When a woman wants to have children but cannot get pregnant, this is a problem. This can bring a lot of stress and discomfort into a woman’s life. However, doctors know that in many cases infertility can be overcome. For that to occur, a specialist needs to identify the cause of the issue and outline possible solutions.
Signs of Infertility in Women
Infertility has no direct “symptoms”. Often, women experiencing problems with conception feel absolutely healthy and do not experience any physical discomfort. We can talk only about indirect symptoms that indicate hypothetical problems with hormones, inflammation or other factors that can affect a woman’s fertility. Every case of infertility is unique and more specific information can be obtained following a thorough medical examination at a doctor’s office. The factors below are only a few most frequent causes of female fertility issues.
Infertility can be suspected if a woman is unable to conceive after 12 months of regular, unprotected sex. Note that it’s just a general guideline; for example, age, individual health history, various contraception methods used in the past, etc. may affect the amount of time required to get pregnant.
Other factors that may indicate fertility issues are:
- Absence of menstruation (amenorrhea);
- Irregular cycle;
- Pain in the lower abdomen;
- Too short (1-2 days) or prolonged periods (longer than a week).
All of the above factors may be an additional reason to consult a doctor. However, it is impossible to diagnose infertility relying on indirect symptoms.
There Are Several Types of Infertility
Infertility is considered primary if a woman has never been pregnant, and secondary when a woman has already had a pregnancy but re-conception does not occur.
Infertility is absolute if a woman has no fallopian tubes or uterus (for example, after a hysterectomy). Adenomyosis and uterine fibroids can be treated without a hysterectomy, with UFE).
Relative infertility can be caused by several reasons that prevent pregnancy, which can be overcome.
7 Main Causes of Female Infertility
Factors causing female infertility can be grouped by “localization” of the problem in female body:
In 25% of cases, female infertility occurs due to fallopian tubes’ blockage. It prevents the mature egg from moving into the uterine cavity. Patients who think their only option for motherhood is adoption or the expensive In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) have often found success with the much simpler, much more affordable, less invasive TFTR procedure.
This is essentially a break down in connection between “ovaries – pituitary – hypothalamus,” or dysfunction of the adrenal cortex and thyroid gland. All this can lead to changes in menstrual cycle and to ovulation problems.
Cervical mucus changes its properties throughout the cycle: on fertile days it becomes viscous, suitable for sperm migration. This process can be impaired by inflammation, hormonal disorders, etc.
This is a very rare cause of female infertility. On one hand, it includes such genetic abnormalities as absence of uterus, ovaries or tubes. On the other hand, these may be hereditary diseases affecting reproductive health.
Psychological trauma, depression, stress, etc. can be the cause of infertility. Often psychosomatic factors go hand in hand with other conditions.
Endometriosis is a condition when the endometrium tissue grows outside of uterus. The causes of infertility with endometriosis can be mechanical, immunological or hormonal (i.e. hormonal disorders).
Uterine fibroids or adenomyosis
Uterine fibroids, benign tumors in uterus otherwise known as myomas, affect many women of reproductive age and can cause fertility issues. Learn more about uterine fibroids and infertility.
Adenomyosis is an entirely different condition (although often misdiagnosed as uterine fibroids) when the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (myometrium).
Although many women diagnosed with uterine fibroids or adenomyosis are offered hysterectomy as a treatment option, it is not a viable solution for patients looking to preserve fertility. UAE (uterine artery embolization) procedure is an excellent alternative to surgery that successfully treats both, uterine fibroids and adenomyosis, and allows women to keep their uterus and in many cases, become mothers after the procedure.
To learn more about UAE, TFTR, and infertility contact Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online.