EBSCO Health

Print PageSend to a Friend
Health Library Home>Conditions InDepth>Article

Risk Factors for Infertility in Women

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can become infertile with or without the ones listed below. The chances of becoming infertile are greater in people who have many.

Infertility is more common in those who are 35 years or older. This is when a woman has fewer eggs that can be fertilized.

Other things that can raise the risk are:

Health Problems

Many health problems can raise the risk of infertility.

Fallopian Tube, Ovary, and Uterus

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Problems That Impact Ovarian Function

These health problems can make it hard for the ovaries to work as they should:

Problems That May Harm or Block Fallopian Tubes

These health problems may make it hard for the fallopian tubes to work as they should:

Problems That May Harm the Uterus or Cervix

These health problems may make it hard for the uterus or cervix to work as they should:

Medications

Certain medicines can raise the risk of infertility, such as:

  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Prior use of contraceptive methods, such as an intrauterine device

Smoking, Drugs, and Alcohol Use

Tobacco use may lower fertility. Using marijuana or illegal drugs like cocaine can also raise the risk.

Excess alcohol can cause problems with ovulation and raise the risk, too.

Obesity

Being overweight or obese can affect hormone levels. This can change the way the ovaries work.

REFERENCES:

Evaluating infertility. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/evaluating-infertility. Accessed November 17, 2021.

Infertility in women. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/infertility-in-women. Accessed November 11, 2021.

Overview of infertility. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/infertility/overview-of-infertility. Accessed November 17, 2021.

Treating infertility. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/treating-infertility. Accessed November 11, 2021.

Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN  Last Updated: 11/18/2021