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fertility basics

Causes, Prevention and Treatment of Female Infertility

  • 4.7 (6 Votes)
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Female Infertility can be caused by irregular cycles, an ovulation, low egg quality and count and the obstruction in the fallopian tube. Having healthy diet, managing weight and stress, practicing safe sex and following positive lifestyle are some of the ways to prevent infertility. ART treatments such as IVF, IUI or Surrogacy can be used to conceive a baby in the case of female infertility.

Female infertility is very common these days and is experienced by around 1 out of every 6 women all across the world. There are a number of gynecological issues that are frequently faced by women like menstrual cycle delays, anovulation, ectopic pregnancies and so on.Factors like irregular periodsadvanced maternalage, unhealthy diet, uncontrolledweight issues, hormonal imbalance, PCOS,stress can also contribute to female infertility.

Female infertility issues can be prevented in the early stage by maintaining weight, choosing balanced diet, quitting habits like drinking & smoking and having sufficient sleep. But whenit seems to be a permanent condition, one mustconsult an Infertility Specialist. As the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has made progress, varioustreatments are available for Infertility. Depending upon the severity of the condition, doctors suggest treatments like IVF, IUI, and Surrogacy.

When a couple, under the age of 30 years, tries to conceive for more than a year andremainsunsuccessful, it can be an indicator of infertility. It could be that both or either of the partners is infertile.

Let us discuss in detail about the prevailing problem of female infertility and the effective ways to prevent it.

Symptoms and Causes of Female Infertility

Infertility in women may occur due to different causes and can be marked by a number of symptoms.The mainsymptom offemaleinfertility is the inability to conceive after trying actively for more than a year.Delay in pregnancy may be caused by factors like:

1- Irregular menstrual cycle:

Due to irregular menstrual cycle, women have difficulty in determining their ovulation period which may affect their fertility. irregular menstrual cycle

2- Anovulation:

Some women may have regular periods but still they are unable to ovulate. There may be many factorsresponsiblefor anovulation affecting female fertility.

3- Fallopian Tube Blockage or Damage:

This is also one of the factors which may result in infertility. Sometimes occurrence of cysts may block fallopian tube/s while at other occasions problems like pelvic infections orapelvic surgery may lead to the formationofscartissuesin the fallopian tubes or may damage them.

4- Increasing Age:

Women more than 30 years of age face issues when trying to conceive. As females age, their egg count in ovaries tends to decrease sharply.

5- Imbalanced Diet:

Irregular and unhealthy diet, which lacks essentials nutrients, vitamins and minerals may also result in infertility.

6- Obesity and PCOS:

People who are obese have more chances of getting PCOS whichcan lead to infertility. PCOS is mainly associated with irregular or no periods. People who have less than 8 periods in a year or people having irregular periods or alternate menstrual cycles have more chances ofhavingPCOS. PCOS affects the reproductive system and reduces the healthy egg count. Maintaining weight and preventing PCOS is the best thing to stay healthy.

7- Disturbance in Hormonal Balance:

Hormonal Imbalance may result in infertility. Increase in the growth of facial hair, sudden increase or decrease in weight and less sleep are the signs of PCOS whichis also due tohormonal imbalance and affects fertility.

8- Stress:

Stay away from stress. Higher levels of stress affect the period cycle, which affects ovulation, which in turn affects fertility.

9- Exercises:

Exercise in moderation keep you healthyas it helps in maintainingregular and painless menstrual cycle. Buton the other hand,when you overdo it, it affects your health, delays menstrual cycle which may lead to infertility. exercise for painless menstrual cycle

10- Recurrent Miscarriages:

Miscarriages more than thrice in a row are also the sign of infertility. This may be due to ectopic pregnancy or chemical pregnancy. In both the cases, consult your physician. Also in some cases, if the uterus lining is not strong enough to hold the child till 9 months, it leads to miscarriages.

  • Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic Pregnancy is a condition in which the fertilized egg or embryo doesn't come down to the uterus and stays in the fallopian tube or it attaches somewhere else but not in the uterus. When such condition occurs, pregnancy needs to be terminated immediately. Otherwise, it can be fatal for the woman having an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Chemical Pregnancy: When a woman gets pregnant during the ovulation period but it gets aborted before the next menstrual cycle without her knowledge then it can be termed as achemical pregnancy.

11- Habits like Smoking and Drinking:

Habits like smoking and drinking may also cause infertility. Women trying to conceive should avoid these habitsto have better chances of conceiving.

Prevention of Female infertility

There are certain established guidelines following which and bringing about a change in lifestyle can preventinfertility in females.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women maintaininganormal weight can prevent Infertility. BMI between 19 to 24 is considered absolutely normal for conceiving. Being overweight or underweight causes complications while getting pregnant or even during the pregnancy.
  • Conceive at the right age: Age plays a key rolewhen trying to conceive (TTC). As the biological clock ticks anda woman crosses 30, complications may begin. It is better to conceive in the twenties and early thirties.
  • Manage Stress: Stress affects health inmanyways. Stress may lead to delayed menstrual cycle which may affect ovulation and fertility. Hence, try to avoid stress whenever possible.
  • Cut the intake of Caffeine: Althoughabsolutereasons are unknown, it is always better to take coffee in moderation. Do not take more than 300mg in a day if trying to conceive.
  • Quit Smoking: People who smoke may face the increased risk of infertility. Hence, it is better to quit smoking if you are planning to get pregnant.
  • Avoid Drinking: Females who are planning to start their family may limit the drinking of alcohol to increase their chances of conceiving.
  • Practice Safe Sex: Having safe sex isan importantthing to prevent infertility. It reduces the risk of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs).

