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The 3 Main Causes of Infertility – Health and Lifestyle Concerns For Women

The 3 Main Causes of Infertility – Health and Lifestyle Concerns For Women


The current social trend seems to be for women to wait longer before starting a family. Advantages to waiting to start a family include established career, financial security, and overall maturity. However, there may also be a price to pay for delayed childbearing. Many women find it more difficult to become pregnant than they expected. That’s because, from a hormonal standpoint, most women reach their reproductive peak between the ages of 20 and 25. As you age, various changes within the reproductive system occur that may reduce your fertility. For example, fewer eggs are capable of forming a viable embryo. Also, the follicles, which are saclike structures surrounding each egg and are supposed to rupture and release the egg during ovulation, may not be as sturdy as they were when you were younger and thus may not be capable of effective ovulation. The quality of your eggs is one of the major determinants of whether you can become pregnant. It’s known that the release of reproductive hormones diminishes after a woman’s 20s, and therefore most women will ovulate less reliably. Consequently, most women over the age of 35 have fewer viable eggs and may ovulate less regularly. In addition, the incidence of pelvic disorders, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, seems to increase as a woman gets older. Endometriosis may reduce your fertility. Uterine fi broids that are located inside of your uterus and compromise your uterine cavity may also limit your fertility.


Virtually all scientific studies conclude that smoking is detrimental to your fertility. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that the best available scientific data indicates cigarette smoking strongly contributes to infertility and should be discouraged for both male and female partners. Tobacco appears to impinge on your fertility by reducing your ovarian reserve and also to contribute to fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Furthermore, women who smoke have an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.


There is some controversy about the relationship between alcohol and the ability to conceive. According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, even moderate alcohol consumption (five drinks per week) can impair conception. Other studies state that no definite link exists between moderate alcohol intake and the ability to become pregnant. Medical research studies have shown that women who partake in heavy alcohol consumption, more than six drinks per day, are more likely to suffer from irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation abnormalities. Heavy drinking has been shown to disrupt the normal menstrual cycle and reproductive function

ranging from infertility and increased risk for miscarriage to impaired fetal growth and development, according to a 1993 study published by the National Institutes of Health.