Infertility may be a serious issue that affects everyone involved. In the case of female infertility, the woman is unable to get pregnant for over a year after regular intercourse.
The reasons for female infertility could be different for different individuals. Hence, it would be hard to diagnose the precise cause of infertility.
In this article, here we discussed the causes and risk factors related to female infertility. Along with this, the treatment could help you during female infertility.
What Is Female Infertility?
Female infertility is a medical condition in which the female partner fails to ovulate or get pregnant after unprotected sex.
A woman may get the signs after not being able to get pregnant for over 12 months with regular unprotected sex. Hence, you may consult a gynecologist for the best advice in these cases.
Generally, infertility or inability to get pregnant may occur due to problems in men, women, or both partners.
Hence, both partners should undergo medical tests to gain clarity in such conditions. If the female partner is infertile, it would be called female factor infertility.
Causes Of Female Infertility
Infertility in women may occur due to multiple reasons. But, the reasons aren’t obvious until adequately diagnosed. Some of the common causes of infertility are mentioned as follows:
Women may have some problems in the uterus cavity that could be the reason for infertility. Some additional uterine growth, like polyps, fibroids, adhesion, or septum, could prevent pregnancy.
Generally, polyps and fibroids grow untimely depending on the favorable condition for their growth.
But, some women have a septum in the uterus at birth. At last, an adhesion mainly occurs after some surgeries like dilation and curettage.
Among all the possible problems causing female infertility, ovulation disorders are the primary cause of such a condition.
Hence, due to ovulation disorders, women fail to ovulate timely or do not ovulate at all for fertilization. Here is a list of common ovulation disorders that may account for infertility in women.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an ovarian disorder faced by numerous women worldwide.
You may experience hormonal imbalance resulting in irregular ovulation, hence, an irregular menstrual cycle.
PCOS could be detected with multiple symptoms like insulin resistance, abnormal hair growth, obesity, acne, etc.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure could occur due to an autoimmune response or early loss of eggs from the ovary.
The possible cause of such a condition could be chemotherapy or genetics. But, due to the disorder, women may no longer ovulate and reduce estrogen production early.
Excess Prolactin Concentration
The lack of ovulation could be due to hyperprolactinemia, in which the pituitary gland excessively produces prolactin.
Such high prolactin production may cause reduced estrogen production resulting in infertility. Sometimes, the condition may arise due to certain medications for other medical conditions.
The pituitary gland produces two hormones, i.e., follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), that play a vital role in regular ovulation.
But, due to several conditions like excess stress, increased or decreased body weight, etc., the pituitary glands fail to produce these hormones sufficiently.
Hence, such irregular production would result in no or less frequent ovulation.
Fallopian Tube Problems
The eggs are released into the fallopian tube during the ovulation process. Hence, any problem with the fallopian tube may lead to female infertility.
Pelvic inflammatory diseases caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia could be significant causes of fallopian tube issues.
In such conditions, an infection in the uterus or fallopian tube blocks the egg’s movement, restricting ovulation.
Women with a history of pelvic or abdominal surgery may face infertility conditions. Moreover, women who have undergone ectopic pregnancy surgery may find it difficult to ovulate.
Issues With Egg Number And Quality
Every woman has all the eggs for ovulation throughout their life at birth. Due to some circumstances, the stock may finish before reaching menopause.
In such cases, the woman may not be able to get pregnant. Sometimes the eggs contain wrongly distributed chromosomes resulting in an inability to fertilize and grow into a healthy fetus.
Such chromosomal issues may harshly impact other eggs in the ovaries.
In specific cases, couples never find the exact cause of infertility. An assumption is made that multiple minor factors accumulate to cause such unexplained infertility.
In these conditions, you may not be able to get accurate treatment. But, these conditions may naturally reverse to the normal state with time.
Risk Factors For Female Infertility
In a few cases, female infertility may occur due to internal reasons. But, several factors play a significant role in increasing the risk for female infertility.
The number and quality of eggs gradually decrease with age. A woman in her mid-30s may experience increased follicle loss leading to reduced egg number.
Smoking And Alcohol Consumption
Smoking could be the primary cause of aging ovaries and premature depletion of eggs. Moreover, it may damage the cervix and fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of miscarriage.
