Nature has created a system of regeneration in all living creatures on this Earth. Female counterparts in every species play a major role in reproduction as new life grows in their womb. Unfortunately, some couples face issues in getting pregnant. In this article, we will discuss female infertility and its leading causes.
What is Infertility?
Infertility refers to the inability to get pregnant after 12 months of TTC (Trying To Conceive). If a newly married couple spends a year together without any distance but the pregnancy does not occur, then it can be infertility that requires consultation with a gynecologist. Some parents can also face troubles in getting pregnant even after having children. Infertility can be a malefactor or a female factor. There is also a possibility that both partners are infertile.
What is Female Infertility?
Female infertility is infertility in women. A woman becomes a good candidate for medical evaluation by a gynecologist if fails to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse at reproductive age. This criteria changes to 6 months for older women age 35 years or above. If a woman keeps having miscarriages it is also called infertility. World Health Organization (WHO) defines female infertility as a lack of ability to maintain a pregnancy, or carry a pregnancy to live birth. According to medical science, infertility is “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”
Types of Infertility
Infertility is often divided into two main types.
- Primary Infertility
- Secondary infertility
Primary infertility refers to the inability to give birth either because of not being able to become pregnant or carrying a child to live birth, which may include miscarriage or a stillborn child.
Secondary infertility refers to the inability to conceive or give birth when there was a previous pregnancy or live birth.
Process of Conception
Before diving deep into the causes of female infertility we should first understand the process of conception. It is the process which takes place and the female gets pregnant. It starts from female reproductive cycle, the lifespan of sperms, and the fertile window.
Female reproductive system
The female reproductive system is such that the egg is released on any one day out of 28 to 30 days. This day is usually exactly fourteen days before the next possible date of menstruation. The egg survives in the reproductive system for 12 to 24 hours, after which it is lost. If for some reason the distance between the spouses is maintained during these 24 hours, then the chances of getting pregnant during the rest of the month are almost nil. Twenty-four hours of a particular day in each month, that is, ‘just one full day’ is suitable for pregnancy. Keep in mind that according to a woman, only twelve days in a year are suitable for pregnancy.
Lifespan of Sperms
Male reproductive germs can survive in the female reproductive system varies. From a few minutes to five days, i.e. the maximum age of the germs in the uterus is five days. Various studies have shown that most pregnancies are the result of mating one to two days before ovulation. There were also a few pregnancies in the study that occurred as a result of mating five days before ovulation. During the five-day life of the germ, these germs have to travel from the vagina, cervix, and fallopian tubes to the ovary, and after attachment to the egg in the tubes travel back to the uterus.
The Fertile Window
It is not always possible to accurately predict the day of ovulation of a female. It is possible one day before and one day after the possible day that is, those specific 24 hours in a further 48 hours of the protective siege. Science calls this interval the “fertility window” and considers its exact time to be 12 to 36 hours before ovulation. During this particular interval, the couple wishing to conceive should not accept any picnic or invitation, i.e. stay at home, and couples who do not wish to conceive should abstain on these special days.
If after 12 months of unprotective sex pregnancy does not occur then the couple’s parties should consult a gynecologist and get the necessary preliminary tests done. If both tests are healthy and fine, then spend another year of a honeymoon without any treatment or tension. After this period, it is time to undergo ‘specialized’ tests. Proper diagnosis will reveal the relevant deficiency / weakness / disease which needs treatment. Remember, if one or both of the parties got married at a late age or if one or both of them have experience of being pregnant or not in the previous marriage before this marriage or infertility in your family especially siblings In that case, the couple’s time is precious, save it from being wasted.
Female Infertility : Causes
Infertility is caused by many sources which are divided into 5 main categories
- Genetic Predisposition
- Problems in anatomy
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Environmental factors
Another type of categorization is also present. According to it, the causes of female infertility are divided into three categories which are
- Genetic factors
- Bodily Location Factors
Acquired factors include delayed parenthood, a sedentary lifestyle causing weight gain, smoking, STDs. malnutrition, eating disorders, chemotherapy, and exposure to radiation.
Mutation in genetic material is also a cause of infertility in females. Women suffering from Turner’s Syndrome undergo chromosomal abnormalities resulting in infertility.
Suppose a woman whose egg is completely healthy but has a problem in her uterus that the uterus is not suitable for conception or pregnancy is dangerous for her life. This is an example of uterine malformation causing infertility in women.
Leading Causes of Female Infertility
The most common and leading causes of female infertility is hormonal imbalance due to sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Weight gain or obesity results in glucose intolerance which affects the whole female body and reproductive cycle. Disruption in normal menstruation often results in anovulatory cycles. In these cycles, eggs do not produce in the ovaries. There are three major causes of hormonal imbalance which results in anovulatory cycles. These are
3) Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Leading Causes of Female Infertility
1 in 10 female in reproductive age face problems in getting pregnant due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is one of the leading causes of female infertility in modern times. This is a syndrome means it affects whole body not only reproductive system. It is an endocrine disorder. Its main causes are genetic predisposition or poor lifestyle, obesity & eating disorders. In PCOS, the ovaries may not release an egg regularly or they may not release a healthy egg.
Remember! Lactation often slow down ovulation or completely stop it. Especially as long as the infant is receiving its full diet from its mother. During this time, the woman’s monthly system does not regulate. Older women were unfamiliar with family planning but loved breastfeeding their children as much as possible. Consider that most of them will have a gap of two years in their offspring. This is due to the obstruction of the egg releasing process during lactation. Therefore, if a breastfeeding woman wants the next pregnancy and does not succeed in it, she should seek advice on weaning. If the menstrual cycle continues during breastfeeding, the chances of pregnancy naturally increase.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
In primary ovarian insufficiency, the ovaries stop functioning before natural menopause. The average age of menu pause is 51 years. If a female is younger than 40 years and her ovaries no longer support reproduction then it is premature ovarian failure or insufficiency.
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