Since infertility is strongly related to the reproductive system of men and women, let us start with the understanding on how our reproducible system works. This time we will focus on the female reproductive system. Two vital organs included in a woman's system are the uterus and ovaries. Ovary is the organ that produces the egg cells or ova and is under the control of the pituitary gland which produces some hormones.
The pituitary hormones include the FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone). The first will stimulate the formation of follicles in the ovary while the second hormone controls the release of an egg from the ovary. The release of an egg is called ovulation. The moment soon after ovulation is considered as the best time for the egg to get fertilized for further development.
The released egg will be captured by the fallopian tube where it travels along and eventually get fertilized by a champion sperm cell. The fertilization process by a sperm cell with an egg cell is called conception. After this conception the fertilized egg travels back to the uterus and implants itself in the inner lining of the uterus or endometrium, where it then develops to become a zygote which is the very basic form of a new human being.
Further normal development depends on several things. First should be supported by a healthy and hygienic vaginal and uterus environment. Second the egg should be fertilized by healthy and quality sperm and also supported by a healthy and hygienic condition of the male sex organ. Those are vital requirements that you should attend to if you wish to have a normal pregnancy.
Thus infertility can happen due to a certain dysfunction or abnormalities at any route part of the egg. There can be a hormonal imbalance, blockage in the fallopian tube or uterus, frozen pelvis as well as an abnormal cell growth of the reproductive organs. Let us review some of the most common infertility causes.
Any disorder at the hypothalamic-pituitary gland will cause some degree of hormonal imbalance. Even a slight imbalance of FSH and LH will trigger un-ovulation, which is a condition where the eggs are not released by the ovary. Some medication can also inhibit the ovulation process.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This is also caused by hormonal imbalance. This is due to the over-production of androgenic hormones. An excess amount of androgenic hormone will trigger the formation of false follicles without the formation of eggs. PCOS has some relation with obesity and insulin resistance.
This is a condition indicated by an increase amount of prolactin hormone in your blood hence also called hyperprolactinemia. Prolactin stimulates the production of breast milk. Elevated prolactin in the blood is an indication of the presence of tumor in the pituitary gland.
Fallopian tube obstruction or damage
Chlamydia infection can cause chronic inflammation in the fallopian tube and causing damage in the tube. This infection is symptomless because it goes unnoticed. The obstruction blocks the route of the fertilized egg to the uterus causing it to implant itself in the fallopian or somewhere else outside the uterus. This is a pregnancy complication which is called ectopic pregnancy
This is also called pelvic adhesion which is indicated by the development of scar tissues that binds the organs inside the pelvis. This can happen after a pelvic-abdominal chronic infection or surgery. The scar tissue may bind the uterus and ovaries as well causing them to function improperly and inhibits the conception process.
It can happen that some tissue of the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) places itself and grows outside the uterus. This impairs the function of the uterus, fallopian tube and ovary. Since it contains the same cells as the endometrium, it possesses also the same attribute such as following the hormonal monthly cycle. Growing, shedding and bleeding will also occur on a monthly basis which may lead to inflammation and scarring of the tissues. This is a common cause of infertility in women.
This is the presence of a benign tumor in the uterus wall. The growing mass will always prevent proper implantation of a fertilized egg rather than obstructing the fallopian tube and causing an infertility problem. This condition is commonly found in women within the age of 30s – 40s.
This happens when a woman's menstrual cycles stops before the age of 40. While the main cause remains unknown, but there are some related condition such as smoking, diseases of the immune system, treatments that involve chemotherapy and radiation which can lead to early menopause.
Other conditions which can be included as possible causes of infertility are medication (causing temporary infertility), thyroid disorders, treatment of cancer, and caffeine eyeake.
Infertility treatments are usually addressed to those issues. And it will be the duty of your doctor to establish a sound diagnosis and provide you with the right course of treatment.