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    fertility basics

    Female Infertility - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatments

    • 32363 views
    • 4.7   (6 Votes)

    Female infertility includes problem related to ovulation or cervix , damage to fallopian tubes or uterus. IVF, IUI, Surrogacy, ICSI, and more ART treatments can help in conceiving in the case of female infertility. The symptoms and causes of female infertility are irregular menstrual cycle, fallopian tube blockage, and age factor.

    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 periods, advanced maternal age, unhealthy diet, uncontrolled weight issues, hormonal imbalance, PCOS, stress can also contribute to female infertility. (1)

    Female infertility issues can be prevented in the early stage by maintaining weight, choosing a balanced diet, quitting habits like drinking & smoking and having sufficient sleep. But when it seems to be a permanent condition, one must consult an Infertility Specialist. As the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has made progress, various treatments are available for Infertility. Depending upon the severity of the condition, doctors suggest treatments like IVF, IUI, and Surrogacy. (2)

    When a couple, under the age of 30 years, tries to conceive for more than a year and remains unsuccessful, 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 main symptom of female infertility is the inability to conceive after trying actively for more than a year. Delay in pregnancy may be caused by factors like (3)

    1- Irregular menstrual cycle:

    Due to the irregular menstrual cycle, women have difficulty in determining their ovulation period which may affect their fertility. (4)

    2- Anovulation:

    Some women may have regular periods but still, they are unable to ovulate. There may be many factors responsible for anovulation affecting female fertility. (5)

    3- Fallopian Tube Blockage or Damage:

    This is also one of the factors which may result in infertility. Sometimes the occurrence of cysts may block fallopian tube/s while at other occasions problems like pelvic infections or pelvic surgery may lead to the formation of scar tissues in the fallopian tubes or may damage them. (6)

    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 which can 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 of having PCOS. PCOS affects the reproductive system and reduces the healthy egg count. Maintaining weight and preventing PCOS is the best thing to stay healthy. (7)

    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 which is also due to hormonal 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. (8)

    Stress

    9- Exercises:

    Exercise in moderation keeps you healthy as it helps in maintaining the regular and painless menstrual cycle. But on the other hand, when you overdo it, it affects your health, delays menstrual cycle which may lead to infertility. 

    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 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 a 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 a chemical pregnancy.

    11- Habits like Smoking and Drinking:

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

    Prevention of Female infertility

    There are certain established guidelines following which and bringing about a change in lifestyle can prevent infertility in females. (9)

    • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women maintaining a normal 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 pregnancy.
    • Conceive at the right age: Age plays a key role when trying to conceive (TTC). As the biological clock ticks and a woman crosses 30, complications may begin. It is better to conceive in the twenties and early thirties.
    • Manage Stress: Stress affects health in many ways. 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: Although absolute reasons 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 an 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 is an important thing 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 mainly three types of Fertility Treatments that can be suggested by your reproductive endocrinologist (10):

    • In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In case of severe infertility issues when a couple is unable 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. Await of 14 days after embryo transfer is followed after which a pregnancy test is taken. IVF 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 or one of the fallopian tubes is blocked, in such cases, doctors suggest IUI or artificial insemination. This procedure is less costly and complicated as compared 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 the uterus during the fertile window to make sure the pregnancy is initiated faster.
    • Surrogacy: Surrogacy 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 from severe infertility. Other conditions for which surrogacy is recommended include homosexual couples, females with no uterus or with issues in the uterus as well as those with a weak uterus lining, women who have suffered multiple miscarriages and also in the case of repeated IVF failures.

    Surrogacy is of two types as explained below:

    • Traditional Surrogacy: In this type of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child as the sperm of the father is injected into the surrogate mother’s uterus and her own egg gets fertilized.
    • Gestational Surrogacy: In this method, eggs of 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 a step-by-step assessment to get accurate treatment in time. ART technology is of great help and with 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 +918929020600.

    SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

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    6 Comments

    user_img

    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

    user_img

    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

    user_img

    Diwakar Raj

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

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

    user_img

    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

    user_img

    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

    user_img

    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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