Female infertility: Understanding the causes and possible treatments

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Infertility is a delicate subject and a difficult situation for couples who have difficulty conceiving a child. It affects almost one couple in six, and affects both women and men, with 40-50% of infertility cases linked to female factors and 40-50% linked to male factors. Don’t forget that fertility treatments can successfully treat infertility even if the cause remains unknown.

Some important facts about female infertility

You’re not alone. If you’re approaching your thirties or older and are having difficulty conceiving, it’s advisable to consult a fertility specialist. – When a woman reaches puberty, she has around 450,000 eggs. – At the start of each cycle, a group of follicles begins to develop with the help of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
– During the second week of your cycle, the follicles produce estrogen, which stimulates the brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH). The corpus luteum produces another hormone called progesterone, which prepares the uterus to receive the fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm, or if the fertilized egg does not implant, the corpus luteum begins to shrink, progesterone levels fall and the uterus begins to shed its lining through menstruation. The cycle then begins again.

Main causes of female infertility

The most common causes of reduced fertility in women are :

  • Ageing: Fertility declines with age. Typically, fertility decline begins slowly around age 30 and accelerates around age 37. Older eggs also carry an increased risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities in babies.
  • Absence of menstrual periods: Secondary amenorrhea can occur when a woman has already had menstrual periods, but they stop for 3 to 6 months or more.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a common condition in which endometrial tissue, which lines the inside of the uterus, lies outside it. This can interfere with fertility by causing adhesions between the ovaries, fallopian tubes and intestines.
  • Ovulation disorders: Several health problems can hinder or prevent ovulation, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, hyperprolactinemia, low levels of fertility hormones and premature ovarian failure.
  • Recurrent miscarriages: A miscarriage occurs when a woman loses her baby before reaching the 20th week of gestation.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Ovulation disorders are the most common cause of infertility in women. PCOS is a complex hormonal disorder that can lead to absent or irregular periods, as well as an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol. A balanced diet and regular physical activity are important in managing this problem.

Possible treatments for female infertility

There are several treatments available to help women suffering from infertility:

Medication: Medication prescribed by a doctor can help stimulate ovulation, regulate menstrual cycles and treat other underlying problems such as endometriosis and thyroid disorders.

Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be performed to remove cysts, adhesions or other causes of fallopian tube obstructions.

Assisted reproduction techniques (ART): There are various ART techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) that can help couples conceive a child when natural methods don’t work.

Ultimately, it’s important to consult a fertility specialist as soon as possible if you’re having difficulty conceiving. Many treatments are available to help you realize your dream of starting a family.

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