Insights into the Most Frequent Reasons for Female Infertility

Infertility is a significant issue among women in Nigeria, with various factors contributing to its prevalence. The rate of infertility among women in Nigeria is estimated to be between 25% and 35%. This means that about one in four or three women in Nigeria will experience difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

The causes of infertility for a woman trying to conceive are:

Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes: 

The fallopian tubes are the channels that carry the egg from the ovary to the uterus. If the tubes are blocked or damaged, the egg cannot travel to the uterus and be fertilized. This is the most common cause of infertility in Nigeria, accounting for about 35% of cases.


Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. This can cause inflammation and scar tissue, which can block the fallopian tubes or make it difficult for an egg to implant in the uterus. Endometriosis is estimated to affect about 10-15% of women in Nigeria.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): 

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects how the ovaries work. Women with PCOS often have irregular ovulation or do not ovulate at all. PCOS is estimated to affect about 5-10% of women in Nigeria.

Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus. They can sometimes cause problems with ovulation or make it difficult for an egg to implant in the uterus. Fibroids are estimated to affect about 30% of women in Nigeria.

Thyroid problems: 

Thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), can affect ovulation and fertility. Thyroid problems are estimated to affect about 10% of women in Nigeria.

Infections: Infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, can damage the fallopian tubes and make it difficult to conceive. These infections are estimated to affect about 10% of women in Nigeria.


As women get older, their fertility decreases. This is because the number and quality of eggs in the ovaries decline with age. Women over the age of 35 are more likely to experience infertility than younger women.


Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have fertility problems. This is because excess weight can affect ovulation and hormone levels.


Smoking can damage the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and it can also affect sperm quality. Women who smoke are more likely to have fertility problems than women who do not smoke.

Unsafe abortion practices:

Unsafe abortions can result in complications that may lead to infertility. In Nigeria, where access to safe and legal abortion services may be limited, some women resort to unsafe methods that can have severe consequences on their reproductive health

If you are having trouble conceiving, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of your infertility. There are many treatments available that can help you achieve pregnancy. Addressing infertility in Nigeria requires a comprehensive approach that includes improved reproductive health education, increased access to quality healthcare services, including family planning and infertility treatments, and addressing social and cultural factors that impact women’s reproductive choices. It is important for individuals, healthcare providers, and policymakers to work together to create awareness, provide appropriate healthcare services, and support women in their journey towards parenthood.

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