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SUCCESS. The primary symptom of infertility is the focal challenge — when achieving pregnancy. What are the most common female infertility signs and symptoms? Is female infertility a serious problem? Find out the most common infertility signs, causes and treatment options.
Millions of couples in the United States have encountered Female infertility. An estimated 10 to 18 percent of couples have trouble getting pregnant or having a successful delivery.
Such troubling numbers are a representation of the pain women have to go through on their journey to motherhood.
Female infertility is the inability of a woman to get pregnant after at least one year of trying (or six months if the woman is over age 35). Frequent miscarriages can also lead to the same diagnosis.
The effects it plays on the psychological and emotional wellbeing of women around the world is a heavy burden to bear. This is further compounded by a lack of knowledge of what female infertility is and what it means to women.
Here are some of the things you need to know about female infertility.
Common female Infertility Signs and Symptoms
There are many possible signs of female infertility symptoms.
The main symptom of infertility is the inability to get pregnant. A menstrual cycle that’s too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), irregular or absent can indicate a lack of ovulation. There may be no other outward signs or symptoms.
When to seek help can depend on age:
- Up to age 35, most doctors suggest trying to get pregnant for at least a year before testing or treatment.
- If you’re between 35 and 40, discuss your concerns with your doctor after six months of trying.
- If you’re older than 40, your doctor may want to begin fertility testing or treatment right away.
What Causes Female Infertility
For pregnancy to occur, several things have to happen. Most cases of infertility in women result from problems with producing eggs. Female infertility can result from age, physical challenges, hormone problems, and lifestyle or environmental factors.
For example, in dominant ovarian insufficiency, the ovaries stop working before natural menopause. In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries may not release an egg regularly, or they may not release a healthy egg.
Other causes of infertility in women include:
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea
- Not ovulating (not releasing eggs from your ovaries)
- Blocked fallopian tubes preventing sperm from getting to the egg
- Poor egg quality
- Abnormal shape of the uterus making it hard for a fertilized egg to implant
- Uterine fibroids
Sometimes there’s no known reason for infertility. This is called unexplained infertility. It can be frustrating, but there are still treatment options you can try. Seeing a doctor that specializes in infertility can help you figure out what’s causing fertility problems and find the best treatments.
Female Infertility Genetic Causes
Many women are not able to conceive and deliver a healthy baby as a result of genetic factors. This is sometimes caused by an inherited chromosome abnormality. Other times it is due to a single-gene defect passed from parent to child.
Female Infertility Risk Factors
Our fertility specialists know that there are several female infertility factors for women, and our team encourages our patients to take preventative measures to reduce the risk.
- Age: Fertility declines with age. Consequently, a woman in her late 30s is significantly less fertile than a woman in her early 20s.
- BMI: Having too much or too little body fat can cause issues with ovulation.
- Chronic diseases: Some ailments and the medications used to treat chronic diseases can influence fertility. Diseases include diabetes, hypertension, lupus, and thyroid conditions.
- Endometriosis: Women with endometriosis have uterine tissue growing outside of the uterus. While it can be symptomless, this disease can cause painful and heavy periods, as well as painful intercourse. Endometriosis, regardless if it causes symptoms or not, can cause infertility.
- Lifestyle factors: Being exposed to toxins at work or home can harm a woman’s fertility. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can lead to vital reproductive issues.
- Hormonal imbalances: Some conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can burden hormonal imbalances and impact ovulation.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): STDs are more easily transferred to women and can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Fertility complications of STDs include adhesions, blocked fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, and uterine scarring.
Female Infertility Tests and Diagnosis
At the LIV Fertility Center in Mexico, our expert fertility specialists are very selective when it comes to fertility testing. Not every fertility test is completed per case. Fertility diagnosis is personalized and completed on a case by case basis.
More invasive fertility tests and female infertility diagnosis are completed when symptoms or testing indicates fertility issues, or when a cause for infertility is unknown.
For women, fertility testing may include:
- Gynecological exam
- Sexually transmitted disease testing
- Blood tests, which may check for thrombophilia and antiphospholipid syndrome (in cases of recurrent miscarriage), as well as a variety of hormones.
- Ultrasound, to look for polycystic ovaries, larger ovarian cysts, fibroids, and, sometimes, to support ovulation is occurring.
- HSG, or hysterosalpingogram, to check that the fallopian tubes are open and not blocked, as well as to assess the shape of the uterus.
- Hysteroscopy, which involves placing a telescope-like camera through the cervix into the uterus to take a closer look at the inside of the uterus.
- Diagnostic laparoscopy is only done when symptoms reveal possible endometriosis, as part of treatment for blocked fallopian tubes, or in some cases of unexplained infertility.
Treatment for Female Infertility
The first step of treatment for female infertility in many cases is to treat the underlying cause of infertility. The most common medications used to treat infertility help stimulate ovulation. Examples of these types of drugs include:
- Clomiphene or Clomiphene Citrate
- Gonadotropins or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
- Bromocriptine or Cabergoline
If a disease of the fallopian tubes is the cause of infertility, surgery can be used to repair the tubes or remove blockages in the tubes.
Surgery to remove patches of endometriosis has been found to double the chances for pregnancy. Surgery can also be used to remove uterine fibroids, polyps, or scarring, which can affect fertility.
The LIV Lifeline
Regardless of your situation or reasons for female infertility, our leading infertility specialists work closely with you to develop a personalized fertility treatment plan. We offer intended parents a unique fertility lifeline — and are creating a unique vision for the everlasting dream of parenthood. LIV reimagines, refines, and redefines every aspect of reproductive medicine.
Contact LIV Fertility
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