Risk Factors for Infertility

Along with the aforementioned causes of infertility in women, there are several known risk factors that may lead to infertility.  According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the following factors such as smoking, age, sexually transmitted infections and weight can put women at higher risk for fertility:

Smoking – Research has shown that tobacco smoke harms a woman’s reproductive organs, such as the cervix and fallopian tubes. Studies have also revealed that smoking increases the risk of miscarriage by up to 30% compared to women who don’t smoke.

Age– Fertility peaks in women in their mid-twenties, and declines thereafter.  This results in fewer and poorer quality eggs, which reduces the chance for pregnancy.  Women over 35 are also at a greater risk of miscarriage.

Sexually Transmitted Infections – Women, who have sexually transmitted diseases – like gonorrhea and chlamydia – may suffer damage to the fallopian tubes. This makes it more difficult for sperm to implant into the egg.

Body Weight – Approximately 12% of infertility cases are because a woman is either overweight or underweight. Weight fluctuations can affect a woman’s hormonal balance, which contributes to infertility. A healthy weight has been proven to help regulate ovulation.

Endocrine Problems – According to the Journal of family Practice, factors such as diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease account for 45% to 55% of female infertility cases.