what is female infertility

The incapability to conceive after trying for a year is known as female infertility. It is mostly seen in women above the age of 35years. It affects them both physically and mentally. It is not easy to interpret the cause of infertility in women. However, many treatment options are available depending on the cause. There are also chances to conceive without treatment.

How Common is Female Infertility?

Infertility has become a common disease in this modern time. As per the report approx, 10% of women deal with infertility of some kind. This increases with the growing age of women. There is an increase in the rate of infertility because of changing lifestyles and many other factors.

what causes female infertility

What are the causes of female infertility?

There can be multiple causes of female infertility that may be preventing you from becoming pregnant. However, it is not easy to identify the exact cause. Some couples have unexplained infertility, and some have multiple causes.

Some common causes of female infertility are as follows: –

1. Fallopian Tube Problems

It is a tube that transports eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, where the baby grows. Scars from a pelvic inflammatory disease which is caused by chlamydia and gonorrhea, endometriosis, etc., can cause tubal factor infertility in women.

2. Uterine Problem

Polyps, fibroids, adhesions, or septum inside the uterus can affect your ability to conceive. Polyps form when many cells grow in the endometrium, the uterus lining, and fibroids develop in the uterine wall. These polyps and fibroids can form anytime, whereas other abnormalities like septum are present at birth.

3. Problem with Ovulation

Problems with ovulation in a woman can also lead to infertility. There can be multiple reasons for not ovulating regularly, such as hormonal imbalances, thyroid, severe stress, past eating disorder, pituitary tumours, etc.

4. Cervical Problem

A cervical problem is caused by an inherited malformation or damage to the cervix, which leads to the cervix’s narrowing. Sometimes this also inhibits sperm from flowing through the cervical canal.

5. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

PCOS leads to hormonal imbalances and prevents ovulation from occurring. It has become a familiar cause of female infertility. It makes many hormones unbalanced and makes it hard to become pregnant.

5. Problem with quality and number of eggs

Women having a problem with the number of eggs and quality also leads to infertility. It gets affected more by the increasing age.

What are the factors that can raise the risk of infertility?

The factors that can increase the risk of female infertility are as follows: –

(a) Age

Age is a critical factor in a woman’s being fertile. As the women’s age increases, it affects the quality and quantity of women’s eggs. It increases the risk of Miscarriage and makes conception more difficult.

(b)Weight

A woman’s ovulation gets affected by being overweight or underweight. So, it is very important to have a healthy body mass index to increase the frequency of ovulation and the chance of getting pregnant.

(c) Smoking

Smoking leads to severe health problems and complications. And one such problem is the risk of Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. It also ages your ovaries and depletes eggs prematurely.

(d) Sexual History

Sexually transmitted infections may cause infertility, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, and are caused by having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

What are the tests available to determine Female Infertility?

Following is the test to determine female infertility: –

Hysterosalpingography

In this technique, ultrasound or x-rays of the reproductive organ is done. The doctor inserts a dye into the cervix to watch how it moves through the fallopian tubes. It is done to check for blockages.

Laparoscopy

In this test, a laparoscope, a narrow tube with a tiny camera, is inserted into the abdomen to look at the organs and examine for abnormal growths outside your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Blood Tests

Depending on your health history and diagnoses that a doctor is considering, different lab tests are offered that may include prolactin levels, tests of ovarian reserve and progesterone, thyroid testing, etc.

Saline son hysterogram (SIS)

In this test, saline water is used to fill the uterus to look at the uterus cavity and assess for polyps, fibroids, or other structural abnormalities.

Hysteroscopy

A device called hysteroscopy, a flexible thin device with a camera, is inserted into the vagina through the cervix to view the organ inside.

What are the Different Treatment options available for Female Infertility?

There are several treatment options available after diagnosing the cause. The cause of infertility suggests the type of treatment. For example: –

Laparoscopy

If you have been analysed with a tubal or pelvic illness, then laparoscopy is one option to have your reproductive systems rebuilt by surgery.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Many patients require intrauterine insemination means injecting semen into the uterus after ovulation.

Medication

You can be administered clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins, or letrozole if you have trouble ovulating.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

 In this procedure, the doctor fertilizes eggs with sperm in the lab to make embryos, then transfers the embryo into the uterus.

ICSI

This doctor injects sperm into an egg in a dish and then places it in the uterus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Age is an important factor in women’s infertility. It increases the chance of infertility with the growing age. Women over 35 years of age have a higher fertility issue because it lowers the number of eggs, and more eggs will have an abnormal number of chromosomes. It also affects other health conditions.

To diagnose infertility, doctors may ask questions related to past pregnancies, miscarriages, menstrual periods, pelvic pain, or any unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.

Predicting or preventing the forms of female infertility is almost impossible. However, in some cases, the risk factor contributing to infertility can be controlled or prevented.

Following are the tips that may be helpful to a woman trying to get pregnant soon or in the future: –

  • Quit Smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Maintain healthy body
  • Reduce stress level
  • Develop good exercise habits
  • Limit your caffeine intake

Women over 35 years in a heterosexual relationship with regular intercourse and menstrual cycles should visit the doctor after 12 months of trying to conceive without using birth control.

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