Infertility Risk Factors in Women

Infertility Risk Factors in Women

Infertility Risk Factors in Women 02 Dec

If you're worried about infertility, you're not alone. Infertility is a complex condition that is caused by a number of factors. The rate of infertility has been steadily on the rise over the past decade. Many things can affect a woman’s ability to have a baby. Let’s dive deep into the risk factors for female infertility in detail.

Maternal age

Maternal age is probably the most significant factor in a woman's ability to conceive. Women’s fertility gradually declines with age. The ovary's ability to produce normal, healthy eggs declines with age, increasing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and unsuccessful pregnancy. For most women, fertility begins to decline around age 35. One of the best things you can do is understand your family fertility history so that you can proactively take steps for your fertility health.

Lifestyle factors

Your age, genetics, and bi-ology have the greatest impact on your fertility. Food choices can positively affect a woman’s reproductive function in a number of ways. In addition to the direct impact of a nutritious diet on fertility, healthy food choices are critical to build up nutrient stores and supply all of the building blocks necessary for fetal growth and development. The good news about lifestyle factors is that their effects are mostly reversible.


Women who are overweight have decreased fertility and an increased risk for miscarriage. Very low body weight may be associated with infertility and miscarriage as well. It is important to maintain healthy body weight, with a body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 25. Extremes in diet and exercise should be avoided.

Smoking & Alcohol

Smoking may reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. Miscarriages are more frequent in women who smoke. Alcohol use may contribute to infertility.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Called the silent fertility threat, sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis can go undetected, with infertility as the first sign of trouble. Improving personal hygiene and getting the help of a gynecologist at the appropriate time is vital. If you are not trying to get pregnant, insist that your partner wear a condom.


Depression and stress can affect the hormones that regulate the reproductive cycle. Women dealing with these issues may not ovulate normally.

Medical conditions

Some women may have medical conditions that can be an infertility risk factor.  These may or may not be known about when starting to try for a family.  Some of these conditions may be more general, for example, thyroid disease and vitamin D deficiency whilst others may be more specific, for example, polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. The increased incidence of PCOS in young reproductive women is mainly secondary to obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and increased intake of fast foods which need to be avoided. Female infertility risk factors also include problems with the reproductive tract, signaled by irregular or painful periods or pain with intercourse.

Health problems that cause hormonal changes

Exposure to toxins can affect hormones and the health of a woman’s eggs. If your job involves toxic chemical contact or high heat conditions, ask your doctor about steps you can take to protect yourself.

For women, several factors can help increase the chances of getting pregnant:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid alcohol, illicit drugs, and tobacco.
  • Get regular exercise
  • Avoid exposure to industrial or environmental toxins.
  • Avoid medicines that may affect fertility.
  • Limit caffeine

When to get professional help

There is a wide range of treatments available to help couples conceive. Women should talk to a doctor if they are over the age of 40, have irregular or absent periods, painful periods, or have known fertility problems, or have undergone cancer treatment. If you are having trouble conceiving or want to learn more about infertility, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist. PFRC has been providing cutting-edge and compassionate fertility care for more than 35 years with the best gynecologists in Chennai. We've helped thousands of couples overcome fertility problems and fulfill their desire to become parents. If you have one or more of the above risk factors, our fertility specialists can help. Get in touch today.

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