“Today there is more childlessness or Infertility rate in women than ever before” – But why? First comes love, then comes marriage, but what about the baby in the baby carriage?
Recent studies showed that childless women are on the rise. One out of every six couples is infertile. For those born in 1946, just 9 percent had no children, whereas, for women born in 1970, this figure has risen to 17 percent. Very few women are childless by choice; the majority are by circumstances. Let us discuss today’s medical circumstances behind women’s childlessness or Infertility.
An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple that has been unsuccessful in efforts to conceive over one full year. These Infertility causes can affect one or both partners. In general:
- In about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the man.
- In about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the woman.
- There are issues with both the man and the woman in the remaining cases, or no cause can be found.
The infertility rate is high among women in urban areas. This may be due to lifestyle or later age of marriage. To attain higher education or to give career a
priority, marriage is delayed.
Problems with ovulation: Some women are suffering from irregular periods. With this problem, most of the time, the egg is not released from the ovary every month, which is the most common cause of female Infertility. Mainly an ovulation is caused by hormonal imbalance such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS), thyroid or
prolactin hormone imbalance.
Tubal Diseases, comprising from mild adhesions to complete blockage of the fallopian tubes, which prevents the fertilization of the sperm with an egg released from the Ovary. The causes can be pelvic infections like TB, previous abdominal surgeries, or ectopic pregnancy.
Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the cervix, polyps in the uterus, or the uterus(Complete septum, small uterine cavity, etc.). Non-cancerous (benign) tumors in the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) may cause Infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or stopping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Persistently thin uterine linings due to infection of the uterine lining (endometritis), hormonal problem, or intrauterine adhesions can lead to Infertility.
Premature/Early Menopause (Primary Ovarian Insufficiency): In this condition, the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before the age of 40. Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome or carriers of Fragile X syndrome, Reproductive organs’ cancer, and its treatment the form of surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue bind organs that can form after pelvic infection, pelvic tuberculosis, appendicitis, endometriosis, or abdominal or pelvic
surgery. This alters the uterus’s anatomic relation, fallopian tube, and Ovary, leading to a problem in the fertilization mechanism of egg and sperm.
Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, is found growing outside the womb. Sometimes they start growing in Ovary, forming a
chocolate cyst over the bowels or urinary bladder. These endometrial growths get bigger and bleed along with a woman’s menstrual cycle, causing pain and scarring on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bowels, and bladder. This scar tissue can affect fertility by damaging the ovaries or rarely blocking the
Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation, some genetic issues such as cystic fibrosis, structural
problems such as a blockage in the testicle or damage or injury to the reproductive organs.
Abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, health problems such as diabetes, or infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea,
mumps, hormonal or genetic problems. Varicocele (tortuous, enlarged veins in the testes) can affect the quantity and quality of sperm.
Over exposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals, and radiation. Excessive Cigarette smoking, alcohol, narcotic drugs, anabolic steroids, and chronical usage of certain medicines to treat high blood pressure and depression can affect fertility. Frequent exposure to heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, and prolonged vicinity of mobile and laptop near genitalia can raise body temperature and affect sperm production.
Here, damage is related to cancer and its treatments including surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Even When all investigations and reports are normal, some patients can’t conceive due to unexplainable reasons. This is a frustrating condition. In these cases, the duration of the Infertility is the best parameter.