One of the most precious moments for a woman is when she is on the verge to become a Mother. It is a long process with tonnes of physical, physiological and emotional changes. Pregnancy is not only limited to giving birth, the repercussions are seen after the birth of an infant which are known as Postpartum stress disorder, miscarriage, and infertility.

It is not always necessary that conceiving is successful for every couple. A common condition in females faced by 10% of the population is Infertility. It is the inability to get a successful pregnancy even after trying for straight 12 months due to some limiting factors. In heterosexual couples, 1/3rd issues are due to male problems, 1/3rd issues are due to female problems and the rest 1/3rd remain miscellaneous. Infertility caused due to a woman’s limiting factor is called female infertility.

Not all intercourse results in pregnancy. Only and only when the sperm and ovum fuse in the Ampulla region in the Fallopian tube of a woman, Fertilisation occurs successfully. The fused cell undergoes a division process resulting in a zygote. At this stage, the gender of the child is already decided. After a further division process, the zygote differentiates into an Embryo, which in turn gets attached to the uterus. This entire process is called Implantation, which leads to Pregnancy.

After implantation has occurred, with the uterine tissues and maternal blood, a structural and functional unit called Placenta is formed. The placenta connects the embryo/foetus with the maternal body. It facilitates the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the embryo and removes carbon dioxide and excretory products produced by the embryo. The placenta is connected to the Embryo via an Umbilical cord, which helps the transfer of nutrients to and fro.

To conceive, a woman needs to have a healthy female reproductive organ. It includes ovaries. The fallopian tube, uterus, etc. These organs play an important role in conceiving and pregnancy. Ovulation is the most important factor for a woman who is planning to conceive. Every month a woman of her reproductive age normally releases an egg for fertilization. If intercourse occurs during ovulation and sperm is successful enough to fertilize the egg, it results in fertilization. Due to certain reasons, eggs are not released regularly. These include a woman’s hormonal imbalance, eating disorder, disease like thyroid, severe stress, etc.

TOP 5 CAUSES OF FEMALE INFERTILITY - there are many factors affecting infertility. Here are a few points jotted down due to which infertility occurs. Certain factors can be brought under control and certain can be treated with medication or surgery.

1.      PCOS - A woman undergoes several changes in her body since she attains puberty. A regular menstruation cycle is a sign of a healthy reproductive organ. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder observed in women of reproductive age between 14- 47.  A woman secrete a few amounts of male hormones called Androgen in normal conditions but during PCOS the amount increases manifold. In the case of PCOS primarily affects the menstrual cycle of a woman, to overcome this, one can with the help of expert opinion take medicine to regulate the hormonal imbalance. A disease diagnosed and treated at a primary stage can always be taken under control. The woman who is facing such issues should always keep patience and faith in the expert as well as herself. Such kinds of disorders are seen in many women; at least one out of eight women undergo PCOS or PCOD in their entire life. The infertility issue can be done right with fertility drugs, and treatment. Ovulation induction also occurs via oral medicine. Surrogacy and adoption also arise as a boon for those who have not been left with many options.

2.      Endometriosis - a woman can have a few glitches in her body, which become observable during her pregnancy. They include – cervical insufficiency, double uterus, surgeries, etc. Due to these reasons, chances of infertility increase. Certain women who have been tested infertile have distinguished features like abnormally shaped uterus, tumors in the uterus, narrow cervix, damaged cervix, etc. These factors primarily affect infertility. An important tissue in implantation is the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. Sometimes the inner lining grows in some other region and its removal becomes necessary. The surgical removal of the tissue can cause scars and blockage in the fallopian tube, which results in hindrance in uniting egg and sperm. This condition is called endometriosis.

3.      Tubal blockage - Damage to the fallopian tube is a cause of infertility in women. In this condition, sperm is hindered from reaching the egg or the fertilized egg is blocked from reaching the uterus. This occurs due to a damaged or blocked fallopian tube. Certain surgeries and sexually transmitted diseases like Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, etc. are factors affecting a damaged fallopian tube.

4.      Poor egg condition - a woman is born with a number of eggs which are released every month after she attains puberty. Due to some of the other reasons, there results in a shortage of eggs released before menopause which results in infertility. This situation is called primary ovarian insufficiency. It can occur due to a genetic defect or chemotherapy. There can be issues in the egg also; having a wrong number of chromosomes, cannot fertilize and grow into a healthy fetus, etc. The reducing fertility after the age of 30 is observed in women which increases the complications while conceiving. Thus experts advise planning a family before both the parents exceed the age of 30. With the increase in age, the count of eggs reduces with degrading quality. This makes conceiving more difficult and the chances of infertility increase.  

5.      Ovulation issues – mostly the release of eggs from the ovary is induced by hormones. When a woman is facing an issue in ovulation, the ovary does not release mature eggs when it is supposed to. This condition is called Hyperprolactinemia. An excessive amount of prolactin hormone is released by the pituitary gland which inhibits ovulation and the regular menstrual cycle.

TREATMENTS FOR FEMALE INFERTILITY - Infertility is a natural phenomenon; it is not under anyone’s control. This does not stop a woman from being a mother for the rest of her life.

1.  In vitro fertilization (IVF) – with the advent of biotechnology, a test tube baby has now become a ray of hope to parents with few complications.

2.  Surrogacy – a woman with a defective mitochondria has issues with conceiving and becoming a mother, if a healthy mitochondria donor from a woman is received, motherhood can be experienced. Surrogacy laws have now become stricter due to violations and exploitation of the surrogate mother. Parents plan a child in a surrogate and then abandon her, leaving the surrogate woman frustrated and aimless.

3.  Adoption – there are so many children who have been abandoned due to certain reasons and they end up in an orphanage. Adopting a child does not only give home and shelter but also builds the future of the child.

A woman's condition becomes helpless and lowest when she is unable to conceive. All that can help is regular counseling, firm family support and compassion to rebuild her trust. Alternative methods like those mentioned above can also help a woman become a mother.

The ICHHORI website is bringing a breakthrough revolution in women-related health and lifestyle issues. It covers almost every topic a woman should know in any age group. Every question is answered in a lucid manner and breaking taboos.

REFERENCE - The woman’s clinic.

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