Trying to conceive is an exciting time for many couples. However, getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term is actually a complicated process. Many things can go wrong during the process that leads to infertility.
Among the couples who suffer from infertility, approximately one-third of fertility issues will be on the woman’s side, known as female infertility. Female infertility as the name itself indicates, is the inability of a woman to bear a child in her womb.
The possible symptoms of female infertility are an abnormal or irregular menstrual cycle, painful periods, weight gain, increased hair growth, and mood swings, etc. Some women may not have noticeable symptoms other than unable to get pregnant.
As a woman, finding out you are infertile even after many trials, can be heartbreaking. But, what causes female infertility? Our fertility specialists will explain some of the common causes of infertility in women.
Here are a few and the most common causes of female infertility.
- Ovulation problems
When the pituitary gland, which regulates the body hormones, is not working properly, it can lead to ovulation disorders. Ovulation disorders cause the inability of the ovaries to release the mature eggs every month. They follow either an irregular pattern of periods or the menstrual cycle gets skipped at times as well. Some women may have an irregular menstrual cycle due to thyroid disorder, being overweight and poor nutrition.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormonal imbalance which results in the disrupted menstrual cycle and ovulation cycles. PCOS is the primary cause of infertility in women due to anovulation(no egg is released). However, many women have polycystic ovaries but not all women have polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with PCOS may experience irregular menstrual cycles, insulin resistance, excess hair on the face and body. Some women may have no symptoms and these variations make it difficult to diagnose PCOS.
Endometriosis, one of the top causes of infertility in women occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows outside the uterus, usually in the pelvis. This endometrial tissue also bleeds in the same way with each menstrual cycle, causing inflammation and pain. The extra tissue can restrict the proper fertilization of eggs and sperm to form the embryo. The removal of the extra tissue from the uterus implants can end up damaging the fallopian tubes that result in infertility.
- Premature Ovarian Failure
This disorder is also referred to as primary ovulation insufficiency (POI) which is characterized by an autoimmune response. POI occurs when the quantity and quality of eggs in the ovaries are low before the age of 40. It happens in less than 1% of women. Woman with POI, the ovaries may not respond to any fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation. This may make it difficult for the condition to treat.
A woman’s age is the most significant factor affecting her fertility. According to fertility experts, around one-third of couples in which a woman is over 35 have problems with infertility as the women over the age of 35 have a reduced number of eggs. Because the number of eggs declines every year, it becomes increasingly difficult for a woman to conceive as they grow older.
- Excess Weight
Being overweight or obese can interfere with normal mensuration and ovulation that raises your risk of infertility and having a miscarriage. In addition, obese women may experience pregnancy complications and lower success rate with infertility treatments like IVF. Women who find it difficult to lose weight should be assessed if they have a thyroid disorder or PCOS. Women can often improve their chances of pregnancy by making a few lifestyle changes and keeping a healthy weight, says the best fertility expert in Bangalore.
- Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Fibroids are noncancerous growths that form within the wall or inside the uterus. These Fibroids interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg. Fibroids are associated with reproductive problems depending on the number of fibroids in the uterus and on their size and location. Fibroids near the endometrial lining may cause problems with the embryo implanting and impacts the pregnancy.
Other causes of female infertility include autoimmune disorders, structural problems of the reproductive system, and certain types of cancers, specifically if the cancer is treated with chemotherapy or radiation.
The sooner you visit a fertility expert, the more likely you will have success with fertility treatments.
Planning to get pregnant soon or in the future? Improve your fertility for a better chance to conceive. Make an appointment with a fertility specialist at Tamara Hospital & IVF Centre Bangalore.
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Dr. Aishwarya V. Mathikatti
MS (OBG), Diploma in Reproductive Medicine (Germany), Diploma in Ultrasonography, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology Infertility
Dr. Aishwarya has an experience of over 7 years. She is very passionate about artificial reproductive techniques and she constantly updates herself with the latest techniques.