What is infertility?
The attempt to conceive a child may not be successful initially, but that does not mean that a couple is infertile right away. Infertility is labeled only when a couple is unable to conceive a child despite having regularly timed, unprotected intercourse for at least one complete year.
Historically, it was the women only who were held responsible for infertility, and this believe stands true even today in the societies deprived of the education and media, however, this taboo has been overthrown by the modern science and today it is clear that infertility could equally occur due to causes associated with males. The good news is that a lot of positive work is going on to help such couples attain fertility.
Causes of infertility in Females
The causes of infertility related to females can be classified depending on whether it is involving ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix or vagina.
The conditions related to ovaries that can cause infertility are polycystic ovarian disease, ovarian cancers, Turner syndrome as well as benign and malignant tumors involving ovaries.
Uterine fibroids and asherman syndrome are the conditions involving uterus that can also result in infertility.
Hormonal Causes of Infertility in Females: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- A polycystic ovarian syndrome is a disorder of endocrine origin that is found to cause infertility in females in addition to a wide range of menstrual abnormalities including infrequent even no periods at all as well as an excessive blood loss during the periods. The other commonly observed problems associated with PCOS are male pattern hair growth and acne. In addition to these problems, if left untreated it is also found to increase the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and heart diseases over the period of time.
- The structural changes seen in the settings of PCOS are the formation of numerous small fluid-filled sacs technically termed as cysts in the ovaries, however, it doesn’t always stand true as one might develop symptoms of PCOS even without any obvious structural abnormalities.
- The exact cause of PCOS is poorly understood at the moment however the strongest known risk factor so for is genetics. It is believed that your likelihood of developing PCOS is significantly increased if some of your family members already have or had this condition.
- The main underlying hormonal problem is an imbalance in the production of two hormones called LH and FSH from the pituitary gland.
- PCOS is a diagnosis of exclusion so the main aim of the investigation is to rule out other possible disorders. The commonly used investigations for PCOS are
- Ultrasound Pelvis: It will show the numerous fluid-filled sacs, termed as cysts in the ovaries.
- Hormonal Studies: To confirm the presence of underlying hormonal imbalances.
- The treatment is tailored out individually depending upon whether the patients want to get pregnant or is more keen to get rid of the acne, excessive hair or the weight she has put on. Whatever the case, the good news is, safe and effective ways are available to address all these issues.