According to the World Health Organization (WHO), female infertility is determined as inability to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex with regular intercourse. Healthy female are born with quite large number of eggs but the numbers and quality of eggs decreases by 3% to 5% every year after the age of 30.
However there is marked reduction in fertility of women after age 40. There are numbers of factors that can contribute to female infertility, in which are often divided into two category of factors, both internal factors and additional factors.
- 50% cases of female infertility is due to inability of ovaries to produce normal follicles in which the eggs are mature.
- There may be malfunction of hypothalamus, which is responsible for sending signals to the pituitary gland, which regulates the level of FSH and LH, resulting in immature eggs.
- Any infection, previous surgeries, or abdominal surgeries can affect the normal female reproductive anatomy.
- In rare cases, women may be born with defective uterus associated with uterus irregularities.
- Conditions such as fibrosis, polyps and adenomyosis may obstruct the uterus or fallopian tubes. <1>
- Certain personal lifestyle or habits may limit the female’s ability to conceive.
- Proper diet and appropriate exercise should be taken into consideration.
- Cigarette smoking reduces the chance of conceiving with each cycle by one-third, either using IVF or naturally.
- Alcohol intake also increases the risk of birth defects, may lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
- Exposure to certain environmental radiations, chemotherapy, greatly reduces the fertility of female.
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