23 Common Causes of Infertility in Women India & Successful Treatment Options

Top Causes of Infertility in Women in India & Treatments

In 2023, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised infertility among both men and women as a public health issue. Apart from biological factors, there are social, health and lifestyle choices that are proving as the cause of infertility in women as well as men, and ability to reproduce.

More than 30 million men and women in India suffer from infertility.

What is Female Infertility?

Female infertility is characterised by inability or struggling to conceive naturally. Fertility issues can take a toll on an individual’s physical, emotional, as well as mental state.

By definition, you have fertility problems –

  • If you’re younger than 35 years of age and are unable to get pregnant after 1 year of trying, or
  • If you’re 35 and older, haven’t been able to conceive for more than 6 months, or
  • If you’ve miscarried a pregnancy two or more times, or
  • If you’ve not benefited from fertility treatments

Female infertility could be the result of problems with one or more primary elements – egg production, fertilisation, or implantation.

When to see a doctor for infertility issues?

It is advisable to see an expert if your menstrual cycle is irregular, or if you’ve had problems like endometriosis, tubal pregnancy, pelvic surgery, or infections.

Book an appointment now with the best fertility specialists in DelhiNCR at Zeeva Clinic.

Most Common Symptoms of Female Infertility

The most common symptoms of female infertility are –

  • No menstrual cycle
  • An irregular menstrual cycle
  • An unusually long menstrual cycle (35 days or more)
  • An unusually short menstrual cycle (21 days or less)
  • An unusually painful menstrual cycle

However, these symptoms are only indicative and for an accurate diagnosis of your reproductive health, consult a fertility specialist.

Book an appointment with leading fertility specialists in Noida and Delhi NCR, at Zeeva.

23 Common Causes of Infertility in Women (External & Medical)

External factors that cause infertility in women:

1. Age

As women age it is natural for their fertility to decline due to factors like lowered egg quality or quantity. Delayed marriage and childbearing decisions on account of various factors, including women’s personal & professional decisions, and the socio-economic and cultural factors present in India, further exacerbate the risk and likelihood of future fertility problems.

2. Weight/Obesity

Obesity or even being overweight can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance and have a detrimental effect on the natural ovulation process, the menstrual cycle, leading to a high risk of potential female infertility. The adipose tissue in excessive amounts can impact the hormonal balance by increasing the oestrogen and insulin levels, eventually impacting the ovulation process.

3. Exposure to Harmful Chemicals or Radiation

Extensive exposure to chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, and industrial pollutants, as well as ionising radiation can create an adverse effect on the reproductive health of women. Prolonged exposure to these toxins can disrupt the hormonal balance, damage reproductive tissues, and even impair the functioning of the eggs, leading to infertility in women.

4. Smoking

The chemicals present in tobacco, including carbon monoxide and nicotine can damage the DNA of the female’s eggs, increase the oxidative stress, and accelerate the lowering of the ovarian reserve. Smoking has also been associated with the risk of endometriosis and ectopic pregnancy.

5. Alcohol Consumption

Excessive consumption of alcohol is known to disrupt the hormonal balance of the body, have an effect on the oestrogen levels, and disrupt the menstrual and ovulation cycle. Chronic alcohol consumption also presents the risk of impaired liver function, leading to lowered metabolism of hormones and toxins, furthering the risk of fertility problems.

6. Stress

Chronic stress has a negative impact on any individual’s reproductive health. Release of high levels of stress hormones like cortisol can suppress the release of GnRH that is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle in women. This eventually leads to an irregular menstrual cycle and even anovulation. Moreover, excessive stress affects the libido and sexual health of a person, further complicating the process of getting pregnant.

7. Genetics

Genetic factors such as chromosomal abnormalities or mutations in genes related to fertility are another common cause of infertility in women. These factors can influence multiple aspects of a woman’s reproductive health including, production and maturation of eggs, hormone balance, and development of the reproductive organs.

8. Nutritional Deficiency

Inadequate intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can adversely affect the reproductive health in women. Nutritional deficiencies can impair the production of hormones, disrupt ovulation process, and compromise the quality of the eggs released, leading to infertility.

Medical conditions or diseases that cause infertility in females:

There are certain medical conditions that put you at the risk of developing problems with ovulation, conception, or successfully delivering a baby. Let’s take a look at some of the most common of these medical issues or diseases that cause infertility in females –

9. Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances like FSH, LH, prolactin, or thyroid hormones can disrupt the ovulation process in women, creating a consequent disruption in their fertility. A disruption of ovulation means interference with the normal release of eggs, leading to irregular menstrual cycles or even anovulation.

10. Endometriosis

Endometriosis impacts the ovaries, the uterine lining, and the pelvic area, disrupting the implantation process of the fertilised egg. In fact, this could even cause blockage of the fallopian tube. Endometriosis is abnormal tissue growth that can cause inflammation, adhesions, or scarring, leading to structural abnormalities in the reproductive organs.

