Infertility in woman: types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and management

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


It would be an understatement to say that infertility, or the inability to get pregnant, is distressing and challenging for any woman. Society judges women based on whether they can give birth or not. Women are often subject to violence and divorce as a result of infertility. Not surprisingly, most women dealing with infertility also have mental health issues and feel less worthy and underconfident. Infertility in women can result from various factors, including ovulatory disorders, structural issues in the reproductive system, and hormonal imbalances, often necessitating medical evaluation and treatment.

Technically, a woman is diagnosed with infertility if she is below 35 years old and has been unsuccessful in getting pregnant even after trying for a year. The period is six months for women over 35 years of age. However, it is prudent to consult a gynecologist early if you are planning a family and have a history of endometriosis, PCOD, pelvic infections, abortions, etc.

Causes of Infertility in Women

The female reproductive system consists of:

Infertility in women can occur if there is an issue with:

1. Ovulation

The ovaries do not produce sufficient eggs or ovum in the following conditions:

2. Poor quality of ovum

3. Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes

It can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or hinder the egg’s journey to the uterus. It can be a result of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancies, or surgeries in the area.

4. Uterine or cervical problems

Abnormalities in the uterus, including fibroids, polyps, or structural issues, may interfere with implantation or the ability to carry a pregnancy full term. 

5. Endometriosis

This condition occurs when the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of it, causing inflammation, scarring, and potential fertility problems.

6. Other Factors

Types of Infertility in Women

Infertility in women is usually classified as:

Symptoms of Female Infertility

Infertility in women may not always present with specific symptoms. Many women may not find any noticeable signs of infertility until they try to conceive without success. However, certain signs and symptoms that are common in a few cases include:

If you are concerned or suspect fertility issues, consult a healthcare professional or a fertility specialist. They will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options.

Diagnosis of Infertility in Women

The diagnosis of infertility in women involves a complete checkup to find out the underlying causes or factors. It may include the following steps:

It is essential to work closely with a healthcare professional or a fertility specialist to undergo a comprehensive evaluation and receive an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment and Management

The management of infertility in women depends on the underlying cause(s) identified through a comprehensive evaluation. Some common approaches and treatments used in the management of female infertility are:


It’s important to note that the appropriate management strategy will depend on the specific diagnosis and individual circumstances. Each case is unique, and treatment plans should be personalized based on the couple’s needs and preferences. Consulting with a fertility specialist or reproductive endocrinologist is crucial to receiving an accurate diagnosis, guidance, and appropriate fertility treatment options.

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