What Are the Endocrine Causes of Female Infertility?

By BSc, MSC, PhD (gynecologist), BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 07/21/2014

Ovarian endocrine factor is one of the causes of female sterility. Any alteration in the stages of the ovarian cycle can lead to an anovulatory cycle, associated with a wide spectrum of menstrual alterations.

Every woman can be diagnosed with temporary anovulatory cycles. They should not to be mistaken for chronic anovulation, which is what causes sterility.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

Causes of anovulation

Chronic anovulation may have different causes in accordance with the classification given by the World Health Organisation (WHO):

  • Group I or hypothalamus and pituitary disfunction.
  • Group II or alteration in the hypothalamus-pituitary secretion: includes the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Group III or primary or secondary ovarian failure.
  • Group V: women with hyperprolactinaemia and evident lesion in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.
  • Group VI: women with hyperprolactinaemia that don't present evident lesion in the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis.
  • Group VII or amenorrhea.

Causes of menstrual irregularities

In regular menstrual cycles, there are three scenarios that may produce ovarian factor sterility. These are:

  • Occult or hidden ovarian failure.
  • Luteinised unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFS)
  • Luteal phase defect (LPD).

If a woman wants to get pregnant, is it highly recommendable to read indications for artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation.

It is also advisable to know the results of the seminogram (evaluation of sperm quality through semen analysis).

FAQs from users

Are premature ovarian failure and early menopause the same thing?

By Dr. Marita Espejo Catena BSc, MSC, PhD (gynecologist).

Menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for at least one year, and this is a situation that usually occurs around the age of 51-52. We talk about early menopause when it occurs before the age of 40.
Although menopause is the final consequence of functional ovarian failure, and therefore it can be expected to happen over time, there may be a paradox that ovarian failure exists but that menstruations still occur with a certain regularity. It’s what we call occult ovarian failure.
Therefore, although related, both concepts cannot be confused since the definition of menopause is very specific and concrete.

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Authors and contributors

Dr. Marita Espejo Catena
Dr. Marita Espejo Catena
Graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Valencia in 1992. Specialist in Gynaecology and Obstetrics. Doctor in Medicine from the University of Valencia in 2000. Master in Assisted Human Reproduction by the Rey Juan Carlos University and IVI in 2008. Currently, she is the director of Instituto FIVIR. More information about Dr. Marita Espejo Catena
License: 464616497
 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information about Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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