Infertility is defined as a condition where a sexually active and non-contracepting couple fails to achieve pregnancy within one year. Over 1 in 8 couples suffer from Infertility. It is not gender specific, both men and women can get affected by this condition. There are many reproductive health issues and conditions that cause fertility problems. The causes are different in both men and women. Apart from these, some risk factors like, lifestyle choices, food habits, smoking, stress also affects fertility.
The following are some of the most common causes of in women.
Ageing: A woman’s age is one of the most significant factor influencing her fertility. Women are born with a fixed number of eggs and so as they age so do their eggs. A woman’s fertility starts to decline in her early 30s and by age 35 it has dropped by approximately 40%. By age 40 a woman’s fertility has declined even further.
Weight: A woman’s weight is an important consideration in her fertility. Women who are underweight and/or have a low percentage of body fat (ie., athletes) can experience irregular menstrual cycles and issues with ovulation. Being overweight or obese can also interfere with normal menstruation and ovulation. In addition, overweight and obese women also have a higher risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications and a lower success rate with infertility treatments such as IVF.
Problems with fallopian tubes: Fallopian tubes are tubes that carry the eggs from ovaries to uterus. A damaged or scarred fallopian tube can stop the sperm from reaching the egg. Conditions that causes blockages or scars in fallopian tube include pelvic infections, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, pelvic tuberculosis.
Ovulation disorders: Some conditions like PCOS, primary ovarian insufficiency disorder, Hypothalamic dysfunction will affect the normal release of eggs and menstrual cycle. This means women affected with this kind of problem may not ovulate regularly like a healthy woman and sometimes she may not ovulate at all.
Cervical problems: Cervical issues like abnormal cervical mucus, in some women will prevent the sperm from reaching or penetrating the egg. cervical stenosis is a condition where the cervix will be narrowed, this also condition can also cause infertility in women.
Hormonal issues: Hormonal imbalances can also disturb the normal release of egg and can also lead to thickening of the lining of uterus.
Uterine problems: Tumors like fibroids, and benign polyps can affect the implantation, which in turn causes problem for women from becoming pregnant. Abnormally shaped uterus or any other uterine abnormalities can also cause infertility.
Unexplained infertility: In approximately 20% of the couples the cause of infertility remains unknown. But in many of these cases fertility treatments can be successful.
In most of the cases, the fertility specialists will be able to know the causes the exact causes of your infertility by conducting tests like Hysterosalpingography(HSG), in which the reproductive organs and fallopian tubes are checked through an ultrasound or x-ray. In order to check the blockages in fallopian tubes, the doctor will inject a saline or dye into the patient’s cervix.
Laparoscopy is also one of the best procedure to know the cause of infertility in women. It is a tiny tube on which a camera is fitted. A small incision is made on the abdomen and the laparoscope is introduced inside in order to check the patient’s reproductive organs.