Know the risk factors for female infertility
For many women struggling with infertility, one question comes up over and over – why is this happening to me? Some causes of infertility have been well-researched, while others are not yet fully explained by science. However, research has clearly shown certain risk factors for female infertility.
Our Manhattan infertility expert wants every woman to understand the risk factors that can negatively affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant, sustain pregnancy and have healthy babies. This information can empower women to take control of their reproductive health and wellness.
By knowing your personal risk factors for female infertility, you are better able to make lifestyle changes or get medical treatment that will increase your chances of achieving pregnancy when you are ready to start a family.
What are the risk factors for female infertility?
Many risk factors for female infertility are outside of a woman’s control.
- Age: For most women, the quantity and quality of eggs declines around age 35 and beyond.
- Prior infections of the reproductive tract: Sexually transmitted diseases and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause scarring that may prevent implantation or block fallopian tubes.
- Prior surgery: Any surgery to the reproductive organs can result in scarring that can lead to infertility.
- Uterine and cervical abnormalities: Certain birth defects can block sperm from getting to the egg, or make it difficult for an embryo to implant.
- Endometriosis, polyps and tumors: Both abnormal tissue and surgeries to remove it can damage or scar the reproductive organs.
- Past ectopic pregnancy: Embryos growing inside the fallopian tube can cause scarring, as can surgery to resolve this condition.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This hormone imbalance interferes with ovulation and is a common cause of female infertility.
Other risk factors for female infertility may be improved with lifestyle changes. For example, an unhealthy weight can have a negative effect on your fertility. Being very underweight or overweight can disrupt ovulation, as can extreme weight loss or weight gain.
Smoking and alcohol abuse are also risk factors for female infertility. Smoking can damage your reproductive organs, prematurely age your eggs and increase your miscarriage risk, so our Manhattan fertility expert recommends kicking the habit before you try to become pregnant.
Having more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day may also disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, so we advise women to cut back on or eliminate alcohol consumption while trying to become pregnant. Because any alcohol during pregnancy is risky for a developing baby, you should stop drinking alcohol altogether once you achieve pregnancy.
Hope for women with infertility
If you are affected by any of these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that you will never be able to have a child. Additionally, not all women with these risk factors suffer from infertility. For women who do, effective treatments can help them achieve their family-building goals.
To better understand your personal risk factors for female infertility, contact us to schedule a consultation with our Manhattan infertility expert.