Female factors: reproductive health

The human body is a remarkable biological system – and female fertility is one of its more amazing mechanisms.

Understanding how the female reproductive system works and knowing what factors may affect your fertility, can help build a plan for maximising the chances of successfully conceiving.

The activity of the female reproductive system is controlled by hormones released by both the brain and the ovaries that cause the development and release of eggs.

One in six Australian couples of reproductive age experience difficulties conceiving a child. If you have been trying to become pregnant for more than six months then you may want to get specialist advice to help you conceive sooner or answer any questions.

All you may need is some expert advice or a treatment such as ovulation induction. Or you may need to consider more advanced techniques, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

We understand that many people do not have the opportunity to start their family until they are over 35 and their fertility has already started to decline, by circumstance rather than by choice. Our Fertility Check Up will help you to understand the factors affecting your fertility with a few simple tests. The NSW Government now also provides a $250 Rebate that helps eligible NSW residents cover the costs of fertility testing. 

Here’s a brief overview of the main issues that impact female fertility.

Common Female Fertility Problems

Ovulation issues and irregular periods

Women who don’t ovulate often have irregular or no periods. Common causes include PCOS (see below), obesity or low body weight, thyroid dysfunction, premature ovarian failure or low ovarian reserves. Treatment will often depend on the cause but may include diet and lifestyle changes or simple fertility drugs to trigger ovulation. Read more about the menstrual cycle and ovulation issues


Endometriosis is a condition where the cells that line the uterus grow in places outside the uterus often distorting the tubes and ovaries or blocking the release of eggs. Symptoms include painful periods, pain during intercourse and premenstrual spotting. Endometriosis can sometimes be treated with Laparoscopic surgery. Read more about endometriosis and fertility


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS is a common hormone problem and the leading cause of infertility in women. Symptoms include irregular or no periods, heavy painful periods, increased hair growth, acne and obesity. PCOS can be treated by managing the symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes, ovulation induction drugs or in difficult situations IVF treatment may be necessary. Read more about PCOS and fertility


Fibroids are benign lumps of tissue that can grow around and inside the uterus. Their size and location will determine if they affect your fertility and if they will need to be removed surgically. They don’t usually cause symptoms but depending on where the fibroid is you may experience heavy or prolonged periods, pain or swelling in your pelvic area, passing urine more often than normal or constipation. Read more about fibroids and fertility

By answering 7 simple questions, the Female Fertility Assessment Tool is designed to give you an indication of whether there are any factors that might be affecting your chance of falling pregnant and whether you should consider seeking the advice of a fertility specialist for further assessment.  

Female Fertility Check


By providing us with some of your details and pregnancy history we will guide you on what you should do if you want to start a family.

IVF Australia offers fertility consultations and treatment. For general enquiries or to book your first appointment, please complete the form below or call us on 1800 111 483.