An ovum is the female gamete. It has to be fertilized by the male gamete, the spermatocyte, for conception to occur. In the absence of an ovum (which is released by the ovaries in the middle of the menstrual cycle), conception is impossible. Erratic release of ova can also lead to infertility. This problem accounts for 33% of all infertile females.
Menopause, which is a stage when the ovaries stop releasing ova, usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55. Although this a natural phenomenon, its premature manifestation causes infertility.
Ovulation is governed by a delicate balance between the hormones LH and FSH. Any changes in the secretion of these hormones, which is usually caused by rapid weight loss or anorexia may result in infertility.
The fallopian tubes carry ova from the ovaries to the uterus, which is commonly referred to as the womb. Blockage in the fallopian tubes implies that the ovum cannot reach the uterus and thus cannot be fertilized. About 15% of women cannot conceive because of this problem.
Endometriosis is quite a common condition. The innermost layer of the uterus is called as the endometrium. This is the layer where the fertilized egg is supposed to implant in the womb. But in the case of endometriosis, this layer starts developing where it is not meant to, causing hindrances to the ovum being transported to the uterus, the sperm uniting with the ovum, the implantation of the ovum and the movement of the ovum towards the ovum. The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but it drastically reduces the possibility of conception and the pregnancy being carried full term.
These are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. Their cause is unknown, but they can impede the implantation of the embryo on the endometrial wall or its development there. An alteration in hormone levels is believed to be the predisposing factor for endometriosis.
The peak time of fertility for females is between their late teens and mid-twenties. As many women do not prefer having children at that age, they opt for them in their mid to late thirties. Various factors govern this decision and this trend is seen in all societies today. At that age natural conception is not always smooth. These statistics are provided by the Gaudium IVF center and their records show that the probability of successful IVFs decreases with age as well.