Female infertility

Raising a family is an almost universal dream, but sadly infertility is more common that people think.  

One in six Australian couples have difficulty conceiving. About one third infertility problems are with the woman, about one third are with the man and about one third are with both partners or the cause is unknown.

Not being able to conceive can be stressful and frustrating. The causes of female infertility are complex, and the related health conditions can have a major physical, emotional and financial impact on women and their families.

In addition to the personal emotional and financial toll, the costs of infertility treatment on the Australian healthcare system are substantial. In 2015, taxpayers contributed $254 million to infertility treatment.

What is infertility?

What causes infertility in women?

How can women improve their fertility?

Our female infertility research

Discoveries made by our leading reproductive scientists have underpinned advancements in many women’s gynaecological conditions and reproductive treatments. Our researcher’s discoveries have greatly enhanced the understanding of reproductive health in women including

  • Menstruation including how changes in the endometrium impact female reproductive health
  • Maternal-embryo cross-talk which is critical for implantation
  • How healthy egg follicles are formed, stored and released
  • How hormones influence follicle production
  • Endometriosis and its potential causes.

What factors influence ovarian function and female fertility?

Molecular studies. Associate Professor Western and his team are determining how epigenetic factors regulate ovarian function, including egg growth and hormone production, and how exposure to chemicals, environmental agents or clinical treatments, such as anti-cancer drugs, might affect female fertility and female reproductive health.

Lead Researcher | Associate Professor Patrick Western

What regulates steroid production in the fetus?

Female infertility collaborators

Support for people with female infertility

For more information about infertility, please talk to your doctor. Hudson Institute scientists cannot provide medical advice.

Find out more about female infertility.

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