Female infertility is a stigmatized condition of the female reproductive system where a woman is unable to get pregnant despite trying to conceive for 12 months or more. It affects millions of women worldwide with causes that are different from person to person. Having a significant impact on families and communities, female infertility is caused by a range of abnormalities of the reproductive tract. This tract in females that may be involved are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vaginal canal, and the endocrine system amongst others.
If you face problems during conceiving, the time full of promises and happiness may at times turn sour and stressful. It is challenging and affects relationships more than it should. Although multitudes of treatment options are now available with the advancement in science and technology, it is first crucial to be aware of the root cause to find a suitable solution. The best gynecologist in Karachi shared some common reasons due to which infertility in women occurs and risk factors which contribute to it as well. Let us have a detailed look at 5 of those:
Impact Of Age
For pregnancy to occur, a female egg must be fertilized by a male sperm. Females are born with a fixed number of eggs in their ovaries. As you get older, the number of viable eggs decreases and more eggs have an abnormal chromosomal count. You are more likely to develop health conditions as well when you age, making it difficult for you to conceive and carry it to term. Such health conditions may include endometriosis or fibroids etc.
Tubal Factor Infertility
Delicate, hollow tissue known as the fallopian tubes connect the uterus with the two ovaries. The egg is usually fertilized in one of these tubes. Hair-like tiny structures called cilia are responsible for moving this fertilized egg (embryo) to the uterus for implantation.
Tubal factor infertility is when the fallopian tubes do not let the sperm from passing through to the egg. Or in another case, it may stop the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus for implantation. This may happen in case of blocked or damaged fallopian tubes and is a common cause of infertility. A tubal blockage is usually identified by its location. The blockage may sometimes be closer to the uterus (proximal tubal blockage) or further away from the uterus (distal tubal blockage).
The most common cause of tubal factor infertility is infection. Blocking and scarring can also occur in case of severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), ectopic pregnancies, or a previous surgery in the abdominal area (such as of the appendix).
In this condition, the tissue that is similar to that of the inner lining of the uterus, grows outside the uterus. As it is an abnormal condition, it affects the normal functioning of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. It may cause serious inflammation and scarring and is a common cause of infertility in women.
This extra tissue can block the fallopian tubes, resulting in a hindrance to the process of fertilization. It can also prevent the implantation of the embryo to the lining of the uterus. In an indirect way, it can also damage the egg or sperm sometimes. When it forms scar tissue, it can disrupt the blood flow to the ovaries and their oxygen supply. This causes problems in the maturation of quality eggs, leading to infertility issues.
A negative impact on fertility can be achieved by cervical stenosis. In this condition, the cervical passage is either blocked or narrower than normal, limiting passage of the sperms easily. Sometimes, problems in the consistency of cervical mucus causes problems for the sperm to travel up to the fallopian tubes. A change in the make-up of this mucus produced by the cervix can at times lead to the death of sperm before it reaches up the reproductive tract.
One of the leading causes of infertility include issues in ovulation. These may include ovulating infrequently or not at all. This can occur due to various issues. One of them is being polycystic. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that is characterized by multiple cysts in one or both ovaries as the name indicates. A hormonal imbalance occurs due to this resulting in a wide variety of symptoms and consequences, one of them being infertility. It causes insulin resistance, obesity, abnormal hair growth on the face and other body parts (hirsutism), and difficulty to conceive naturally. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women and has no known cure. It can only be managed and treated symptomatically.
Too much or too little of thyroid hormone can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, affecting ovulation and therefore, fertility in women. A hormone that is needed to make breast milk, prolactin, when present in abnormally large amounts, changes the normal ovulation process. Other underlying issues that cause a disruption of normal hormonal balances include strenuous exercise, eating disorders, tumors, excessive stress, and substance abuse.
These are not the only causes of infertility in women. There are many other root causes and risk factors. Fortunately, treatment options are also numerous but they depend upon the causative agent of your infertility. Adopting a healthy diet along with a healthy lifestyle will improve your chances of being fit for a viable pregnancy.
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