For so many people around the world, having and raising children are extremely important events in their lives. Infact, some people believe fulfilling the need for reproduction make them whole and complete.
According to recent studies by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 8- 10% of couples are facing some kind of infertility problem. Globally, this means that 50-80 million people are facing this problem.
Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after having unprotected sexual intercourse for at least one year, for women over 35 years old – six months. It also means the biological inability to contribute to conception and it affects one in six couples. Female infertility accounts for one third of all infertility cases.
CAUSES OF INFERTILITY IN WOMEN
According to a study carried out by the health science journal1, the most common cause of female infertility is problems in the fallopian tubes followed by unknown causes, disorders of menstruation and infertility due to problems in the uterus.
- Damage to the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This can be caused by one or more of the following
- Abnormal cervical mucus: This can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- A previous infection
- Polyps in the uterus
- A birth Defect
- Scar tissue or adhesions
- Chronic medical illness
- A previous ectopic pregnancy
- Ovulation Problems
- Hormonal imbalance
- A tumor or cyst
- Extremely brief or nonexistent menstrual cycle
Age, alcohol or illicit use of drugs, obesity are factors that also contribute to infertility in women.
DIAGNOSIS OF FEMALE INFERTILITY
It is advised that you see your doctor if you’ve unsuccessfully been trying to conceive for six months, when you do this, a medical examination is carried out to determine what the cause(s) might be.
PREVENTION OF INFERTILITY IN WOMEN
When infertility is caused by genetic abnormalities, there is usually nothing that can be done to prevent it. Women can however advised to avoid illicit drugs & alcohol consumption and take steps to prevent sexually transmitted infections & diseases. They should also ensure to have annual medical checkups especially when sexually active.
TREATMENT OF INFERTILITY IN WOMEN
Fertility treatment significantly improve the chances of conception but varies from woman to woman.
Fertility drugs, hormone treatment and various assisted reproductive techniques like In vitro Fertilization (IVF) AND Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) have been employed in the treatment of infertility.
The course of treatment is usually however determined by the cause. – Some of the drugs prescribed are used to stimulate ovulation.