Causes of infertility in women
Infertility can happen due to many reasons, while 30 percent of the reasons can be attributed to men, the other 30 percent can be attributed to women too, while the rest depends on multiple factors that can affect the couple. Here are the causes of infertility in women:
An ovulation problem is mostly hormone-related, which prevents the release of the mature egg from the ovaries. Symptoms of ovulation problems are infrequent periods, light or no periods. The solutions are in vitro fertilization and fertility drugs. With treatment, close to 80- 90 percent of women can ovulate and there is 60 percent of a woman getting pregnant.
Blocked fallopian tubes
Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes avert your partner’s sperm from getting to your egg, and stop the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus. The main causes of blocked fallopian tubes are pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, and sterilization surgery done leading to this problem. A woman may not find any noticeable symptoms; the solutions to this problem are in-vitro fertilization if the tubes are not possible to be repaired or surgery to open the tubes. The success rate with blocked fallopian tubes can be anywhere between 20 and 60 percent depending on the area and intensity of the blockage. There is a 40 percent chance of couple conceiving per IVF cycle, if they try invitro-fertilization.
Inferior egg quality
If the eggs have chromosomal problems or if they are damaged, then pregnancy can be a problem. The quality of the eggs can deteriorate with age. In this case, in-vitro fertilization using donor eggs or embryo is possible. There is 40 to 50 percent chance of having a baby per IVF cycle for couple who go for in-vitro fertilization with donor eggs.
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue found in the uterine lining (called endometrial tissue) grows outside your uterus, usually in the abdominal-pelvic cavity.
• Possible symptoms: Some women have no symptoms, while others have painful menstrual periods or intercourse, and general pelvic pain.
• Possible solutions: fertility drugs with artificial insemination, surgery to remove abnormal tissue or unblock tubes, assisted reproductive technologies (ART), oradoption
• Success rates: When fertility drugs to increase egg production are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. Between 20 and 50 percent conceive after surgery (either naturally or with treatment). And between 20 and 30 percent conceive with ART treatments.
If sperm triggers an allergic or immune reaction, which is rare and happens in less than 2 percent women, the body can release antibodies that can kill spermatozoa. There are no symptoms exhibited for such a case, but the possible solutions are assisted reproductive technologies (ART) or artificial insemination. The success rate is 20 to 40 percent for each cycle of in-vitro fertilization.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a state in which little follicles in a woman’s ovaries don’t develop into larger, mature follicles. A woman may also experience irregular ovulation patterns and imbalance of hormones. The symptoms are irregular periods, acne, excessive hair growth and obesity. The solutions are in the form of fertility drugs, good diet and exercise, fertility medication and in-vitro fertilization. There is a new medication metformin which can help with regular ovulations, this drug is also used to treat diabetes. Once overweight women lose 7 to 10 percent of their body weight, they will be able to ovulate. There is 75 to 90 percent chances of women who take fertility drugs, to ovulate. But there are risks involved like miscarriage and multiple birth risks caused by fertility drugs.
Other causes of fertility in women
If all tests that are done on the couple show ‘normal’ and still the woman is not able to conceive, the doctor may attribute infertility to being underweight, overweight, too much exercise, stress, environmental toxins etc. But still, there has not been a proven link between those causes and infertility. In such cases, fertility drugs, assisted reproductive technologies or artificial insemination and procedures like in vitro fertilization can be of help. Doctors say that there is a 15 percent success rate if the fertility drugs are used to increase egg production along with artificial insemination.
If you’ve had regular, unprotected intercourse for more than a year (or six months if you’re above 35) and are not able to be pregnant, see your doctor. 90 percent of cases related to infertility can be treated.