Infertility is a disease of the male or female reproductive system characterized by the inability to conceive after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. It may be that the man cannot contribute to conception, or that the woman is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. It affects millions of people of reproductive age worldwide. Statistics have it that 10% to 15% of couples are infertile in the United States, and women aged 15 to 44 years are estimated to have difficulty conceiving or staying pregnant.
In the United States, about 1 in 5 (19%) of women aged between 15 and 49 years fail to get pregnant after one year of trying. Also, about 1 in 4 (26%) women in this group have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.
CAUSES; The causes of infertility in females could be either of the followings;
- hormonal imbalance
- abnormal menstrual cycle
- Being underweight
- Having a low body fat
- Tubal diseases
Although age affects both male and female fertility, it is more a risk factor for females. A woman’s peak reproductive years are between the late teens and late 20s. By age 30, the chances of getting pregnant begins to decline. This decline becomes more rapid once you reach your mid-30s. By 45, fertility has declined so much that most women cannot conceive naturally.
A hormonal imbalance is a condition where one has too much or too little of one or more hormones — the body’s chemical messengers.
It can cause female infertility by disrupting ovulation, preventing the thickening of the uterine lining, thus preventing a pregnancy from becoming established.
Hormonal imbalance is the leading cause of infertility in women. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and anovulation, can be the result of a hormone imbalance in women.
An imbalance in hormones can be caused by unusually high stress, insufficient sleep, an unhealthy diet, diabetes, menopause, pregnancy, thyroid problems, and other conditions.
ABNORMAL MENSTRUAL CYCLE
A regular cycle occurs every 28 days, give or take 7 days. An irregular cycle occurs more frequently than 21 days. Irregular periods can come early, missed, or stay longer than 8 days. Pregnancy, starting or stopping birth control creates erratic periods.
Women can get pregnant with an irregular period, but the ability to do so decreasessignificantly. Here, ovulation becomes. difficult to determine. The pregnancy success rate of a healthy woman with a regular cycle is 30%. However, studies have it thatthis decreases exponentiallyif periods are off by ten days or more.
Irregular periods can be result from stress and lifestyle factors, birth control pills, uterine polyps or fibroids, endometriosis, [pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian failure.
Women who are overweight and obese have higher levels of leptin, a hormone produced in fatty tissue. Leptin can disrupt the hormone balance and reduce fertility chances. The quantity and distribution of body fat affect the menstrual cycle through a range of hormonal mechanisms. Thus, obesity can contribute to anovulation and menstrual irregularities. It also reduces conception rate response to fertility treatment. Miscarriage, maternal and perinatal complication could also arise from obesity.
A Body Mass Index, BMI, under 18.5 is considered underweight, and can cause hormone imbalances, which reduces a woman’s fertility by affecting ovulation and the chance of getting pregnant. Women who are underweight are more likely to take more than a year to get pregnant, compared to women in the healthy weight range.
LOW BODY-FAT RESULTING FROM TOO MUCH EXERCISE
Regarding female fertility, vigorous exercise can come with a significant effect, especially, when there is an energy deficient. If one’s energy intake isn’t enough for the body to complete its basic functions, it is termed energy deficit.
The reproductive system is very sensitive to energy deficit. Body weight and body fat composition have a bearing on female fertility. Experts recommend that a BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 should be maintained for optimal fertility and regular ovulation.
A difficulty in conception can occur if the minimum 17% body fat that is required for menarche and 22% for maintenance of ovulation are not reached. This is because of the resulting ovulatory disturbances and menstrual irregularities.
A disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. This can affect fertility by distorting anatomy of the pelvis, inflaming the pelvic structures, changing the hormonal environment of the eggs, altering egg quality, scarring the fallopian tubes, altering immune system functioning, and preventing implantation of a pregnancy.
Endometriosis can cause the tissue to grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the intestines, causing pains and menstrual irregularities.
FALLOPIAN TUBE BLOCKAGE
Also called tubal disease, it is a condition in which the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged. Blocked or damaged tubes cause infertility by restricting the egg and subsequent embryo from making it from the ovary into the uterus.
The most common causes of tubal diseases are pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), pelvic surgery that damages the tubes and conditions that block the tubes, such as birth defects, fibroids and endometriosis.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can develop during a woman’s childbearing years.
Sometimes these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. In other cases, they cause no signs or symptoms at all. The growths are typically benign, or noncancerous. The cause of fibroids is unknown, though hormonal imbalance and unhealthy eating habits have been tipped amongst the risk factors.
To remedy infertility at home, it will be important to put the above-mentioned factors into consideration, bearing in mind that one person’s cause of infertility may differ from the other.
But herbal teas made of garlic, guava leaf, bitter seed and lemon grass could help treat infections, fight obesity, open blockages, thus bringing an end to infertility.
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- Fibroids or menstrual problems
- Ovaries, tubal and uterus disorders
- Hormonal imbalance
- Poor body metabolism
- Low body fat
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