8 Major Causes for infertility in women
Infertility is defined as a year of unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant with frequent, unprotected intercourse.
One in six Australian couples experiences fertility problems, Only one-third of the time, Female factors cause infertility, while male factors cause infertility about one-third. In the other cases, the cause is either unknown or a combination of male and female variables. There is an increasing occurrence of infertility in Australia.
The causes of female infertility can be challenging to pinpoint. Depending on the cause of infertility, there are a variety of treatments available. However, in some cases, many infertile couples are able to conceive a child without treatment.
What are the major causes of infertility?
Ovulation issues cause female infertility.
The menstrual cycle is controlled by several glands and hormones that work in conjunction. Ovulation occurs when the hypothalamus, a part of the brain, enhances the nearby pituitary gland to secrete hormones that cause the ovaries to mature eggs. Periods that are irregular or absent directly indicate that ovulation is also irregular or absent.
The woman’s age is a significant ovulation factor. A woman over the age of 40 has only a 5% chance of becoming pregnant per menstrual cycle. The cause is thought to be poor egg quality.
A woman is born with her entire egg supply, and these eggs become less viable over a period of time. Other challenges for women over the age of 40 include an increased risk of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities in the unborn child.
Polycystic ovary syndrome causing female infertility (PCOS)
The ovaries produce small cells or bubbles called follicles during ovulation. Generally, only one follicle matures to make an egg. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) causes follicles to fail to mature instead of forming small cysts on the ovaries’ margins that frequently release male sex hormones. These proposed changes may lead to infertility in women. Women should consult a doctor if they feel concerned.
Many supplements are available in Australia that has been proven to assist with PCOS symptoms and can potentially reduce infertility rates. Myo inositol is one of these wonder supplements, An Australian study of myo-inositol has found taking myo-inositol may help regulate your cycles and assist in getting pregnant faster.
Fallopian tube damage or blockage:
Inflammation of the fallopian tube leads to infertility. The cause of inflammation due to following reasons :
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pelvic adhesion
Infertility is frequently caused by blocked fallopian tubes. Sperm and an egg meet in the fallopian tube for fertilisation, and they may be unable to join due to a blocked tube. There would be cramps during ovulation without treatment, and pregnancy will be impossible.
Abnormalities in the uterus or the cervical area
It includes cervix abnormalities, polyps in the uterus, and changes in uterine shape. Uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous (mild) tumours in the uterine wall, can lead to infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or preventing a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. The doppler pregnancy test is useful in diagnosing these structural abnormalities in women.
Uterine abnormalities frequently include the following:
- Fibroids – Mild tumours in the uterine wall can cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. Fibroids frequently deform the uterine cavity, interfering with fertilised egg implantation.
- Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue implants and develops outside of the uterus, affecting the function of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
- Polyps – Uterine polyps and cervical polyps are the two types of polyps that affect fertility. Uterine polyps are uterine wall lesions, and Cervical polyps are smooth growths in the cervix which connect the uterus to the vagina. Polyps can interfere with fertilisation and fertilised egg growth.
- Adhesions are damaged tissue bands that form between two surfaces.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause)
Menopause is a stage when the ovaries stop functioning, and periods come to an end before the age of 40. Certain factors such as immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome, carriers of Fragile X syndrome, and radiation or cancer chemotherapy have been linked to early menopause. However, the cause is usually unknown for early menopause.
Primary ovarian insufficiency occurs when the ovaries stop working properly before the age of 40. When this happens, your ovaries stop producing the female hormones and stop releasing eggs regularly. This condition, also known as premature ovarian failure, results in infertility.
Medicines and drugs
Some medicines and drugs have side effects that can affect your fertility. These are some examples:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – long-term or high-dose use of NSAIDs such as pain killers or antacids can make it more difficult to conceive
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy can sometimes cause ovarian failure, which means your ovaries will no longer function properly.
- Antipsychotic medications, commonly used to treat psychosis, can occasionally cause missed periods or infertility.
- Antiandrogens – a type of medicine used to treat fluid retention (abdominal swelling); fertility should resume within two months of discontinuing spironolactone.
- Illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can harm fertility and make ovulation difficult.
Underlying Medical Issue:
Some medical conditions which may directly impact the fertility in women are:
- Thyroid Imbalance
- undetected diabetes
- Inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis
- Undiagnosed sexually transmitted infections.
Obesity Causes female fertility.
A sensitive hormonal balance controls the menstrual cycle. This hormone imbalance causes infertility and problems in natural conception. Overweight and obese women have higher leptin levels, a hormone produced in fatty tissue, and it can throw off the hormone balance and cause infertility.
The quantity and distribution of body fat impact the menstrual cycle via various hormonal mechanisms. The higher the surplus weight and abdominal fat, the increased risk of infertility.