When you are not able to get pregnant (infertility) 81
When you are not able to get
Disability does not cause infertility. Some women with
disabilities will be infertile, but no more so than women who
are not disabled. If a woman with a disability is infertile, it is
usually not because of her disability.
What is infertility?
We say a couple—a man and a woman—is infertile if they cannot
get pregnant after having sex together a few times a month for a year, without using
a family planning method. A couple may also have a fertility problem if they have
had 3 or more miscarriages (lost pregnancies).
A man or woman who has already had a child can also become infertile. A
problem can develop after the last child was born. Sometimes the problem is not
the man’s or the woman’s alone but a combination of the two. And sometimes
both partners seem to be healthy and no doctor or test can find out what is causing
What Causes Infertility?
Infertility in a woman
The main causes of infertility in a woman are:
1. Scarring in the tubes or inside the womb. Scarring, or thickened
rough skin, in the tube can prevent the egg from moving through
the tube, or the sperm from reaching the egg. Scarring in the womb
can prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the
womb. Sometimes a woman gets scarring but does not know it
because she does not feel ill. But years later she learns she is infertile.
Scarring can be caused by:
• an infection from an untreated STI that travels up into the womb or tubes
(pelvic inflammatory disease or PID), or from tuberculosis (TB) in the pelvis.
• unsafe abortion or problems in childbirth that caused damage or infection in
• unclean conditions when an intrauterine device (IUD)—a small device
implanted inside the womb to prevent pregnancy—was put in, which caused
• problems from an operation on the vagina, womb, tubes, or ovaries.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007