- What is Female Infertility?
Infertility is a disease in which a female’s ability to get pregnant and to give birth to a child is impaired or is limited in some ways.
For heterosexual couples that are men and women, infertility is usually diagnosed after a few months and years of trying to get pregnant but unable to conceive a pregnancy, up to one-third of infertility causes is due to women’s problems.
Infertility in female can be caused by a variety of factors which affects or interfere with the following biological process:
- Ovulation failure:
One of the most common causes of infertility is due to ovulation failure in female, this failure results from various causes, such as
Primary ovarian insufficiency or polycystic ovary syndrome is termed as ovarian or gynecological conditions.
The aging of females results in a “diminishing Ovarian Reserve” that is a low number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries due to normal aging.
Endocrine disorders( thyroid disease, hypothalamus problems), affect the hormones produced by the body so there may be too much or too little of a hormone or group of Hormones.
One’s lifestyle and environmental factors are involved in women’s infertility( food habits, how well one sleep, where one lives, and other behavior)
- Autoimmune Disorders:
This type of disorder causes the body’s immune system to attack normal body tissues it will usually refuse. autoimmune disorders such as ( lupus, Hashimoto’s, types of thyroiditis/rheumatoid arthritis) may affect fertility. They can be involved in inflammation in the uterus and placenta.
Infection can also cause infertility in females where untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia in women could cause pelvic inflammatory disease that causes scarring which blocks the fallopian tubes.
- Uterine Fibroids:
Fibroids can cause infertility and are found in 5-10% of women. It is a noncancerous growth of the uterus which often appears during childbearing periods also called leiomyomas or myomas, uterine fibroids are not related to an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost do not develop into cancer.
- Egg Failure to mature Properly:
Due to a variety of reasons eggs may not mature properly, ranging from conditions such as polycystic Ovary Syndrome to obesity, lack of specific proteins needed for the egg to mature properly. An immature egg may not be released at the correct time, may not make it down to the fallopian tube, or may not be able to fertilize.
- Failure of implantation of fertilized egg:
Implantation failure refers to the failure of the fertilized egg to implant in the uterine wall to begin pregnancy.
The particular causes of implantation failure are unknown but some of the possibilities include especially due to different maternal factors
Hormonal or metabolic disorders
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are often painful disorders and menstrual irregularities.
Endometriosis occurs as the cells that normally line the uterine cavity which is called endometrium are found outside the uterus instead of lining inside the uterus.
A link between infertility and endometriosis has been found that between 25% and 30% of infertility in females have endometriosis. Scientists couldn’t know the exact cause of infertility in women having endometriosis.
How endometriosis causes infertility in current studies shows:
Distorted anatomy of the Pelvis.
Scarred fallopian tube.
Inflammation of the Pelvic structure
Altered immune system functioning.
Changes in the hormonal environment of the egg.
Impaired implantation of pregnancy
Altered egg quality.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a health problem that can affect one in ten women of childbearing age, PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. Women with such syndrome will have a hormonal imbalance, metabolism problems which can affect their overall health and appearance.
It’s a case in which a woman’s ovaries and in some conditions adrenal gland can secrete more androgens than normal produce. High amounts of these hormones interfere with the development of ovarian follicles and releasing of eggs during ovulation which results in fluid-filled sacs or cyst formation within the ovaries. This high level of androgens production in women will not ovulate or release an egg.
- Primary Ovary insufficiency(POI):
This is also known as premature ovarian failure, it occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before attending the age of 40. It is biological that many women experience reduced fertility when they are about 40. They start to experience irregular menstrual periods as they transit to menopause.
But women with POI will have irregular periods and reduced chances of fertility starting before the age of 40. In this condition women’s ovaries stop producing hormones and eggs at a young age, they also ovulate irregularly and can have abnormal levels of ovarian and pituitary glands because of problems with their ovaries. women with POI have difficulty getting pregnant.
Causes of POI: In about 90% of cases its exact cause of POI is unknown. Researchers have shown that POI is linked with the problem of Follicles, that is working follicles stop earlier than normal or the follicles are not functioning properly. The causes of follicle problems can be of the following reasons:
A low number of follicles
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
Toxins ( cigarette smoking, chemicals, pesticides).
- Menstruation cycle Disorders:
Menstrual cycles have different phases and disorders at any stage could lead to difficulty in getting pregnant.
These disorders can be symptoms of infertility due to other causes such as PCOS and uterine fibroids.
Also due to lack of ovulation or infrequently ovulating commonly causes irregular periods.
- Reproductive system structural Problems:
These structural problems usually involve the presence of abnormal tissues in the fallopian tube or uterus.
Fallopian tubes play a crucial role in the female reproductive structure-function as the passage between the ovaries and the uterus. And blockage of the tubal by abnormal tissues causes a barrier preventing the egg from reaching the uterus and prohibits the sperms to fertilize with the egg.
This tubal blockage could be due to various reasons:
Sexually transmitted infection(STI)
Scarring from pelvic surgery or pelvic inflammatory disease.
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