Four Surprising Causes Of Infertility In Women

The fight against infertility requires both strength and patience. If you suspect you have reproductive issues, simple lifestyle modifications may increase the chances of conception.

Low Vitamin D Levels

Although Vitamin D can be found in fish and eggs, sunlight is the most abundant source of this vitamin. Because it's difficult to get enough in food alone, those who live in colder climates or stay mostly indoors are at risk of developing a deficiency. While many think of Vitamin D as being vital to bone health, for some women low levels may be a factor in infertility. In one study, Vitamin D levels were tested in infertile women. Only 7% of participants had levels that were within a normal range. In another study of women receiving in vitro fertilization—where sperm and eggs are combined in a laboratory and then placed in a woman's uterus—the procedure was 50% less likely to be successful in those with low levels of Vitamin D.

To raise your levels, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. Your doctor will be able to test you for a deficiency and suggest a dosage.


BPAs are commonly found in plastics, some aluminum cans, and even in dental sealants. Some scientists believe that BPAs may damage a woman's eggs and cause fluctuations in reproductive hormones, such as estrogen. When researchers sampled BPA-levels in women receiving in vitro fertilization, those with higher levels had fewer fertilized eggs than women with lower BPA levels.

BPA's are flushed out of the body quickly. You can reduce your exposure by avoiding bottled drinks, using glass containers instead of plastic, and staying away from canned foods. Some bottles and cans may also advertise that they are BPA-free.

Gum Disease

Do you need more incentive to brush and floss? Gum disease, where inflammation around the gums creates pockets for plaque to live, may be a factor in reproductive health. Studies have shown that women with gum disease took two months longer to conceive than women with good dental health.

To prevent gum disease, brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings.


You've probably heard of antioxidants. They're added to sodas, teas, juices, and a host of other foods and drinks. And while they're generally thought of as a positive thing—they remove harmful molecules that would otherwise cause cell damage—it turns out there may be a drawback. Studies have indicated that antioxidants actually reduce ovulation rates in mice.  Ovulation is a necessary part of conception—it's when the ovaries release an egg to be fertilized.

More studies are needed before antioxidants can be tied to infertility, but if you're having difficulty conceiving you may want to decrease your exposure. You can do this by cutting back on products that advertise antioxidants on the label. Additionally, you might consider lowering your intake of foods such as berries, beans, apples, and plums, as these are naturally high in antioxidants.

There is no one solution to infertility that will work for everyone. Work with your obstetrician to see if medication or lifestyle changes may be able to help you start the family you've always wanted.