This is a pretty common cause of infertility in women.

11. Fallopian Tube Damage

Fallopian tube damage or blockage keeps the sperm from getting to the egg or blocks the passage of the fertilised egg into the uterus, resulting in an inability to conceive naturally. Common causes of fallopian tube damage include pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections, endometriosis, or pelvic surgeries.

12. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterised by multiple cysts on the ovaries, irregular periods, and elevated levels of male hormones in the body. Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may struggle with ovulatory dysfunction, insulin resistance, obesity, culminating into the risk of fertility issues.

13. Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, they can interfere with implantation, disrupt the uterine lining, block the fallopian tube, eventually leading to infertility or miscarriages.

14. Thyroid

This is another very common cause of infertility in women. Thyroid disorders like Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism can take a toll on the hormone production in the body, the metabolism, the menstrual cycle, and the ovulation cycle. Thyroid imbalance causes infertility and an increased risk of miscarriages in women.

15. Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes, type 1 and type 2, can have detrimental effects on fertility in women. Chronic hyperglycemia disrupts the hormonal balance, impairs the ovarian function, and increases the risk of PCOS, gestational diabetes. All these conditions ultimately have an impact on overall fertility and the outcomes of a pregnancy.

16. Cancer

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery can have a profound effect on the reproductive health of a woman. Chemo and radiation can cause damage to the ovarian tissues, leading to premature menopause or ovarian insufficiency. Also, surgeries like hysterectomy or oophorectomy also result in the loss of reproductive functions in the body.

17. Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders, such as antiphospholipid syndrome and lupus, are conditions where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues. This condition leads to inflammation, tissue damage, and dysfunction of affected organs. In women, autoimmune disorders may target their reproductive organs or disrupt the hormonal balance within the body, affecting fertility.

18. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) resulting from untreated STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea or bacterial infections in the reproductive tract, can result in the infection of female reproductive organs. Untreated, these infections can ascend from the vagina and cervix to the upper reproductive organs, leading to inflammation, scarring, and damage.

19. Cervical Mucus Issues

Consistency and quality of cervical mucus plays a vital role in a woman’s reproductive health. This is because cervical mucus is responsible for providing a hospitable environment for the sperm to survive and transport. Quality or quantity issues with the cervical mucus can hinder sperm motility and penetration, resulting in problems with fertilisation and conception.

20. Premature Ovarian Failure

In Premature Ovarian Failure or Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, the ovary does not produce eggs and the oestrogen production lowers in women below the age of 40 years. This is typically caused due to autoimmune disorders, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, genetic factors, or idiopathic factors.

21. Blood Clotting Disorders

Blood clotting disorders can impact fertility in women by causing abnormal clotting within the reproductive organs. These blood clots can impair the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, interfere with implantation, and increase the risk of miscarriage. Clotting disorders can also cause complications during a pregnancy, further impacting fertility outcomes.

22. Drug Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

DES is a synthetic oestrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between the 1940s and 1970s. However, this exposure to DES in the uterus has been associated with many reproductive health issues in a female offspring, such as structural abnormalities of the reproductive tract, risk of ectopic pregnancy, and infertility.

23. Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Untreated Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs can also be a serious cause of infertility in women. These infections can lead to inflammation and scarring of the reproductive organs, leading to conditions like PID and tubal factor infertility. STDs also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and complications during a pregnancy. Prevention, early detection, and timely treatment is the key here.

Diagnosis of Female Infertility

The complexity of diagnosis of female infertility varies with every patient and case. Sometimes, it can be as easy as taking a few straightforward tests, while other times it can be a fertility test for women or more, with no concrete results.

Diagnosis of infertility in women may be done with one or a combination of the below mentioned methods –

  • Ovulation testing
  • Blood test
  • Assessment of ovarian reserve
  • Assessment of hormone level
  • Post-coital test
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Laparoscopy
  • Pelvic ultrasound

Also read Best Fertility Test for Women & Men in India.

Female Infertility Treatment Options in India

Hormone Therapy or Ovulation Induction

Hormone therapy is required with patients who ovulate irregularly or don’t ovulate at all. This treatment method may also be used to handle endocrine problems.

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most common causes of ovulation issues. 

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is one of the most popular and common infertility treatment when the patient has trouble carrying on a successful pregnancy due to –

  • Damaged or absent fallopian tubes
  • Infertility in the male partner
  • Undiagnosable fertility issues

Due to the high success rate of IVF, this treatment method has been used as the first line of therapy for infertility in recent years. The highest success rate of IVF in India is at Zeeva IVF Center in Noida, at 65% with 5000+ happy families.

