Statistics from the Mayo Clinic state that 40-50% of all infertility cases are due to female causes alone. Causes of female infertility fall into four main categories:
- Ovulatory – Ovulation disorders are the most common cause of infertility. PCOS, lack of ovulation, and irregular ovulation can all lead to difficulty conceiving. Fortunately, drugs such as Clomid tend to be successful in stimulating ovulation.
- Cervical – Mucus within the cervix is responsible for carrying the sperm to the uterus. If there is insufficient mucus, the sperm cannot successfully pass through to fertilize the egg. Sometimes, antibodies within the mucus create a hostile environment and the sperm does not survive. Another problem arises if the cervix is too narrow (cervical stenosis). IUI (Intrauterine insemination) or IVF are commonly used in cases of cervical infertility.
- Pelvic – Endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and fallopian tube damage all lead to pelvic infertility. Surgery can sometimes help resolve the issue. Alternatively, IVF offers a chance at pregnancy.
- Uterine – If the uterine lining is too thin, or the uterus is misshapen or even absent, a woman may not have trouble conceiving but she will have difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term. Although sometimes, a misformed or poorly positioned uterus can be corrected by surgery, a successful pregnancy remains dangerous or impossible. In these instances, the only options are surrogacy (using IVF), adoption, or remaining childfree.
The sooner you receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor, the sooner you and your partner can begin to educate yourselves and make an informed decision about the best treatment options for you.