CAUSES OF INFERTILITY

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Causes Of Infertility in Women-Reasons Many Women Find it Difficult To Conceive.

Every young woman need to protect her fertility, whether you want babies now or later. Several factors responsible for infertility in women some of which are controllable.

1. Ovulation disorders

Most infertility in women are usually associated with problems with ovulation (the monthly release of an egg). Ovulation problems in women could range from inconsistent egg release (egg release that happens in some months and does not happen in other months) to not releasing any eggs.
A number of conditions can cause this problem, these include:
I. Premature ovarian failure. This is a situation where a woman’s ovaries stop working before she is 40.
II. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a situation where many small follicles (cysts) develop within the ovary, and makes it more difficult for the ovaries to produce egg.
III. Thyroid problems. Both an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can prevent ovulation.

2. Problems with womb and fallopian tubes
The eggs that are released in the ovaries travels through the fallopian tube to the womb (uterus). Fertilization of the eggs by the sperm cells usually happens in the transit period, and almost always in the fallopian tube.
The fertilized egg is then implanted in the womb. Therefore, any problems of any of these two organs would invariably affect fertility. Some of these include:
I. Surgical processes: Scaring and damage of the fallopian tube may result from pelvic surgery and cervical surgery. This can cause the woman to become infertile.
II. Defective cervical mucus: Mucus secreted by gland around the cervix changes in texture and consistency across the female menstrual cycle. If there is a problem with the mucus, it can make it harder to conceive.
III. Submucosal fibroids: The kind of fibroid that develop in the muscle beneath the inner lining of the womb wall and grow into the middle of the womb is called submucosal fibroids. These fibroids are capable of reducing female fertility
IV. Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition where small pieces of the womb lining, known as the endometrium, start growing in other places, such as the ovaries.
Endometriosis can cause infertility because it can disturb the way that a follicle (fluid-filled space in which an egg develops) matures and releases an egg.
V. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): PID majorly results from infection. It could ultimately lead to the blockage of the fallopian tubes making fertilization impossible. Most of the organisms implicated in PID remain unnoticed and without symptoms in up to 80% of women…that makes it dangerous.
VI. Dilatation and curettage (D&C): This is a process involved in abortion, or other diagnostic or treatment processes which involves scrapping the womb. This could cause some damage to the womb and result in infertility.

3. Medications
Certain medications can cause side effects that affect female fertility. Some of these include:
I. NSAIDs. These are medications used as pain killers. Long-term use or a high dosage of some such as ibuprofen and aspirin can make it more difficult for a woman to conceive.
II. Chemotherapy: Some medications used to treat cancer can cause ovarian failure, which might be permanent.
III. Antipsychotics: Some of these medications often used to treat psychosis can sometimes cause irregular periods or infertility.
IV. Illegal drugs: Some of these include cocaine and marijuana. They can affect the female fertility.

4. Age:
Age of woman is important factor in fertility. About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways:
I. Her ovaries become less able to release eggs.
II. She has a smaller number of eggs left.
III. Her eggs are not as healthy.
IV. She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems.
V. She is more likely to have a miscarriage.

You have one or more of these doesn’t mean you should give up hope. Medical science is evolving, medical lab scientists, physicians, pharmacists, radiographers, nurses and other health professionals are working tirelessly to help people.

Adeleke O. Olaoluwa (July 2015)

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