Infertility can be defined in two ways: as inability to conceive after a year of regular sexual intercourse without contraception, or as repeated ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages or perinatal loss. Male and female specific factors account for about 30% of the infertility causes (individually);the combination of male and female causation leads to an additional 20% and the remaining 20% are caused by uncertain origins.
When one is dealing with infertility, as much as it is important to strictly follow the rules of the treatment, it is equally important to make sure that you have the correct diagnosis of the root cause of your condition. In this article you will find a broad outline, enumerating the various probable causes of infertility.
Why it is important to determine the causes.
Infertility may be caused due to a multitude of factors at a time, or it may be the result of perhaps the deviation of a certain single factor from its premeditated path. Since misdiagnosis can often lead to further fertility complications, the very first step of treating and curing infertility depends largely on indentifying the root cause right in the beginning of treatment.
The broad causes of infertility in females may be listed as follows:
. Anovulation: In females, ovulatory problems are the most common causes of infertility. The failure to ovulate may be due to a number of factors:
o Hormonal imbalance is the most frequent cause of anovulation; when the ovaries produce immature eggs, pregnancy becomes impossible.
o Women with polycystic ovaries suffer from a decreased secretion of FSH and increased secretion of LH and testosterone; therefore polycystic ovarian syndrome may lead to anovulation in women.
o Approximately 20% of the cases of infertility occur due to the malfunctioning of the hypothalamus, the gland which controls hormonal stimuli, resulting in immature eggs. The pituitary gland is responsible for the regulation of LH and FSH, and its malfunctioning produces immature eggs.
o Damage to the ovaries caused by previous surgeries, ovarian cysts, tumors and infections may lead to production of immature eggs as well.
o Premature menopause and follicular problems are also responsible for anovulation.
. Improper functioning of fallopian tubes: Viral and bacterial infections of the fallopian tubes are the primary cause of their malfunction.
Appendicitis and colitis are abdominal problems which lead to blockage of the fallopian tubes. Tubal damages may also be caused by previous surgeries, which render the tubes incapable of passing eggs. Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs within the tube, is a potential threat to life that also causes tubal damage. Congenital tubal defects are rare, but not impossible to come across as causes of infertility.
. Use of drugs: Smoking, drinking and using other drugs have been known to decrease the chances of getting pregnant.
. Problems in the Immune system: This problem includes autoimmune reactions in the body and the creation of antisperm antibodies which exterminate sperms. Natural killer cells, which when present in excess, can damage the embryo in the uterus. The antinuclear antibodies cause inflammation of the uterus when present in excess. The presence of antisperm antibodies in the female's body kills off the sperms before they can fertilize the egg.
Although the causes of infertility are many, they are fairly easy to overcome, especially when diagnosed in the early stages. Using a holistic approach, comprising of the prescribed medicines, following a healthy diet, regular exercise, abstinence from alcohol, nicotine and other drugs, stress management, acupuncture etc. guarantees positive results. Due to the complex and multifactoral nature of infertility, the problem can be solved permanently only by dealing with it in the holistic way, which tackles all the root causes of this condition rather than focusing on specific triggering elements.