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What is Infertility?

Infertility refers to the problem in a woman, where she is either unable to conceive or carry her pregnancy to full term. Infertility rates have seen a huge rise in recent times, owing to a host of biological and environmental factors. Increase in age is also an important factor.

Pregnancy is a complicated process comprising of the following stages:

  • A woman's body must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
  • The egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).
  • A man's sperm must join with the egg (fertilize) along the way.
  • The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

However, contrary to popular perception, Infertility is not always a woman’s problem alone. In fact, women account for only 40 percent of the cases of infertility, while the rest are due to men or even complications arising from both the partners.

Causes of Infertility among women:

A healthy uterus is important for a woman to be able to conceive and carry a pregnancy to its full term. Few of the common problems affecting the uterus and fertility are:

  • Ovulation Disorder
  • Cervical Problems
  • Blocked Fallopian Tubes
  • Endometriosis

Among these, abnormal ovulation is known to be the most common cases of female fertility. Ovulation disorders can lead to anovulation, where a female’s ova do not develop. In addition, abnormal ovulation can hamper a woman’s regular menstruation as well, which is often a sign that the woman is not ovulating normally.

Factors contributing to a woman’s infertility:

Below are the few major factors, which contribute significantly towards female infertility:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol use
  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Athletic training
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Health problems that cause hormonal changes, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and primary ovarian insufficiency

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