CAUSES OF FEMALE INFERTILITY

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Infertility is a rather painful and sensitive subject. One of the reasons main issues contributing to a marriage break down, it is considered with a considerable dose of stigma in the society. The procedures involved in fertilisation in female, is a fairly complex process.

For fertilisation to take place, one of the ovaries has to release a matured egg. This egg is then transferred to the fallopian tubes. A sperm entering the cervix on intercourse, reaches the fallopian tubes through the uterus. The egg is fertilised after the sperm penetrates it and fixes up there. This formation then passes into the uterus through the fallopian tubes, gets implanted in the uterus and starts to grow there as an embryo. Embryo later develops into the baby as the pregnancy proceeds.

An interruption in any of the above steps or process leads to female infertility. The main causes of female infertility are as stated below: -

Ovulation disorders

Ovulation is an important factor in female fertility. A hindrance to ovulation leads to an inability to produce eggs. About 1 in every infertile woman face this kind of disorder. The main reasons of ovulation disorder is an imbalance in the hormones produced by pituitary or hypothalamus glands. The main ovulation related disorders are

  • PCOS – also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, it is the most common ovulation disorder. Along with infertility, it also leads to abnormal hair growth, insulin resistance, obesity and acne.

  • Premature Ovarian Failure – in this disorder, the eggs produced by ovary are prematurely lost or destroyed. It is known to be caused as an autoimmune response, due to genetics or treatments like chemotherapy. The lack of eggs leads to decrease in the production of estrogen.

  • Excess of prolactin – an excess production of prolactin from pituitary gland affects the production of estrogen, leading to infertility

  • Hypothalamic dysfunction – the reduction in the production of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that stimulates the functions of ovary, leads to disruption in ovule production.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects the lining of uterus thus prohibiting the implantation of zygote. This can also damage egg or sperm. In this disorder the cells that usually line the inner side of uterus, grows over it, leading to an irregularity in periods and thus the menstrual cycle.

Tubal Infertility

Tubal Infertility arises due to some damage caused to fallopian tubes. It can occur due to pelvic tuberculosis, surgery in abdomen or pelvic area or due to pelvic inflammatory disease.

Cervical or Uterine disorders

Benign polyps or fibroids are common in uterus. These can, in some cases, affect implantation and thereby fertility. Uterine abnormalities like abnormally shaped uteruses can hamper fertility. A narrow cervix also known as cervical stenosis can be a reason of infertility as well.

Other factors like age, environmental and lifestyle influence sometimes play a major role in female infertility.