You might be dealing with female infertility if you’re having trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Infertility specialists can assist you in pinpointing the cause of your infertility and making therapy recommendations based on your unique requirements. Your doctors are available to help you in women fertility and resolve problems that interfere with conception.
Let’s first examine some typical reasons for female infertility.
Sperm and Egg Infertility
The female reproductive system releases one immature egg each month in order to successfully conceive. Ovulation and egg quality and quantity are the two main issues that affect a woman’s ability to conceive if she is experiencing infertility.
Infertility caused by ovulation
A woman’s irregular menstrual cycle, which should last between 24 and 35 days, may be caused by sporadic or nonexistent ovulation. Due to the absence of eggs for fertilization, this causes infertility.
Women who claim to menstruate each month and experience symptoms like breast soreness before their menstruation are typically ovulating an egg. An assessment is required to identify the root cause if a woman is not ovulating and does not have a regular period.
Ovulation is irregular for the following reasons:
Ovarian Polycyst Syndrome (PCOS)
Menstrual irregularity, androgen excess, and the presence of polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound are three of the signs needed to diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 5–8% of women who are reproductive age suffer from this condition.
Ovarian insufficiency that is primary (POI)
When there are hardly any eggs in the ovaries, this condition is known as primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). As a result, the patient experiences erratic menstrual cycles and hot flushes. The patient must be under the age of 40 in order to qualify for this diagnosis.
High prolactin levels and thyroid illness
A woman may experience irregular ovulation if she has either low or high thyroid function, or if her prolactin levels are high (prolactin is a hormone that causes the body to produce milk).
Malfunction of the Hypothalamus
A issue with the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that governs the pituitary gland and many other biological functions, is known as hypothalamic dysfunction. If a patient is prone to certain stressors, which cause their brain to release abnormally low levels of the hormones required for ovulation, this may happen.
Egg quantity and quality
The quantity and quality of eggs that are actually there is another factor in infertility that is related to eggs. Even if a woman ovulates normally every month, she can still have trouble getting pregnant. A better understanding of typical ovarian physiology is necessary in order to comprehend egg production.
When a woman is within her mother’s uterus, she has the maximum number of eggs she will ever have, which is between five and six million. There are about two million when you are born. Its amount drops to a few hundred thousand by adolescence, roughly 25,000 at age 37 to 38, and by menopause, women practically have no functional eggs left. If your ovulation is regular, one of your eggs is ovulated each month, and the remaining ones expire. As a result, women’s egg production declines exponentially.
The eggs also do not divide efficiently because they have been present since before we were born, which causes issues with the quantity of chromosomes in the egg itself. An improper number of chromosomes in the egg can affect how well the embryo implants in the uterus and increase the chance of miscarriage.
Based on a patient’s past menstrual cycles and by measuring their progesterone levels in the second half of their cycle, doctors can establish whether a patient is ovulating. On the second or third day of the menstrual cycle, we test a woman’s estradiol and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels to determine how many eggs she has in her ovaries.
Infertility due to aging
It is hard to discuss infertility without taking into account how aging affects fertility and egg quality. Infertility due to the “Age Factor” has significantly increased as a result of many women deferring childbirth into their late 30s and 40s.
Several studies, including IVF success rates, show that when women enter their late thirties, the likelihood of becoming pregnant sharply declines. According to studies, a 20-year-old woman had a 30% probability of becoming pregnant after one month of exposure. While this rate decreases to 20% per month at age 30 and to 10% each month at age 40. After trying for one cycle, a woman at 45 has a 2–3% chance of becoming pregnant on her own. At the same time, the miscarriage rate rises, going from 10% at age 20 to 40% at age 45.
The cause of this phenomena is the declining quality of eggs over time, which results in a decline in pregnancy rates. Women are born with a fixed amount of eggs, which they use up over the course of their reproductive years, unlike men, who have an unlimited supply of sperm. Men, on the other hand, produce fresh sperm in their testicles every 70 to 80 days, which has no impact on their ability to conceive as they age. The ovaries’ capacity for storing eggs will eventually deteriorate, which will explain the decreasing fertility rate. The greater risk of chromosomal abnormalities in children born to older mothers is directly related to this.
Many disorders might impact the uterus directly, making it more challenging for the embryo to implant. The cervix and fallopian tubes connect the uterus to the vagina and the interior of the pelvis, respectively. After leaving the ovary, the egg moves through these channels.
Depending on the location and extent of the enlargement, fibroids, an overgrowth of the muscle tissue in the uterus, can obstruct implantation and embryo growth. Moreover, uterine polyps, an enlargement of the uterus’ endometrial tissue, can obstruct embryo implantation and growth. Moreover, uterine abnormalities such uterine septums and other issues with implantation and embryo growth can result from scarring inside the uterus (Asherman’s Disease).
Infertility due to tubal disease
Upon ovulation, the fallopian tube serves to remove the egg from the ovary’s surface. The meeting of the sperm and egg takes place here, leading to fertilization. After fertilization, the embryo spends the following few days traveling through the fallopian tube before being discharged into the uterus.
The fine hair-like projections that make up the fallopian tube’s inner lining are essential for aiding the movement of sperm, eggs, and embryos through the tube. The sperm and the egg cannot meet if a patient has one or more damaged or obstructed tubes, which prevents fertilization from taking place inside the body. If fertilization takes place but the tube is broken, the embryo might not be able to get to the uterus.