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Female Infertility

CAUSES DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT

Causes

Most women have no obvious signs of infertility until they try to become pregnant and are not successful after one year. Infertility may sometimes be signaled by heavy, irregular or absent menstrual periods or associated with conditions that cause pain during menstruation or intercourse. Other signs that may point to fertility problems include obesity, facial hair and fluid that leaks from the breasts. 

Infertility problem may occur by various reasons. The most common cause of female infertility include ovulation disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fallopian tube damage or blockage, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, pelvic infection and early menopause. It may also be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, poor nutrition, hormone imbalance, tumor, uterine factors and egg quality.

Ovulation disorders
Ovulation problems result when one part of the system that controls reproductive function malfunctions. The failure to ovulate is the most common cause of female infertility. Without ovulation, eggs are not available to be fertilized. Ovulation problems can be caused by various things such as excessive weight loss, stress, thyroid problems or slight irregularities in hormone imbalances. Disruption in the part of the brain that regulates ovulation (hypothalamic-pituitary axis) can cause deficiencies in luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Signs of problems with ovulation include irregular menstrual periods or no periods.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition characterised by the presence of many minute cysts in the ovaries which is caused by excess production of hormone called androgen. This will prevent the follicles of the ovaries from producing a mature egg. Without egg production, the follicles swell with fluid and form into cysts. Every time an egg is trapped within the follicle, another cyst forms, so the ovary swells, sometimes reaching the size of a grapefruit. PCOS can be diagnosed through a series of blood tests and some symptoms of this condition include weight gain, acne, irregular or absent periods. 

Fallopian tube damage or blockage
This condition usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). If they are blocked, the egg cannot move from the ovary to the uterus. This condition can happen as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, pelvis surgery, ruptured appendix or mislocated (ectopic) pregnancy. Structural disorders, like birth defects of the uterus and fallopian tubes, fibroids in the uterus, and bands of scar tissue can also block the fallopian tubes.  

Endometriosis
This is a condition when the tissue that makes up the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows into growths or lesions outside of the uterus usually on the ovaries or the lining of the abdomen near the uterus and fallopian tubes. In sync with the menstrual cycle, this tissue builds up, breaks down and sheds each month; but it has no way of leaving the body. As a result it causes internal bleeding, breakdown of blood which can lead to scarring and inflammation.
Pelvic pain and infertility are common in women with endometriosis. It can be detected during laparoscopy. If you experience pain while having sex, have very painful menstrual cramps, or experience heavy bleeding during your period or unusual spotting, you may have endometriosis. 

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