Gaining and losing excess weight may disrupt the release of certain hormones, resulting in reduced ovulation.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea may damage the fallopian tube, preventing ovulation. Moreover, women having unprotected sexual contact with multiple partners would increase the chances of getting STIs.
Women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, etc., may have the risk of infertility.
Tests For Female Infertility
Female infertility could be diagnosed by some physical and laboratory tests. The physical tests could be done at the doctor’s clinic.
The standard physical tests for female infertility are an overall physical exam, pap test, pelvic exam, and breast examination for unusual milk production.
But, finding the reason for infertility isn’t possible. Hence, several laboratory tests are prescribed by healthcare providers.
Blood Test: The blood test type would be finalized after checking the patient’s past medical records.
Generally, doctors ask for thyroid tests, prolactin levels, ovarian reserve, and progesterone levels in the blood test.
X-Ray Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
The test checks for any blockage in the female reproductive organ. A dye is introduced into the cervix region that moves towards the fallopian tube.
The doctor thoroughly examines the movement of the dye using X-ray photographs.
The test is similar to the abdominal ultrasound. But, in the test, the ultrasound wand is inserted inside the vagina to better view the uterus and ovaries.
In the test, the doctors insert a device in the abdomen called a laparoscope to view the organs.
Hysteroscopy is done with a small medical device with a mounted camera called a hysteroscope.
The device is carefully inserted into the vagina through the cervix and gently moved into the uterus to view internal organs.
The test checks any structural abnormalities in the uterus linings. Hence, saline water is pumped into the uterus to better view the cavity while performing transvaginal ultrasound.
Treatment For Female Infertility
Female infertility treatment could be performed by following several medical techniques. But, the treatment method would depend on certain factors like age, cause of infertility, and the health of the individual and partner.
The treatment for female infertility could be surgery, medication, and reproductive assistance like IVF. But, a few cases may require multiple methods to completely cure infertility in women.
Surgical methods to treat infertility are rarely practiced, as several advanced treatments are available.
But, surgical techniques are highly beneficial in curing abnormally shaped uterus, unblocking fallopian tubes, and removing structural outgrowths like fibroids.
Generally, medication for infertility involves compounds like hormones that may help encourage or regulate ovulation.
Hence, medications are mostly preferred during hormonal imbalances. Clomid is also one of the most common medicines for female infertility treatment. Any medication should be consumed only after a proper diagnosis and prescription from the doctor.
Some commonly preferred reproductive assistance methods to treat female infertility are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and assisted reproductive technology (ART).
In IUI, millions of sperm are released into the uterus during ovulation. In-vitro fertilization is an ART that involves the removal of the egg from the ovaries and fertilizing them using sperm in a lab.
Natural Treatment For Female Infertility
Acupuncture is a traditional technique to treat several diseases. In the method, small and thin needles are inserted in various points of the body to stimulate the body’s energy flow. You may make ovulation and menstrual cycles regular by using the acupuncture technique.
Yoga is an effective method to improve infertility conditions. You may have to perform different postures and breathing to relax and lower stress levels. Moreover, it would be helpful for women undergoing infertility treatment.
Following a good diet with all the essential nutrients for fertility, like folate, zinc, iron, Vitamin C and E, could help reverse infertility.
Moreover, you may consume probiotic supplements to improve overall health essential for fertility.
Aromatherapy is another traditional method to reduce stress levels by massaging essential oils. These oils are prepared using different plants’ roots, leaves, or seeds.
Certain herbal teas like green tea may help improve female infertility conditions.
Female infertility could be a severe concern for several couples. But, it isn’t a matter to worry as multiple treatment methods may help get back the fertility.
You should be careful regarding different infertility-causing factors as some of the causes could be prevented with precautions.
Moreover, you should never avoid natural treatment methods during infertility treatment to boost the process. But, you must consult the doctor before opting for any natural treatment method.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Otella has an experience of around eight years of writing about health and nutrition-related topics. She is a full-time mother and a housewife, and the time she has left after doing her mother and household duties is spent writing for Working for Health as a full-time writer. Her life goal is to raise both her boys into a gentleman, and at the same time, she wants to educate people on how to keep themselves fit by tweaking their daily diet.