Human reproduction is an exciting but complex process in which it is important that every element is in place. Pregnancy occurs when:
- A mature egg is released from one of the ovaries
- It moves along the Fallopian tube
- Semen moves along the cervix and inside the Fallopian tubes in order to get to the egg and fertilise it
- Fertilised egg moves down the Fallopian tube towards the uterus
- It implants and grows in the uterus
We talk about female infertility when one or more of these elements are interrupted. But what are the main fertility problems in women?
Women that do not ovulate or they ovulate infrequently represent 25% of all cases of female infertility. Some of the causes that result into ovulation disorders are: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypothalamic dysfunction, premature ovarian failure or too much prolactin.
Sperm cannot get to the egg if the Fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked. Damaged Fallopian tubes can also block the way to the fertilised egg that has to get to the uterus to implant there.
Some of the causes can be pelvic inflammatory disease, infection due to sexually transmitted diseases, previous surgery or pelvic tuberculosis.
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the womb. Such a growth and its surgical removal can cause scarring, which can obstruct the tubes while blocking the way to the semen or fertilised egg.
Endometriosis can also damage the lining of the uterus, which negatively affects the possibility of the fertilised egg to implant.
Some disorders can cause problems with fertility indirectly by affecting the implantation of the fertilised egg or by increasing the probability of miscarriage.
Benign polyps or tumours, scarring from endometriosis, uterine malformations or cervical stenosis are examples of such causes.
Inexplicable causes of infertility account for a certain percentage of cases seemingly arising from minor problems in both partners.
Would you like to know more about female infertility? Do you want to be a mother one day but your fertility worries you? Would you like to know what options you have?