Overview – Female Infertility
If the woman is more than 35 years old, and has been trying unsuccessfully for more than 6 months, further consultation regarding investigation and treatment should be considered rather than waiting for a year. If the female has a history of gynaecological problems, or if it is known that the partner has a low sperm count, they should not delay seeing a specialist regarding the fertility status. Women who are 40 years and over are advised to begin investigation and treatment after 3 months of trying.
Pregnancy depends on many factors: Female Infertility
- Ovulation and the production of healthy eggs – Ovulation is the development and release of an egg from a women’s ovary. This occurs once in the menstrual cycle usually about 14 days before the end of the cycle. This is the fertile time for a woman
- Enough healthy sperm being produced – Sperm take about 64 days to develop and are produced in the testes. Sperm is expelled in seminal fluid on ejaculation. There may be 100 million sperms produced at ejaculation though relatively few, i.e several hundred, will reach the fallopian tubes.
- The ability of eggs to travel through the tubes to reach the sperm
- Sperm being able to travel through the cervix to reach the egg
- The sperm’s ability to fertilise the egg-which can be dependent on the number of sperm produced and the quality of the sperm. By quality we mean such things as the sperm’s motility (ability to move forward) and shape.
- A fertilised egg becoming a healthy embryo
- Successful implantation of the embryo in the uterus