The definition of infertility in simple words as given by an infertility specialist in Bangalore is, the inability to get pregnant after having unprotected intercourse for a prolonged period of 12 months or more. In most cases, infertility can be treated either with medicines or in some cases with surgery or changing one’s lifestyle.
Factors contributing to female infertility are-
- Factors related to the uterus- Problems in the uterus that contribute to female infertility are polyps, fibroids, septum, or adhesions in the wall of the uterus or inside the uterus cavity. Polyps and fibroids can grow on their own at any time. On the other hand, abnormalities like septum are often present at birth. Adhesions are usually formed after surgeries like dilation and curettage which are performed to remove tissues from the uterus. In cases of miscarriage or abortions dilation and curettage (D&C) is performed. Patients with a history of the above-mentioned uterus problems are often seen to face infertility.
- Damage to fallopian tubes- Due to damage to the fallopian tube there is an obstruction either in the pathway of the sperm or the fertilized egg is trapped in the fallopian tube. This condition is also called tubal blockage. Infection arising from sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, and gonorrhea in the uterus and fallopian tube often result in infertility. In some cases, the tubal blockage may be a result of the previous abdomen or pelvis surgery.
- Ovulation Disorders- In order for pregnancy to occur an egg must mature and eventually be released from the ovary each month. Due to hormonal imbalance, the ovulation process i.e. releasing a mature egg for fertilization is disrupted. Too much prolactin can cause ovulation disorder. Some common disorders are-
*Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)- In PCOS due to hormonal disorder the ovaries become enlarged with small cysts on the outer edge.
*Premature Ovarian failure- a condition in which the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40. Early onset of menopause is seen in these cases.
- Endometriosis- It is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. These tissues behave like endometriosis tissues- i.e. thickens, break down and bleed with each menstrual cycle. Unlike the endometriosis tissues in the inner lining of the uterus cavity, these tissues do not have any exit passage due to their growth in unnatural sites. As a result, these tissues are trapped in your body. As a result, the surrounding tissues get irritated and form scar tissue and adhesion. This causes infertility.
- Diabetes- It has been noted in various studies that women with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are more prone to infection and damage to reproductive organs like the fallopian tube. Even after conceiving the chances of miscarriage is relatively high in the case of diabetic women. High blood glucose level increases the risk of congenital defects in the fetus. Women with diabetes are often seen to have decreased libido. Due to symptoms like tiredness, depression, and anxiety they have reduced sexual desire that results in less vaginal lubrication and painful sex.
- Age- Women are born with a limited number of eggs. In studies, it has been found that on average a healthy woman ovulates 300-400 times in her lifespan. Women are said to be most fertile in their 20s. In the 30s there is an onset of the declination of fertility which worsens after the mid-30s. The eggs are not only reduced in number but also in quality. Eggs after the mid-30s have abnormal numbers of chromosomes in most cases. The risk of other health conditions is also quite high. Invitro fertilization (IVF) or freezing of the eggs is a good option in this case. Infertility treatment in Bangalore is the best option in India as the hospitals there come with multiple options at affordable prices.
- Smoking- Women smokers have been seen to have decreased fertility because chemicals like nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide accelerate the rate of loss of eggs. Losing eggs at a faster rate means attaining menopause at an early age as compared to non-smokers. At least 1 to 4 years before the usual age of menopause, women smokers face menopause. As the eggs which once die cannot be regenerated or replaced.
- Auto-immune disorders- Women with auto-immune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s disease are seen to have decreased fertility. Auto-immune diseases can affect thyroid glands and ovaries. Women with auto-immune diseases are seen to have ovarian failure. Auto-immune diseases affect the ovaries and hence the number of eggs is lowered.
- Excessive substance use- Hormonal balance is a key factor in female fertility. Substance abuse causes hormonal imbalance resulting in irregular menstrual cycles. Women taking drugs are more vulnerable to intrauterine infections and further complications. Excessive consumption of alcohol on a regular basis can also lead to infertility.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)- Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea cause pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydia when left untreated leads to fallopian tube infection. These infections when left unchecked may end up damaging the fallopian tube, uterus, and surrounding tissues permanently leading to infertility.
Get in touch with an experienced gynecologist in Bangalore if you have health problems like infertility, high-risk pregnancy, PCOD, etc.