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Causes of Female Infertility – Age, Ovulation Problems, Blockages

common reasons female infertilityWhat causes female infertility? It could be a woman’s age, ovulation problems, or blockages in her fallopian tubes. If you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year without success, you may want to consider consulting a fertility specialist.

First, here’s a quip about pregnancy and peeing from Jenny McCarthy:

“The weird thing about the pee thing is that it starts almost the moment you find out you’re pregnant. That seems so weird to me because there clearly isn’t a seven-pound baby pushing on your bladder at that time. Still, I woke up in those early months at 2 a.m., and then at 3 a.m., and then at 6 a.m. No rest for the weary. It was just pee, pee, pee.” – Jenny McCarthy.

Now we women who are trying to get pregnant have something to look forward to!   🙂  For more detailed info about female infertility, read The Complete Guide to Female Fertility by Kate Brian.


Here’s a new and improved version of this article:

Most Common Reasons Women Don’t Get Pregnant Right Away.

Causes of Female Infertility – Age, Ovulation Problems, Blockages

Remember that female infertility only happens 33% of the time. Male infertility happens 33% of the time, and unknown reasons for not getting pregnant occur the final 33% of the time.

So if you’re having trouble conceiving, don’t automatically assume it’s a problem with the ovaries or eggs! It could very well be the sperm.

1. Increasing age. The older you get, the older your eggs and your partner’s sperm gets, too. “If your male partner is also middle-aged, his sperm is less robust and plentiful than when he was younger,” writes Goldberg in The Complete Guide to Women’s Health.

2. Lack of ovulation. Female fertility is affected by ovulation (or lack thereof). As a female, if you have low levels of estrogen, then you may not be getting pregnant because of lowered FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) in your body. Both of those hormones are essential for reproduction. For help detecting ovulation, read How Ovulation Predictor Kits Work.

3. Physical problems. Dr Goldberg writes, “There may be structural or physical problems that require surgery, such as the fallopian tubes being blocked, or fibroids in the uterus.”

The best way to determine female infertility is to see your doctor. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and physical checkups will help uncover the problem – if there is one.

If you know female infertility is an issue, read Fertility Treatments – 8 Ways to Treat Infertility and Get Pregnant.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Statistics on Getting Pregnant

About 33% of women between ages 35 and 39 and 66% of women over age 40 have trouble conceiving a child. “Trouble getting pregnant” means not being about to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse.”

After age 30, a woman’s chances of conceiving decreases by 3-5% each year, and after age 40, the rate is even faster. Yikes. I’m sorry to be a downer – I know exactly how scary it is, being a woman pushing 40 and trying to get pregnant!  But we know it happens all the time – a friend of mine is 41, and just gave birth to her second son.

So don’t lose hope, my friends. Dr Goldberg says that 20% of women have their first kid after age 35…which means they’re beating the odds!

Are you trying to get pregnant? Fairhaven Health's Hormone Balance Bundle improves egg quality, encourages cycle regularity, and helps your body ovulate regularly.

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3 thoughts on “Causes of Female Infertility – Age, Ovulation Problems, Blockages”

  1. Sarah ~ thanks for sharing your experience here! I didn’t know that an ovarian cyst may prevent a pregnancy…I’m glad you had the surgery. Something worked, that’s for sure!

    Lucy ~ there are so many factors that go into fertility and getting pregnant, it’s almost impossible to say what impact alcohol as. But, in the research I’ve done about the causes of female infertility, I’ve never seen evidence that drinking does harm.

    As you said, you’ll need to stop drinking when you’re trying to get pregnant.

    Since drinking too much alcohol isn’t good for your overall health, I think it’s smart to abide by the Mayo Clinic’s guidelines. They say one drink a day for women is fine (especially red wine!).

    I hope this helps.


  2. I was wondering something – I love a drink, I partied throughout my youth, pretty heavily. I’m worried that his has affected my fertility and I won’t be able to get pregnant in the future. I have pretty irregular periods but I have come on and off hormonal birth control for a long time. I know that when I am trying to conceive I must cut the alcohol out all together for months before but I don’t really want to give up now. Is it so bad in my youth? (I’m 25 now)
    Would be really grateful if someone could shed some light on this.

  3. I tried for about 3 years before I finally got pregnant with my 2nd child. I worked with infertility specialists most of that time, using fertility drugs and trying artificial insemination one time. My husband and I went through every diagnostic test, and the only thing found essentially was a small ovarian cyst. I went in for surgery to have it removed but the surgeon ended up not removing it because he said it was inside the ovary (not outside) and he didn’t want to risk my fertility any further.

    A year later, I insisted on having the cyst removed. Two months after the surgery I got pregnant. The fertility specialist said we’ll never know if it was due to the dermoid cyst being removed, but I believe it was.