safe sex

Female Infertility Treatments

For many infertile couples,Infertility treatments are a must to conceive. Generally, Fertility Doctors first diagnose the problem and then start the required treatment depending upon the medical condition.There are mainlythree types of Fertility Treatments that can be suggested by your reproductive endocrinologist:

  • In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In case of severe infertility issues when acoupleisunable to conceive naturally, IVF is deemed to be the best treatment. During the procedure of IVF, mature eggs are retrieved from a female partner and fertilized with the sperm sample provided by the male partner artificially in a lab. Embryos hence formed are transferred into the uterus of the female.It is popularly also known as Test Tube Baby.Medications are prescribed as per the specific requirements of the patient.A wait of 14 days after embryo transfer is followed after which a pregnancy test is takenIVF process takes 4 to 6 weeks. This process has seen the success rate of 41 to 43% in women aged below 35 and as the age advances the success rate of IVF decreases.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)When the reasons for female infertility are unknown or if the woman is suffering from PCOD orone of the fallopian tubes is blocked,in such cases, doctors suggest IUI or artificial insemination. This procedure is less costlyand complicated ascompared to IVF. Unlike IVF, in IUI the sperm is directly placed in the fallopian tube and the fertilization happens naturally in the uterus. The sperm is injected using the catheter into theuterus during the fertile window to make sure the pregnancy is initiated faster.
  • SurrogacySurrogacy is a procedure in which a surrogate mother carries a baby in her womb on the behalf of intended couples. Surrogacy is advised by doctors for single parents or couples who are suffering with severe infertility. Other conditions for which surrogacy is recommended include homosexual couples, females with nouterus orwith issues in the uterusas well as thosewithaweak uterus lining, womenwho have sufferedmultiple miscarriages and also in the case of repeated IVF failures.

Surrogacy is of two types as explained below:

  • Traditional Surrogacy: In thistype of surrogacy, surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child as the sperm of the father is injected into the surrogate mother’suterus and her own egg gets fertilized.
  • Gestational Surrogacy: In this method,eggsof the infertile women will be fertilized by her husband's sperm through IVF and then the embryo is injected into the surrogate mother’s Uterus.

Female fertility is a complicated phenomenon that requires step-by-step assessment to get the accurate treatment in time. ART technology is of great help and with an extensive knowledge of female infertility, its causes and symptoms it gets all the easier to treat it.

For further assistance and guidance on female infertility issues, call at +917899912611.

Dr. Aanchal Agarwal

About The Author

Obstetrician Dr. Aanchal Agarwal
Delhi

Dr. Aanchal Agarwal is an infertility specialist and gynecologist who has graduated MBBS from University of Delhi in 2001 and then pursued DGO from University of Delhi in 2004. Dr. Aanchal specializes in treating patients with IVF, IUI, High-risk pregnancy care and Normal vaginal delivery procedures. Dr. Aanchal Agarwal is at present practicing at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Pusa Road, Delhi. You can find more information on elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. All about menstrual cycle, menstruation cycle, period cycle menstrual cycle, Elawoman - 2017
  2. 5 reasons for irregular periods irregular periods, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Noticeable sign of infertility in women female infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Surrogacy type complication and its technique Surrogacy, Elawoman - 2017
  5. 5 reasons for irregular periods irregular menstrual cycle, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Ovulation period, ovulation symptoms and signs ovulation period, Elawoman - 2017
  7. 4 lifestyle factors that affect fertility infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Blocked fallopian tubes causes and treatment fallopian tube, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Natural remedies for polycystic ovary syndrome pcos PCOS, Elawoman - 2017
  10. Which is the best period tracker? menstrual cycles, Elawoman - 2018

6 Comments

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Debra Fassbender

Maintaining a healthy habit made me conceive. It's not important to have medicine always, you can opt for home remedies too.

Oct. 12, 2018, 2:42 a.m. 4.5

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Shanti Tewatia

IUI treatment is better to opt first before IVF and Surrogacy. It is cheaper, risk-free and high success rate. Failed IUI treatment can result in IVF or surrogacy.

Oct. 3, 2018, 9:34 p.m. 5.0

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Diwakar Raj

Women having PCOS should have Clomid, Letrozole tablets. These tablets induce fertility in women.

Sept. 29, 2018, 1 a.m. 4.5

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Jayanti Bhatti

I had a recent miscarriage so, After how long I would be able to conceive? Or should I opt any medicine, Please suggest!

Sept. 20, 2018, 10:26 p.m. 4.5

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Abhisekh Verma

Thanks for sharing this. Many hundreds in thousand don't know about the causes of infertility and moreover its prevention method.

Sept. 10, 2018, 9:21 a.m. 5.0

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Tanav Narayan

Sept. 7, 2018, 3:01 p.m. 4.5

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The information displayed on this webpage covers general information on several medical conditions, fertility treatments, IVF ICSI, surrogacy procedure, home remedies, and their respective treatments. The exclusive purpose of the displayed information is for the sake of general understanding and it has been collected from open sources which heavily rely on research and laboratory tests. However, the information shared here should not be considered as a medical advice or an alternative to consultation with a registered medical practitioner or licensed healthcare professional.

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