Understanding Infertility Problems in Women
- Posted on: May 22 2014
Women are changing from their conventional roles and constantly evolving in terms of what they do and how they make the choices in their life. However, not all of the changes in lifestyle are positive, and sometimes, this can result in problems with conception. It is important to know and find out what is causing you to not be able to conceive by consulting a fertility doctor who can understand, evaluate, and arrive at the root of your problem.
Causes of Infertility in Women
Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and after certain years, there is no increased production. Hence, the ovulation cycle declines with aging, reducing the chances for conception as the age progresses. It is important to identify common causes in female infertility. Common fertility causes:
- Damage to fallopian tubes: The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. The egg and sperm unite in the tube and eventually conception occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. When there is a problem with the fallopian tubes, the egg does not come in contact with the sperm. Pelvic surgeries, pelvic infection, and endometriosis are some of the reasons for blocked tubes.
- Hormonal imbalances: Not all women have their menstrual cycle on time once a month (every 21-35 days). Some have trouble with irregular cycles, which can be due to hormonal imbalances. When the hormones are out of balance the release of the egg and thickening of the endometrial lining doesn’t occur correctly or at all. Checking hormonal levels, basal body temperatures, and using ovulation kits will help you narrow down hormone problems.
- Genetic reasons: Some may experience a problem in fertility due to chromosomal imbalances called balanced translocations. Often the couple will get pregnant but experience multiple pregnancy losses. Considering other options like preimplantation genetic diagnosis with in vitro fertilization (IVF) is useful in correcting the problem.
- Genetic reasons: Some may experience a problem in fertility that is inherited. You need to consult a doctor regarding the problem and discuss with a genetic counselor to see what could be the root cause and how to handle this. Considering other options like adoption, surrogacy, or in vitro fertilization (IVF) in line with the counseling could be solutions to the problem at hand.
- Uterine problems: There could be certain abnormalities in the uterus that may cause infertility. This could be an anatomical anomaly or presence of fibroids and/ or polyps in the uterus. The best way to determine uterine anomalies is through ultrasound scans. Sometimes surgery is recommend to correct the problem.
- Endometriosis: This is a condition where the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus, usually in the abdominal-pelvic area. Endometriosis will lead to infertility in some but not all women and is usually treated surgically.
- Poor quality of eggs: In women, with increased age the quality of eggs and also the number released tends to decline. This can lead to difficulties with conception. Using donor eggs, donor embryos are options for couples with egg quality issues.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): This is a condition of the ovaries where hormone imbalances lead to irregular development of eggs and irregular menstrual cycles. Due to the lack of regular ovulation women will have a hard time conceiving.
- Unexplained causes: Sometimes, the actual cause of infertility may not be determined or pinpointed despite doing many tests. For 25 percent of the couples who are unable to conceive after a year of trying to, the cause may remain undetermined, despite multiple evaluations.
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