Book an appointment with the best IVF doctor in Noida and Delhi NCR – Dr. Shweta Goswami.

Surgical Methods

Surgery can help remove scar tissues or endometriosis causing fallopian tube blockage, or interfering with the ability to pick up an egg. With advanced technology and techniques, this can now usually be done with a non-invasive laparoscopic method or a minimally-invasive method.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Ovulation induction along with IUI may be used together. IUI is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that involves washing of the sperm deposited in the uterus and fallopian tube. This process also helps bypass the hostile cervical mucus and helps when the male partner has sperm count or sperm motility issues.

Egg Donation

In cases of premature ovarian failure where the ovary is incapable of releasing eggs or the egg supply is exhausted, egg donation is the method many patients resort to. When the patient is unable to produce her own eggs, donor eggs can be used to get pregnant. Ovarian failure is non-reversible, but it is extremely important to diagnose and recognise this infertility condition. It is crucial to provide patients with this problem with right and timely counsel to help them cope and not lose hope.

Wondering how to choose the best-suited fertility treatment for you? Book an appointment with a fertility specialist who has relevant experience and expertise, get a complete diagnosis, and proceed accordingly!

Take a look at the whole list of fertility treatments offered at Zeeva – a leading fertility clinic and the best IVF center in Noida.

What Can Women Do Before Getting Medical Help?

Before anything else and even before taking a decision about delaying a pregnancy, it is advisable that women check their ovarian reserve. This can help them make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary clinical treatments later, as far as possible.

An ovarian reserve is the pool of eggs present in the ovaries of a woman. A low ovarian reserve would mean an insufficiency of good eggs and a reasonably declined chance of getting pregnant easily.

To know more about the Ovarian Reserve Test, get in touch with a fertility expert at Zeeva.

Apart from this the rules for preserving your fertility, male or female, is pretty much the same as the rules for maintaining good overall health – Eat well, exercise, manage your lifestyle choices like alcohol consumption and smoking.

FAQs

How do I choose the best infertility treatment?

Choosing a fertility treatment depends on a multitude of factors including the severity of your infertility, your medical history, the fertility of your partner, your fertility goals and more. To choose the best-suited fertility treatment for you should start with getting proper testing and diagnosis done from a fertility specialist with extensive experience and expertise. Once a complete diagnosis is done, the fertility specialist will advise you with a treatment plan that will be best-suited for your condition and help you achieve the best possible clinical outcome.

What is the cost of IVF in Zeeva?

Book an appointment with a fertility specialist at Zeeva, get a complete diagnosis done, and get the pricing for your IVF treatment cycle at this leading IVF center in Noida and DelhiNCR.

Which hospital is best for IVF in India?

Zeeva IVF Center in Noida, Ghaziabad and DelhiNCR is definitely the best hospital for IVF in India. Led by Dr. Shweta Goswami, who has an extensive experience of 20+ years, Zeeva has a high success rate of 65% in IVF and has gained the trust of 5000+ joyous families.

What is the highest success rate of IVF in India?

The highest success rate of IVF in India is 65%. This commendable rate of success is delivered by the leading IVF clinic in India – Zeeva, led by the best in the field, Dr. Shweta Goswami. Her expertise and experience makes it possible to achieve this high rate of success in IVF cycles.

Which infertility cannot be treated?

With advanced technologies and techniques, there are treatment options to manage all kinds of infertility. However, some of the most challenging ones are female infertility due to premature ovarian failure, genetic abnormalities, severe endometriosis, and structural abnormalities. While there are still ways to manage these conditions, 100% fertility preservation or reversal is typically not possible in these cases.

Which infertility treatment has the highest success rate?

IVF or In-Vitro Fertilisation is known to have one of the highest success rates as a fertility treatment. Zeeva IVF Center in Noida has the highest success rate of IVF in India, at 65%.

Can female infertility be cured?

All kinds of female infertility can be treated, cured, and managed. A lot of course depends on the age of the patient, their medical history, and other factors around their infertility. A personalised and accurate treatment plan can only be designed after proper testing and diagnosis of the infertility problem and the goal of the patient with respect to their fertility.

What tests check female fertility?

Female fertility can be checked and diagnosed in multiple ways, depending on the complexity of their fertility problem. This can include one or a combination of blood test, ultrasound, ovulation testing, assessment of hormone levels, endometrial biopsy, laparoscopy, etc.

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Dr. Shweta Goswami
Dr. Shweta Goswami
Dr. Shweta Goswami, MBBS from MAMC, MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Fellowship in IVF & Reproductive Medicine, is a renowned IVF specialist in Delhi with 20+ years of experience. She specializes in various fields of reproductive medicine, including IVF, ICSI, donor egg surrogacy, and laparoscopy. Dr. Shweta approaches infertility treatment through technology innovation and a professional clinical approach. Book an Appointment View Details

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