Infertility, and especially female infertility is an issue many couples struggle with. For women, the difficulty of becoming pregnant can have a serious psychological effect. Data suggests that close to 15% of American couples experience infertility caused by various reasons. About one third of infertility cases with couples are due to female infertility.
The main, and often the only symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive and become pregnant. The causes leading to infertility can be temporary, and couples are advised not to seek medical help unless they’ve been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for at least over a year. In the case of women with advanced age, very painful periods or several miscarriages, seeking medical attention is acceptable without waiting period.
The causes of female infertility can be present at birth, but some can also be developed later in life. Ovulation disorders are one of the most common reasons for female infertility. Typically, these are caused by hormone disorders, but can also be triggered by excessive physical exercise or eating disorders. Uterine and fallopian tube abnormalities are also common infertility causes. For certain cancer patients, especially those having reproductive organ’s cancer, chemo therapy and radiation may cause infertility.
Medical professional is likely to conduct several tests in order to properly diagnose infertility. Blood test will reveal hormone levels and show whether the patient is ovulating. Laparoscopy is a procedure that checks fallopian tubes and uterus. Other, more specific tests can also be performed.
The main risk factors are age and certain lifestyle characteristics. As women age, the number of quality eggs drops which in turn lowers fertility. Alcohol and tobacco use are also pregnancy inhibitors, and so are obesity, anorexia and bulimia. Therefore, the most important infertility prevention methods, for cases that are not present at birth, are tied to healthier and moderate lifestyle.
Treatment of infertility depends on many factors such as age, the length of infertility before treatment, and general state of health. One of the simplest techniques is having intercourse more often around the time of ovulation. In certain cases, infertility is merely a manifestation of bad timing. There are several medications that can be used to treat infertility. Commonly used Clomifene encourages ovulation, while Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs are used when ovulation occurs before the follicle matures. In case of blocked fallopian tubes, surgical procedure may restore the channel and remove the blockage.
Fortunately for couples trying to conceive, the treatment options are more numerous than only a couple of decades ago. Assisted conception is also offering several alternatives such as in-vitro fertilization or egg donation that couple may pursue. Complications are rare, and if they occur, they are more likely to be psychological than physical. Often, psychological barriers and depression are obstacles more difficult to overcome than actual infertility. It is important for couples to seek mental health professional help, but also provide support to each other.
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