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Infertility is an issue that affects about 15 percent of couples at some point in their family-building years. If you’re having a difficult time conceiving, it can be caused by a number of factors. Infertility affects both men and women nearly equally.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one-third of infertility cases are caused by female factors and one-third by male factors; the rest are a result of a combination of factors from both parties. There are conditions of each reproductive system that make them susceptible to fertility problems. Here’s a look at some causes that could cause infertility in women.

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Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition that involves tissue from the uterine wall flourishing outside the uterus. This commonly happens on the membrane lining the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. Sometimes endometriosis is asymptomatic, which means that you won’t notice any symptoms.

When there are symptoms, they include painful menstrual periods, heavy bleeding or uncharacteristic spotting, pelvic pain or painful intercourse. A doctor may opt for surgery to remove the endometrial tissue. Other options are fertility treatment coupled with artificial insemination. They can also remove tissue around fallopian tubes to help aid conception.  To get more information on edometriosis, check out this article.

Damaged fallopian tubes: The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, while the eggs wait to be fertilized. When the fallopian tubes are damaged or scarred through various conditions, it can prevent sperm from reaching the egg. Some conditions that cause scarring on the fallopian tubes are endometriosis, pelvic infections, and pelvic or abdominal surgeries.

>> Read more: 5 Facts About Stress and Infertility

Uterine causes: Sometimes the uterus itself hinders conception. If the uterus is shaped abnormally, or if there are polyps or fibroids present, the uterus will not be suitable for conception. If you’re having trouble conceiving, your doctor may recommend a 3-D ultrasound to identify any abnormalities with your uterus.

Some uterine abnormalities can be treated through surgery or a hysteroscope, but not all cases need treatment. Speak with your doctor or fertility specialist to make sure you understand all of your options.

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