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Causes of Infertility Issues

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Becoming pregnant is actually a very complex process, and about 10 percent of couples will find it very difficult to conceive a child. Of this 10 percent, about a third of the cases are caused by a problem that relates to the female anatomy. Becoming pregnant is a complex business because it involves ovulation and fertilization, processes that must work exactly right in order for conception to occur.

Ovulation Disorders- In this type of problem, ovaries are somehow prevented from releasing eggs. This can be caused by hormonal conditions, which prevent an egg from getting released or create changes in the thickening of the lining of the uterus (endometrium). If the lining fails to thicken, this can prevent the uterus from being ready for the fertilized egg. Problems in ovulation also occur when you exercise excessively, or have eating disorders, injuries, or tumors.

Fallopian Tube Blockage- Inflammation of the fallopian tube, often caused by pelvic flammatory disease, endometriosis, benign tumors (uterine fibroids) or polyps, or sexually transmitted infections, can damage or block the tubes that run from the ovaries to the uterus. This may result in no contact between the egg and sperm.

Cervical Abnormalities- If there is a problem with the cervix (the necklace passage at the end of the uterus) or cervical mucus, or something unusual in the shape or cavity of the uterus, this might be one cause of female infertility. The distortion of the shape makes implantation of a fertilized egg more difficult. It may prevent sperm from passing through the cervical canal.

Other Possible Problems- Medical conditions such as cancer (and cancer treatments), kidney disease, celiac disease, thyroid problems, immune system diseases, and pelvic infections can cause infertility as well. Abdominal surgeries and certain medications have also been associated with conception difficulties. Age is another factor; women are born with a limited number of eggs, and as they get older the number and quality of eggs diminish. Also, a third of infertility issues are a result of issues within the male reproductive system, and about 20 percent of couples may never know why they are infertile.

If you are experiencing difficulty in getting pregnant, there may be solutions. You should consult with an OB/GYN to pinpoint which of these problems you might be experiencing – your doctor will know ways to narrow down the possibilities. Once that is determined, you and your OB/GYN may be able to find a course of treatment that will make it possible for you to become pregnant after all.