Most Common Causes of Infertility in Women
Female infertility played a role in roughly one-third of all cases of infertility. The Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine here in Omaha, NE offers state-of-the-art fertility treatments for women struggling with infertility. Each procedure is carefully tailored to address the root cause of the infertility when possible, making motherhood a reality.
Dr. Victoria Maclin and her team would like to take a moment to consider the most common causes of female infertility. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it goes over some of the reasons our patients have come to the practice seeking IVF and other procedures.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) refers to a type of hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. When a woman has PCOS, they may face prolonged or infrequent periods. Women with PCOS also have excessive amounts of androgen in their system, resulting in excessive body or facial hair, acne, or even hair loss. While the exact cause of PCOS is not known, it is often associated with excessive insulin, low-grade inflammation, and genetics.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder affecting the uterus in which the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus instead. This tissue breaks down with each menstrual cycle and becomes trapped in the body. This can lead to cysts, adhesions, and scar tissue around a woman’s reproductive organs over time. Potential causes of endometriosis include retrograde menstruation, immune system disorders, and embryonic cell transformation.
Blocked or Damaged Fallopian Tubes
If a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, this can prevent sperm from reaching the eggs, or the egg reaching the uterus. That makes the chances of pregnant extremely low. Some causes of fallopian tube problems could be linked to injuries to the pelvic region and inflammation and infections of the pelvic area. Genetic issues can also result in fallopian tube issues if female relatives faced similar problems in their lives.
Uterine or Cervical Abnormalities
Issues with the cervix or uterus can make getting pregnant much more difficult.
In the case of the cervix, a woman’s cervical mucus may be especially thick, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus en route to the fallopian tubes. Cervical stenosis (narrowing of the cervix) can also pose problem for the sperm reaching the rest of the reproductive system.
As for uterus abnormalities polyps or tumors in the uterus can result in blocked fallopian tubes and other issues that make fertilization of an egg difficult. If a woman has an irregularly shaped uterus, maintaining a viable pregnancy can be difficult.
As women get older, getting pregnant can become more difficult. If a woman does become pregnant, the risk of pregnancy loss or birth defects is higher. Generally, it most ideal for women to have children before age 40. By that age, the risks of problems becomes much higher.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (Early Menopause)
This condition refers to the loss of normal ovary function before the age of 40. While referred to as early menopause, the conditions are actually quite different. The condition may occur as a result of numerous factors. This includes chromosomal defects, autoimmune disease, genetics, and toxins in the environment.
In some cases, a woman may seem completely healthy and fertile but is simply not have to have children. These cases of unexplained infertility can be especially frustrating. Thankfully fertility specialists have different ways of addressing even unexplained infertility in women.
Learn More About Treating Infertility
For more information about treating infertility and helping you start the family you have always wanted, be sure to contact our team of experienced fertility specialists. The team at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine is here to help. You can reach our practice by phone at (402) 717-4200.