of the most common causes of fertility issues in women.

First on the list is endometriosis. This is a medical condition in which cyst-like tissue grows either in the lining of the uterus or outside the uterus itself, in your abdominal region. This can cause some serious pain and cramping in the pelvic region, both during intercourse and during your period. But some women don’t actually feel the pain at all. In either case, it is a serious problem. Many women have surgery to remove the unnecessary tissue, in which case they then go on to conceive around 50% of the time. It can also be treated without surgery, with a regimen of fertility drugs. In those cases, your chance of conception drops to around 15%.

Another key cause of fertility issues is a problem with the quality of your eggs. This is a difficult situation, in that there will never be any symptoms. You’ll simply try to conceive and have no luck. This is a problem that plagues many older women looking to have a child, but can also be genetic. In these cases you might find you’ll have to either look for eggs from a donor, or try in vitro fertilization. In general, the chance you’ll successfully conceive in this case is around 50/50.

Many women experiencing fertility issues have problems ovulating. This is usually due to some sort of hormone imbalance, which gets in the way of your eggs leaving the ovaries. In general you will be aware of this fertility issue, as you may regularly miss your period, have very light periods or even the exact opposite. Most of the time ovulation can occur with a mixture of drug treatments and in vitro fertilization. But even after that, around 60% of women at maximum will go on to actually conceive.

Another fertility problem that’s a bit less common is polycystic ovary syndrome. In these instances, a woman’s ovaries are almost overcome with cysts, which causes an imbalance in hormone levels. Polycystic ovary syndrome has a range of symptoms, including weight gain, irregular hair growth or menstruation, and outbreaks of acne. It can often be regulated by a series of drugs that stimulate ovulation, and many women will go on to attempt in vitro fertilization. You can count on a fertile future, but regrettably that doesn’t guarantee a successful pregnancy. Around 20% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome who conceive will experience a miscarriage.