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Common Causes of Infertility in Women
If you’re a woman experiencing infertility, you’re not alone. In fact, 6.7 percent of married American woman ages 15-44 are infertile. Doctors diagnose infertility based on how long women have been trying to conceive: one year for women under 35, and six months for those above, due to fertility declining with age.
When you’re trying to start a family, it can be stressful and disheartening to have difficulty becoming pregnant. Every woman is different, and every situation is the result of a unique set of instances. There are various possible causes for infertility in women, and a doctor can help to diagnose them. In fact, some of them are even treatable. But for those that aren’t, parenthood is still achievable: intended parents can start or grow their family through our surrogacy and egg donation programs.
The more you know about the causes of infertility, the better you can seek help and treatment from a doctor. These are some of the common causes of infertility women experience.
Women may experience ovulation issues from a number of different causes. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one such issue that affects 8 percent of women. PCOS results in abnormal reproductive system hormones that lead to irregular or absent ovulation. Women with PCOS often have many small, benign cysts in their ovaries as well. Other common symptoms include acne, oily skin, abnormal hair growth, and obesity. Treatment usually involves fertility drugs.
Diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is another cause of infertility in women. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and that count decreases over time. Those with DOR have fewer eggs in their ovaries than normal, and may experience fertility issues as a result. There are few symptoms of DOR, and women usually discover they have it after diagnostic testing.
Similarly to DOR, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) also reduces the time frame in which women are fertile. Women with POI experience irregular menstruation and reduced fertility before the age of 40, when menopause typically occurs. Symptoms include hot flashes, irritability, and decreased sex drive. Treatment varies.
Uterine issues are another common concern infertile women may have. Of them, endometriosis is one of the most severe; endometriosis causes the tissue lining the uterus to grow in other places, like behind the uterus, or in the abdomen, ovaries, pelvis, or fallopian tubes. This growth can cause irritation and scar tissue that can make it difficult for women to get pregnant. Some women don’t experience symptoms, while others may experience painful menstruation or intercourse, heavy bleeding, unusual spotting, and pelvic pain. Treatment varies and can include surgery to remove the scar tissue.
Submucosal fibroids can also cause infertility issues in women. These benign tumors line the wall of the uterus and can prevent implantation or block access to the fallopian tube, which prevents egg fertilization. Particularly large tumors can expand the uterus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
Fallopian Tube Damage
Many infections and diseases, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and other sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, can scar the fallopian tubes. This scarring can block the ovum from traveling down the fallopian tube, thus preventing conception. As mentioned above, endometriosis can also block the fallopian tubes. Symptoms of PID include fever, abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, and painful urination or intercourse. Treatment of PID involves antibiotics. Diagnosis for fallopian tube damage or obstruction requires an X-ray, and treatment may require surgery.
Hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones) and hyperthyroidism (when the thyroid gland overproduces hormones) can both have an impact on a woman’s fertility, even though the thyroid gland is not directly a part of the reproductive system. Thyroid dysfunction can lead to irregular ovulation (which can affect fertility), miscarriage, and birth defects. Thyroid dysfunction can also increase the risk of other diseases such as endometriosis. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, and depression. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include anxiety, overheating, fatigue, insomnia, and unusual weight loss. Treatment of the thyroid problems can regulate hormones so women may be able to conceive again.
Not all causes for infertility are directly related to reproductive medical conditions. Chronic stress, for example, can trigger hormonal changes that affect the body. In extreme cases, stress can result in a woman not ovulating at all, resulting in a reduced or halted menstruation. Stress can also affect fertilization and implantation. While experiencing stress, people often have a lower libido, which can make it even harder to conceive. Infertility can also cause stress, especially when getting pregnant becomes the only focus.
Age-related infertility eventually affects all women as they go through menopause. As women age past 35 years old—especially past 40—they begin to see symptoms including changes in menstruation and decreased cervical mucus. Even if women are still ovulating at this stage in life, egg quality goes down with age, which can result in fertility problems that many fertility drugs can’t fix. Decreased ovarian reserves can also play a role. However, egg donation or surrogacy are still great options for women experiencing age-related infertility.
At Simple Surrogacy, our goal is to provide our clients with the highest standard of care in the surrogacy and egg donation industry at an affordable price. Infertility issues can be devastating, and we understand the difficult and painful road you may have gone through before making the decision to become parents through surrogacy and egg donation. We’re committed to making the rest of your journey to parenthood enjoyable and worry free, and will treat you with respect, courtesy, and compassion throughout the process. If you’re interested in going through our surrogacy or egg donation program, or are interested in becoming a surrogate to help a couple achieve their dream of parenthood, contact us online or by calling toll-free at 1-866-41-SURRO.Go back
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