Infertility affects both men and women in relatively equally measure. Among fertility specialists, female infertility accounts for about one-third of all cases, with male infertility also counting for one-third of cases, and mixed male/female infertility causing the final third. When it comes to custom, state-of-the-art infertility treatment for men and women, we at the Fertility Center or San Antonio first consider the cause of infertility and how that can best be addressed.
Dr. Joseph E. Martin and his fellow San Antonio, TX fertility doctors would like to go over some of the most common causes of female infertility in brief. This should give you an idea of the issues that women face and how our team can help.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a type of hormone disorder that impacts women of reproductive age. PCOS causes women to experience irregular periods, which may be too long and/or too infrequent. Women with PCOS often have excessive androgen in their system, causing too much facial hair or body hair.
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, researchers have found that it is often linked to excessive insulin, low-grade inflammation, and family history.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder of the uterus. During endometriosis, the tissue that usually grows inside of the uterus forms along the outside of the uterus. With each menstrual cycle, this tissue forms and breaks down. Since it is on the outside of the uterus, the tissue gets trapped in the body rather than flowing out as with a normal cycle. The tissue can lead to discomfort, cysts, adhesions, and scar tissue.
Some of the common causes of endometriosis include retrograde menstruation, immune system disorders, and embryonic cell transformation.
Fallopian Tube Problems
If a woman has blocked or damages fallopian tubes, it is difficult for the sperm to reach the eggs. It is also difficult for a fertilized egg to travel to the uterus and be carried to term. These are major hurdles to successfully conceiving a child.
There are many potential causes of fallopian tube problems, including injuries to the pelvic area, infections, inflammation, and family history.
Uterine and Cervical Abnormalities
Problems with the cervix and uterus can both result in difficulty getting pregnant.
In the case of the cervix, thick cervical mucus can sometimes prevent the sperm from progressing into the uterus and up into the fallopian tubes. Narrowing of the cervix (cervical stenosis) can also impede the journey of the sperm.
As for uterus issues, polyps and tumors in the uterus can make it more difficult for sperm to access the eggs, and also for fertilized eggs to fully develop. Genetic abnormalities in the shape and size of the uterus can also lead to difficulties getting pregnant.
As women get older, they experience more issues becoming pregnant. After the age of 35, the risk of birth defects and pregnancy loss being to rise. These numbers become even greater after the age of 40. This is why so many women decide to have children before the age of 40 rather than waiting until middle age to start a family.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (Early Menopause)
Early menopause isn’t really menopause, but it does cause women to experience infertility much younger than usual. Early menopause may be the result of various environmental factors, such as chemicals and toxins. Illnesses, autoimmune diseases, and family history can also cause this issue.
Unexplained Female Infertility
Sometimes women who seem perfectly healthy are simply unable to conceive for an unknown reason. As frustrating as this is, there our fertility specialists can still find ways of helping you start a family of your own, working around the hurdles to pregnancy.
Contact Fertility Center of San Antonio
For more information about treating female infertility, it’s important that you contact an experienced fertility specialist. We are here to offer insight and our expertise. You can reach our office by phone at (210) 361-8973.