What Causes Infertility in Women?

What Causes Infertility in Women?

  • Mediworld Fertility
  • Feb 23, 2021
What causes infertility in women

According to reports from the CDC, it suggests that around 10% of the world’s female population between the age of 15-44 years struggle with infertility. If you are trying to conceive but have been having a hard time with it, there are chances that you need to see a doctor.

It is highly crucial to find out the right cause behind infertility and get it treated before it takes a toll on your physical as well as emotional health.

Scroll down below, to know about the most prevalent causes of infertility in women.

Table of Contents

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye

  1. Uterine Fibroids
  2. Failure to Ovulate
  3. Infections
  4. Endometriosis
  5. Menstrual Irregularities
  6. Blockage or any Obstruction in the Fallopian Tubes
  7. Hormonal Imbalance

Take Away

1. Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are small non-cancerous growths that may occur inside or outside of the uterine wall. These are not related to uterine cancer, but generally contribute to hormonal imbalance and cause frequent heavy bleeding during periods.

Fibroids are one of the biggest contributing factors to infertility. This is because the fibroids cause obstruction to the fallopian tubes preventing movement of the released egg for fertilization. Moreover, the fibroids disrupt the functions of the endometrium in the uterus, making the area hostile for implantation of the fetus for further growth and development, thus contributing to infertility.

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2. Failure to Ovulate

Ovulation disorders are one of the primary reasons behind female infertility and affect 1 out of every 4 infertile women. There are several types of conditions that can contribute to ovulation failure such as hormonal irregularities and malfunctioning of the hypothalamus and/or the pituitary gland.

Some of the primary conditions that contribute to ovulation disorders include:

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): It is one of the most common causes of infertility in women and affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. The condition contributes to hormonal imbalance that restricts ovulation. It also enhances the risks of insulin resistance and obesity, which further contributes to infertility in women.

Premature ovarian failure: This medical condition is one of the most common causes of infertility that contribute to the premature loss of eggs that are released from the ovary. It may also occur due to the body’s autoimmune response against itself or after undergoing certain treatments like chemotherapy.

Hypothalamic dysfunction: The hypothalamus is a governing endocrine gland that is responsible for the hormonal balance in our body. The irregular production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) disrupts the process of ovulation and contributes to infertility. The most common causes of hypothalamic dysfunction include recent brain surgery, brain tumor or exposure to harmful radiations.

Excess prolactin production: Also known as Hyperprolactinemia, increased levels of prolactin alters the levels of estrogen in the body causing infertility in women. Some of the common sources of hyperprolactinemia include excessive use of hypertensive drugs, antidepressant drugs, anti-nausea drugs, presence of a tumor or an infection, etc.

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3. Infections

Reproductive tract infections are another leading cause of infertility in both men and women. Although, women struggle more with the risks of infection, especially relayed by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The majority of the infections in women, including chlamydia and gonorrhoea, cause scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes, which further cause infections leading to unnecessary adhesions, tubal mucosal damage, or even tubal occlusion.

Another underrated form of infection that leads to risks of infertility is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Although it doesn’t always contribute to fertility issues right away. However, if left untreated, it can lead to an increased risk of cervical cancer that can obstruct conception.

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4. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is one of the primary causes of infertility in women. And, it contributes to this issue in several ways. The condition causes rapid scarring and adhesions to the fallopian tube that restricts the easy movement of the gamete through the tubes after release.

Excessive endometrial tissue growth inside the uterus makes the area a lot more hostile, preventing the implantation of the fetus. Moreover, inflammation around the endometrium exceeds the levels of cytokines in the body, which obstructs the process of fertilization, contributing to issues of infertility.

Sometimes, endometriosis also causes hormonal disbalance in the body and inhibits regular cycles of ovulation in the body too.

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5. Menstrual Irregularities

Menstrual irregularities affect around 14-25% of women of childbearing age. While irregular periods don’t always contribute to infertility but maybe a possible reason behind the condition. If you are experiencing irregularity in your periods, it is often suggested you consult an OB GYN. Apart from PCOS, irregularities in the menstrual cycle are often relayed by anovulation, which completely restricts the release of eggs from the ovary.

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6. Blockage or any Obstruction in the Fallopian Tubes

It is the fallopian tube in the woman’s reproductive system where the sperm and egg get fertilized. Any kind of blockage or obstruction in the fallopian tubes is a leading cause behind infertility in women, preventing successful fertilization and conception.

While it is often possible to get pregnant with blockages in one of the fallopian tubes, a bilateral blockage will require treatment to ensure a successful pregnancy. There are several factors that contribute to the blockage in the fallopian tubes such as endometriosis and a previous history of infections or abdominal surgeries.

Blocked fallopian tubes don’t always show prominent signs and symptoms. But, if you are having a hard time conceiving even after multiple attempts, it is important that you consult a doctor to get it diagnosed and treated on time.

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7. Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance contributes to a number of conditions in women, including:

  • Anovulation or other ovulation disorders
  • Prevention of the uterine wall thickening
  • Obstructing fertilization and implantation

PCOS and hyperprolactinemia are two of the most common issues behind the disrupted hormonal levels in the body. If you are experiencing symptoms like absent or irregular periods, painful and prolonged periods, sudden weight gain, gastrointestinal disorders, excess hair growth on the face, neck, and back regions, it is better you consult a doctor to get the symptoms checked out.

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Tips for Healthy female reproductive system

Take Away

Infertility affects relationships and affects the physical and emotional well-being of a woman. If you are not able to get pregnant even after consistent attempts for more than a year, it is essential to consult a doctor and get it diagnosed. Getting timely treatment following the initial diagnosis can be a game-changer and help reverse the risks of infertility in women.

At Mediworld, you are guided with the best treatment plan to resolve your infertility issues and experience the gift of pregnancy in your life.

References:

1^ Uterine Fibroids NCBI | February 23, 2021

2^ Failure to Ovulate Women’s Health | February 23, 2021

3^ Infections NCBI | February 23, 2021

4^ Endometriosis Medical News Today | February 23, 2021

5^ Menstrual Irregularities NICHD | February 23, 2021

6^ Blockage or any Obstruction in the Fallopian Tubes Medical News Today | February 23, 2021

7^ Hormonal Imbalance Healthline | February 23, 2021

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