Female Fertility Issues

Female infertility most often occurs when one or more factors that inhibit a pregnancy from occurring are present. The female reproductive process is multifaceted and everything needs to happen at just the perfect time. There are many possible reasons that a female may be infertile, these include, but are not limited to the following: ovulation disorder, damage to fallopian tubes, endometriosis, cervical narrowing or blockage, and/or uterine causes.

Ovulation DisordersOvulation disorders explain infertility in approximately one-fourth of infertile couples. Ovulation problems stem from an imbalance in the regulation of reproductive hormones through the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, or in the ovary itself. You have an ovulation disorder if you rarely ovulate or are not ovulating at all. It is obvious that women suffering from an ovulation disorder automatically have fewer opportunities to conceive than the "average" female. It is also very difficult for a female to identify when her fertile periods may be. Ovulation disorders may also have an effect on a female's eggs; they may not be able to break through the follicle or they may not be released at the proper time, thus jeopardizing proper fertilization or implantation.
If you suspect that you may have an ovulation problem, possible causes could be:
  • Hypothalamic Dysfunction: problems with the hypothalamus /pituitary gland regulating reproductive functions.
  • Hyperprolactinemia: presence of abnormally-high levels of prolactin in the blood.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): hormonal imbalance which typically will produce small ovarian cytsts.
  • Luteal Phase Defect: poor follicle production, premature demise of the corpus luteum, and failure of the uterine lining to respond to normal levels of progesterone.
Damage to Fallopian TubesWhen fallopian tubes become damaged or blocked, they keep sperm from reaching the egg or close off the route for the fertilized egg to enter the uterus. Current or previous STD's could have caused inflammation of the fallopian tubes which can result in fertilization or implantation problems.
Females that have had previous ectopic pregnancies may also have damage in their fallopian tubes. Complications may also result from previous abdominal or pelvic surgeries.

EndometriosisEndometriosis takes place when tissue that normally grows in the uterus embeds and grows in other locations. This extra tissue growth - and the surgical removal of it - can cause scarring, which impairs fertility.

Cervical Narrowing or BlockageCervical narrowing or blockages can be caused by an inherited deformity or damage to the cervix. A possible complication is that the cervix cannot create optimal mucus for sperm mobility and fertilization. In addition, the cervical opening could be closed, stopping any sperm from reaching the egg.

Uterine CausesBenign polyps or tumors in the uterus can harm fertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or by disturbing implantation. Nonetheless, many women who have fibroids can become pregnant. Scarring within the uterus also can interrupt implantation, and some women born with uterine abnormalities, such as an abnormally shaped (bicornate) uterus, can have problems getting or remaining pregnant.

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