Female Infertility


Female infertility is described as not be​ing able to conceive or become pregnant despite having frequent unprotected sexual intercourse over a period of one year.

Infertility may be due to a single cause or multiple causes. A woman is born with a finite number of eggs. As she gets older, the number and the quality of the eggs diminish and the chances of having a baby are reduced.  Other causes of not being able to get pregnant may include an ovulation disorder, uterine fibroids, damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis, medications or other health issues. In addition, factors such as smoking, obesity and malnutrition can also affect your chances of conception.

Infertility is not uncommon. Sometimes the cause is traced back to the woman and sometimes the cause is traced back to the man. Sometimes the cause is unknown.


Most couples get pregnant after engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse for a period of 6 to 12 months. Doctors suggest giving yourself up to a year before you start worrying about being infertile. The symptom of infertility is simply the inability to conceive. In some women, irregular or absent menstrual periods may be an indication of infertility.

To discuss your concerns you can consult a family doctor working with the Family Health Services at The Aga Khan University Hospital.

If you are a woman, who has been trying to get pregnant for over a year, you can consult with our doctors in the Women’s Health Care Services​ at The Aga Khan University Hospital. You may consider making an appointment earlier if:

  • You are middle aged and have been trying to get pregnant for over six months.

  • You are above 40 years.

  • You have irregular menstrual cycles.

  • You have fertility problems that you are already aware of.

  • You have undergone cancer treatment.

  • You have had a miscarriage.

  • You have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here​ are some tips to help get you started.

Your doctor will take a complete medical and reproductive history. The following tests may be ordered to determine the underlying cause of your infertility:

  • A blood test to measure hormone levels to determine whether you are ovulating, (egg is being released from the ovary), as well as to check your thyroid and pituitary hormones that control the reproductive processes.

  • Ovarian reserve testing to check the quality and quantity of the eggs being produced for ovulation.

  • Pelvic ultrasound to get an image of the uterus and fallopian tubes to assess for any disorders or disease.

The psychological pressure a woman feels when she cannot become pregnant can become overwhelming. Fortunately, there are numerous effective treatments and therapies available.

Your course of treatment will depend on the cause of infertility, your age, how long you have been infertile and your personal preferences.

Treatments for women may involve:

  • Medical therapy to treat ovulation disorders. Fertility drugs are used to regulate or induce ovulation.

  • Surgery to repair or treat any damage to the reproductive organs and tissues.

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI) in which the sperm from the man is collected, concentrated and placed in the woman’s uterus around the time when her ovary is releasing egg(s) to increase the chances of fertilization.

  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a fertility treatment in which the egg and sperms are brought together outside the body. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of ART in which the woman is given daily shots of fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries to produce several mature eggs. The eggs are collected and brought together with the sperm from the man to be fertilized. The embryos (fertilized eggs) are then placed back in the woman’s uterus.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
 
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
 
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.