Did you know that up to 15% of couples are infertile? So if you’re struggling or finding difficulty in conception, you aren’t alone!
Infertility is defined by the inability to get pregnant despite frequent and unprotected sex for over a year. There are different issues as to why you may be infertile, may it be you and/or your partner. It might also be a combination of different factors which interfere in pregnancy.
Fortunately, you can follow various therapies and solutions to improve your fertility and chances of pregnancy. But before that, learn more about the causes and risk factors of female infertility and how to prevent them!
The Causes of Female Infertility
If ever you fit the criteria and haven’t conceived successfully in over a year, how come it happens? I’m sure you’re asking yourself the same question but don’t beat yourself up! There are different causes as to why it happens, and some of them are treatable.
Note that the correct steps of both ovulation and fertilization need to happen so you can conceive and become pregnant. Sometimes, the reasons why infertility happens come at birth and develop as you age. Other times, it comes from recent conditions or other situations.
It can affect one or both the partners, with one-third of cases, there is an issue with the female. The other one-third may be an issue with the male, and the rest of the cases are either issue with both or unidentified causes.
For women, there are various causes such as:
An Ovulation Disorder
Hormonal disorders can affect the eggs release from your ovaries. If you have too much protein or thyroid hormones, this can cause infertility. This can be caused by genetics, excessive exercise, eating disorders, tumors, or injuries.
Cervical or Uterine Abnormalities
These include any abnormalities with your cervix opening, such as any polyps within the uterus. The shape of your uterus can also affect your fertility rates.
Fallopian Tube Blockage or Damage
These are caused by an inflammation on the fallopian tube, which comes from inflammatory diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, adhesions, or endometriosis.
If you have had surgery which caused scar tissue which binds organs, it can affect your fertility. These scar tissues are formed after pelvic infections, appendicitis, pelvic surgery, or abdominal operations.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
This is also known as early menopause when your menstruation ends and your ovaries stop working before you hit 40 years old. Sometimes causes are unknown but other times, there are factors which affect early menopause like diseases of the immune system, smoking, genetic conditions, or chemotherapy/radiation treatment.
Cancer and Treatments
Different cancers can impair your fertility, as well as the treatments that help you recover from it.
Other Medical Conditions
There are other medical conditions which can adversely affect your fertility, specifically those what cause delayed puberty or amenorrhea. Celiac disease, autoimmune diseases, genetic abnormalities, or diabetes that’s poorly-controlled affects it.
Symptoms of Female Infertility
The major symptom of infertility is the inability to get pregnant despite trying to conceive for a certain period. Sometimes, there are no other obvious symptoms for infertility besides this.
A few infertile women may experience irregular or no menstrual periods. Sometimes, there may be hormonal problems, may it be noticeable or not. However, most couples can conceive eventually, using treatment or not.
When is it time to see a doctor for it, though?
Usually, you won’t need to see a doctor to talk about infertility, unless you’ve been trying to conceive for a year or longer. However, you CAN talk with your doctor earlier if ever you’re a woman and fit the following:
- · If you’re 35 to 40 and tried to conceive for at least half a year
- · You’re over 40 years old
- · You have irregular or no period at all
- · You have painful periods
- · You’re known to have fertility problems
- · You have been diagnosed with conditions that affect your fertility like pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis
- · You’ve experienced one or more miscarriages
- · You have undergone cancer treatment or still are
Besides the causes or symptoms, there are risk factors of infertility, being the same for both men and women. Here are the common ones to take note of:
Age and Weight
Your fertility declines as you age, especially as you hit your mid-30s to 40s. Furthermore, your weight plays a huge role in fertility, too.
Inactive lifestyle and being overweight increases the risk a lot, as well as being underweight and following restrictive diets.
Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Smoking marijuana or tobacco can reduce your chances of pregnancy, also reducing the benefits of fertility treatment. Furthermore, miscarriages can happen in those who smoke. The same goes for alcohol, which doesn’t only increase infertility, but birth defects.
If you do little to no exercise, this can contribute to obesity, increasing your infertility risk. Too much intense exercise can do the same, affecting your menstrual cycle and lessening the chances of conceiving.
Preventing and Treating Female Infertility
Unfortunately, some types of infertility issues can’t be prevented. However, some tips can increase your chances of a successful conception for women, such as:
- · Quit smoking and avoid taking any alcohol or street drugs
- · Limit your caffeine intake, avoid taking in too much soda, coffee, and other foods which contain it
- · Exercise moderately and regularly, avoiding going overboard to the point it affects your menstrual cycle
- · Maintain a healthier weight recommended by your doctor. A healthier diet filled with nutritious foods can also increase your fertility and chances of conception
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully, this article on the causes and risk factors of female infertility and how to prevent them helps you. If ever you do require assisted reproduction technology, then it’s time to delve into more research and search on IVF clinics in the USA now.
They can also help you with any infertility issues that can be treated and answer any more questions about ART, such as, “is IVF painful?“. If you have any questions or want to share more of your experiences and knowledge on infertility, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated