Wednesday, 25 January 2017

10 COMMON CAUSES OF INFERTILITY IN WOMEN


STI/ STD's- sexually transmitted infections are linked to infertility especially when they are left untreated. Both gonorrhoea and chlamydia are sexually transmitted bacterial infections and when left untreated can have devastating and long term effect on the reproductive health of a woman. The infection may ascend to involve the fallopian tubes especially in women who take long before they seek medical assistance or those who don't experience symptoms to warrant them seek medical assistance. When the fallopian tube is involved they swell and during healing, scar tissue is formed which blocks the tubes impeding the passage of eggs and sperms. This causes infertility.

OBESITY- having extra weight more than the healthy weight may make it difficult for a woman to conceive. Obese women may have hormonal imbalances which trigger both ovulation and menstrual flow problems. Moreover, obese women are at risk of miscarriages, gestational diabetes mellitus and premature labour.

LOW BODY MASS INDEX (underweight)- underweight women have been found to have low estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen primarily functions as a female sex hormone enhancing the development of secondary sexual characteristics. Extrapolating from this point, women who are underweight may have irregular menses or go through an anovulatory period of 2-3 months which may make it difficult to conceive.

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VIGOROUS EXERCISE- exercise helps us keep fit and healthy. Vigorous exercise, especially in athletes, leads to depletion and low fat under the skin which may be another reason for infertility.

ADVANCED AGE- as women age the chances of them becoming pregnant gets less and when they become pregnant at an advanced age they are at increased risks of pregnancy-related complications like miscarriage, abortions, high blood pressure and others. 

SMOKING- I had highlighted before the darkest side of active and passive smokers. Nicotine in tobacco has been found to interfere with the body's ability to synthesize female hormone estrogen which is a significant hormone in ovulation. Female smokers have a 60% more risk of being infertile than non-smokers. Passive smokers are not exceptional so ladies keep off from men who are smoking.

ALCOHOLISM- I had blogged on health effects of alcohol in pregnancy and there are more than just disabling effects of alcohol to the unborn baby. Alcohol doesn't affect only female fertility but men's fertility also. There is a universal recommendation that all women intending to become pregnant should stop taking alcohol for the safety of the baby. There no clear evidence that alcoholism affects female fertility but there is a relationship.

BIRTH CONTROL METHODS- different women respond differently to different methods on contraception just like the same way we have vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The best thing is to find which method of family planning suits you best. Each family planning method has got its pros and cons. Depo-Provera- an injectable contraceptive- is not recommended for people who are young, not had their first baby or those who are intending to become pregnant in the near future. It is a three-monthly injection but its contraceptive effect may persist for several months or more before the return of fertility. 

GENETICS- genetic abnormalities can also impede a woman from conceiving, carrying a pregnancy for 9 months or even prevent the fertilized ovum from being attached in the uterus leading to miscarriage. Just to digress slightly on this, women who have advanced in age may give birth to babies with a genetic problem in which the baby may have an extra number of chromosomes (down syndrome).

MEDICAL CONDITIONS- like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome

THYROID PROBLEMS- women who are infertile should be checked on their thyroid functions. 


RELATED POST:

Health Risks Of Alcohol In Pregnancy

References:-
Obesity and infertility- NCBI. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17982356