Infertility Affects Millions of Women
Female infertility is quite common. And when you think about it, it’s not even all that surprising. After all, in order to make a baby, a woman’s body must:
- Have a good reserve of healthy eggs
- Mature the eggs properly within the ovaries at the right time and pace
- Have clear fallopian tubes so that both the egg and sperm can enter and meet
- Develop a plush lining in the uterus at the right time to welcome an embryo
- Allow proper implantation of the embryo
- Fully nourish the fetus throughout its development
- Carry it for the full term
Below we list causes and signs of infertility in women we commonly see at our Arizona fertility clinics.
Clearly, in order to give birth, an enormous number of things had to go right. But odds are, sometimes things go wrong. The good news is, your AZARH fertility doctor is an expert at zeroing in on exactly where things are going awry. And with today’s fertility medicine and technology, there are countless ways to resolve a large number of fertility issues. Reach one our fertility specialists today by calling 480-946-9900.
Infertility in Women: Causes of Infertility and Treatment
There are countless factors that can affect fertility in women, but some of the most common factors our fertility experts at AZARH treat include the following:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Characterized by infrequent periods, weight gain, male patterned hair growth, and/or balding and other symptoms, PCOS interrupts the maturation and release of eggs. Infertility treatment can include a number of options including medications, diet and exercise, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
This disorder is when the plush layer that normally lines the inside of the uterus escapes growing outside of it. It can result in scarring of the fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammation, pain, and other complications. Infertility treatment may include surgery or IVF.
It’s no secret that after age 30 a woman’s fertility starts to decline. As a result, the chance of genetic mutations and fetal abnormalities increases. Infertility treatment most often involves checking that the embryos have the correct number of chromosomes.
- Blood-Clotting Disorders. Excessive clotting is associated with recurrent miscarriage as well as slow fetal growth and high blood pressure. Infertility treatment frequently includes blood thinning medication.
- Fallopian Tube Damage. Typically sperm meets the egg in the fallopian tube and then the embryo continues the trip until it reaches the uterus. Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes can prevent this. At AZARH, surgery or IVF is generally used to treat cases like this.
- Adenomyosis. This condition occurs when endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, grows into the outer muscular tissue of the uterus causing structural issues. Infertility treatment includes medication and, occasionally, surgery.
- Cancer. The disease itself, along with treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, can greatly diminish or damage sperm and eggs. To prevent this, many patients at our Arizona fertility clinics freeze their eggs or sperm for future use prior to receiving cancer treatment.
- Miscarriage. In many cases, miscarriage occurs because a fetus is developing abnormally, sometimes due to a chromosomal mismatch that is seen more frequently in older moms. Other times, hormonal or physiological issues are causing problems that interrupt the pregnancy. There are a number of ways to correct many of these conditions.
- Lifestyle. Everyone’s fertility is affected to some degree by their lifestyle. Some choices enhance the ability to get pregnant and some reduce it. Being over- or underweight, smoking, drinking alcohol, being sedentary, and even exposure to some plastics can all decrease fertility. Dr. Patel and Dr. Johnson may recommend including proper diet, weight loss, moderate exercise, and avoiding harmful substances as part of your infertility treatment at AZARH. Read this Wellness & Fertility article.