Risk Factors for Infertility in Women
|Fallopian Tube, Ovary, and Uterus|
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- History of heavy menstrual bleeding or menstrual cycles that are unusually short (less than 24 days) or long (more than 35 days)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome , which is often characterized by excessive facial hair, acne , obesity , and irregular menstrual cycles
- Abnormal thyroid function
- Pituitary tumors
- Endometriosis —Uterine tissue implanted on other pelvic structures can interfere with normal functioning.
- Sexually transmitted diseases—Infections, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia , often produce no symptoms in women. If left untreated, these infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease , which may cause scarring and adhesions that block the fallopian tubes.
- History of ectopic pregnancy —When a fertilized egg begins to develop within the fallopian tube, it can cause the tube to rupture. As the injury heals, scar tissue may block the tube, thereby reducing fertility.
- Congenital anatomical abnormalities in the reproductive tract
- History of abnormal Pap smears or infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) that have resulted in cervical treatments such as cryosurgery or cone biopsy
- History of two or more spontaneous miscarriages or elective abortions
- Pelvic surgery (including uterine surgery)
- Uterine fibroids
Personal or family history of autoimmune disorders such as:
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure
- Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver
- Sickle cell anemia
- HIV infection
- Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Appendicitis with complications (such as ruptured appendix)
- Chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)—if taken chronically
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve, Motrin)—if taken chronically
- Pain medicines
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org . Accessed November 2009.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Diabetes and pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/publications/patient%5Feducation/bp051.cfm . Accessed July 2010.
American Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org .
American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org .
Cronin M, Schellschmidt I, Dinger J. Rate of pregnancy after using drospirenone and other progestin-containing oral contraceptives. Obstet Gynecol . 2009;114:616-622.
International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. website. Available at: http://www.inciid.org .
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association website. Available at: http://www.resolve.org .
United States National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov .
6/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Luttjeboer FY, Verhoeve HR, van Dessel HJ, et al. The value of medical history taking as risk indicator for tuboperitoneal pathology: a systematic review. BJOG . 2009;116:612-625.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/15/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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