Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive despite regular unprotected intercourse for 12 – 15 months. Several factors may mean that investigations start earlier than this, including an abnormal menstrual cycle, previous abdominal surgery, possibly the age of the woman or in some cases undescended testicles in the male.
Infertility is classified into two types
• Primary infertility: in couples who have never conceived – approximately 40% of cases.
• Secondary infertility: in couples who have previously conceived – approximately 60% of cases.
Common causes of infertility in women
Our patients is to determine the cause of infertility and to make recommendations about the most appropriate treatments available whilst evaluating your chances of success. Here we are some of the common causes of female infertility.
Ovulatory disorders are the most common cause of female infertility. However, ovulatory disorders also result in the highest pregnancy success rates following treatment. The woman may suffer from either very light periods, irregular periods or no periods, known as Amenorrhoea. However, ovulation disorders do occur with apparently regular cycles. Sometimes women may notice an increase in body and facial hair, obesity, acne, or milk secretion from her breasts.
Fallopian tube blockage
Fallopian tube damage or blockage prevents the egg from traveling to the fallopian tube. Damage to the cells lining the tube may inhibit sperm reaching the egg and achieving fertilisation. Blockage of the tube can prevent the fertilised egg from reaching the uterus and increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilised egg settles in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus.Read More…
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue which normally lines the uterus is found at other sites in the pelvis. Bleeding occurs from these tissues at the time of menstruation causing pelvic pain and painful periods. Cysts may develop within the ovaries, causing pelvic scarring that affects the fallopian tubes and leads to infertility. Treatment of endometriosis is either medical (using drug therapy) or surgical (using laparoscopy or open surgery), depending on the extent of the disease. IVF is an appropriate treatment for endometriosis induced infertility when other methods have failed. Read More…
Cervical mucus is produced in the cervical canal. Prior to ovulation it becomes very watery, allowing the sperm to swim through. After ovulation the mucus becomes thick and prevents the sperm from swimming through. Once the sperm are in the mucus, they can stay there for a few days. Thus the mucus acts as a sperm reservoir. Cervical mucus hostility is the inability of sperm to penetrate the cervical mucus, therefore preventing migration through the cervical canal. It may be possible to bypass hostile mucus by intrauterine insemination (IUI).Read More…
It is not always possible to determine if the eggs are actually released from the follicles, if the fallopian tubesare patent or if the sperm is capable of reaching and fertilising the egg. Unexplained infertility affects up to 25% of infertile couples. IVF is an appropriate treatment for unexplained infertility.Read More…