What can cause infertility in females?
According to medical experts, infertility occurs in a situation whereby a woman fails to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse. In the US alone, it is estimated that about 18% or women are experiencing trouble getting pregnant or having a successful delivery. Although men experience infertility problems but not as women, who are mostly hit by infertility. In most cases, infertility problems can become very difficult to diagnose. Often, medical practitioners conclude after conducting a series of tests on the patients and asking some questions about the medical history to ascertain the real cause of infertility.
The causes of infertility vary according to the lifestyle and the amount of risk the patient has been exposed to in the past. However, we are going to examine and explain the general causes of infertility below.
Most women infrequently ovulate, while others don’t even ovulate at all. Ovulation disorders cause infertility in about one out of every four women facing such challenges. Ovulation disorders are often triggered by a severe problem with the pituitary or the hypothalamus gland.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS causes a hormone imbalance, which affects ovulation. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and obesity, abnormal hair growth on the face or body, and acne. It’s the most common cause of female infertility.
Hypothalamic dysfunction: Two hormones produced by the pituitary gland are responsible for stimulating ovulation each month — (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Excess physical or emotional stress, a very high or very low body weight, or a recent substantial weight gain or loss can disrupt production of these hormones and affect ovulation. Irregular or absent periods are the most common signs.
Premature ovarian failure: Also called primary ovarian insufficiency, this disorder is usually caused by an autoimmune response or by the premature loss of eggs from your ovary (possibly from genetics or chemotherapy). The ovary no longer produces eggs, and it lowers estrogen production in women under the age of 40.
Too much prolactin: The pituitary gland may cause excess production of prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), which reduces estrogen production and may cause infertility. Usually related to a pituitary gland problem, this can also be caused by medications you’re taking for another disease.
TUBAL INFERTILITY OR TUBAL BLOCKAGE
When a fallopian tube is damaged or blocked, sperms will find it difficult to reach the egg. The passage to the unfertilized eggs will be blocked and become inaccessible by the sperm cells. Such blockage is caused by some factors such as:
- A pelvic inflammatory disease which is an infection of the fallopian tube and the uterus due to chronic STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Surgery in the abdomen or pelvis region such as a surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy (a situation whereby a fertilized egg develops outside the womb).
- Lastly, tubal blockage could result from pelvic, and this is a primary cause of tubal infection globally.
Some tissues are meant to grow inside the uterus, but when these tissues implant and start to grow in other parts of the body, it leads to a condition known as endometriosis. When these abnormal tissues are removed through surgery, it can create a scar which in turn blocks the fallopian tube. Thus, leading to infertility as the egg is prevented from reaching the sperm.
ABNORMALITY IN THE UTERINE OR CERVICAL REGION
Uttering or cervical imbalance can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg and could also cause a miscarriage in pregnant women. Such conditions include:
- Fibroids or myomas: these are abnormal growth in the uterus. They lead to infertility by interfering with the fertilization process. But most women with fibroids get pregnant easily.
- Cervical stenosis: this is a narrowing of the cervix, and it can result from damage to the cervix or an inherited malfunction.
- In most cases, the cervix is unable to produce sufficient mucus that will help the sperm to travel safely to meet an egg in the uterus.
UNEXPLAINED CAUSES OF INFERTILITY
In most cases, the causes of infertility remain a mystery because it is caused by a combination of several factors in the couple. Although infertility can be frustrating for any woman, it tends to correct itself with time. But this does not mean you need to relax, and you should seek the right treatment for infertility without delay.
Related: CAN INFERTILITY BE CURED?