Infertility In Women

What is infertility ?

Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be facing some form of infertility.

What are the causes of infertility in Females?

Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation. Without timely ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods. Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormone imbalance problem which can interfere with normal ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is another cause of ovulation problems. POI occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40. POI is not the same as early menopause.

Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic infection or endometriosis or past surgery
  • Physical problems with the uterus – like small size, septate uterus, or having fibroids in the uterus


How do doctors treat infertility?

Infertility can be treated with medicines, surgery, artificial insemination, or ART – Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on:

  • Test results
  • How long the couple has been trying to get pregnant
  • The age of both the man and woman
  • The overall health of the partners
  • Preference of the partners (whether they want a pregnancy right away or they wish to try natural with some medicine support for few months)

In women, some physical problems can also be corrected with surgery.

A number of fertility medicines are used to treat women with ovulation problems. It is important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of these medicines. You should understand the possible dangers, benefits, and side effects.

What is ART?

ART involves a combination of different methods used to help infertile couples. ART works by removing eggs from a woman’s body. The eggs are then mixed with sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back in the woman’s body.

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an infertility treatment that is often called artificial insemination. In this procedure, the woman is injected with specially prepared sperm. Sometimes the woman is also treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI.

IUI is often used to treat:

  • Mild male factor infertility
  • Women who have problems with their cervical mucus
  • Couples with unexplained infertility

Recommended Tests For Women

  • The first test is a complete blood work up along with an ultrasound of the whole abdomen with pelvis via a transvaginal scan. Doppler study of the pelvis is also done along with a 3D scan of the uterine cavity.
  • Depending on the results of the above tests, hysteroscopy and laparoscopy are offered to the patient for enhancing the fertility.
  • HSG- hysterosalpingogram or the tube test which can be done with saline under ultrasound or contrast dye under x-ray.
  • In cases of dilemma in ultrasound diagnosis, the next best option is MRI of the pelvis for further evaluation.

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