The Factors Affecting Infertility

Having a baby is easier said than done. Several factors must align for a successful pregnancy. Even then, the chances of pregnancy linger around 20%. Infertility impacts about 12% of women in the US. The causes of infertility range from hormonal, physical and even environmental. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) imbalances and ovarian failure are among the 5 leading causes of infertility that hopeful couples should be aware of.

MY Texas Health Care OB/GYN FSH & Ovarian Failure | 5 Causes Of Infertility

1. Ovarian failure

Ovarian failure happens to about 1% of women diagnosed with infertility. This occurs when the ovaries no longer work before menopausal age. With ovarian failure, menstrual periods stop and the ovaries produce little to no eggs. Ovarian failure presents similar signs of menopause but is not menopause. Different chemical and physical issues can cause the ovaries to fail.

2. Tipping the FSH scales

Ovarian failure can be a direct result of the levels of FSH in the body. FSH is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland to develop and stimulate the ovaries. These hormones need to find balance with the hormones released by the ovaries to produce eggs and maintain health. Too much FSH means insufficient estrogen to create balance, resulting in ovarian failure. Low levels of FSH means the ovaries cannot release an egg, resulting in ovarian failure. Women suspecting ovarian failure should seek help from a doctor.

3. Polycystic ovary syndrome prevents pregnancy

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, affects 1 in 10 women in America. With PCOS, the ovaries malfunction, creating small cysts on and around the organ. PCOS is usually a by-product of a hormone imbalance. Excess testosterone and irregular insulin and androgen create PCOS over time. Women with PCOS can still get pregnant. However, the condition is one of the leading causes of infertility. POCS can go years without being detected, causing issues like sleep apnea, diabetes or cancer. Hormonal treatment can reduce the symptoms and increase the chances of pregnancy.

4. Managing endometriosis

For couples trying to get pregnant, endometriosis could be the cause of failure. Endometriosis is the growth of uterine tissues outside of the uterus. This excess tissue blocks the natural process of pregnancy, causing pain, bleeding, and infertility. More than 25% of infertile women have endometriosis. Surgery and hormone medication treat most cases of endometriosis. However, these treatments may not improve fertility. As a result, the best procedure could be a procedure like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

5. Lifestyle could be a factor

Surprisingly, infertility issues can be due to lifestyle circumstances. For instance, obesity impacts the reproductive health of both men and women. An overweight couple has a significantly lower chance of pregnancy. Similarly, alcohol can contribute to infertility. Excess alcohol decreases testosterone and sperm quantity and quality in men. Alcohol affects the reproductive health of women too. Stress and smoking contribute to infertility in thousands of women and men worldwide. Healthier lifestyle changes can often reverse the effects of infertility over time.

Into the unknown

In life, someone can do all the right things and still struggle. Unfortunately, in some cases, infertility can work the same way. A couple can have perfect reproductive health. Despite that, the couple may still have difficulty conceiving. At this point, doctors diagnose infertility as unexplained. Unexplained infertility affects 30% of couples. The diagnosis can be one of the most confusing and emotional ones. However, couples can still have a baby. Doctors recommend assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to improve the chances of conceiving.

Get help for infertility today

Ovarian failure is one of the many causes of infertility. For couples trying to get pregnant without success, consult an OB/GYN or fertility specialist. There are treatments available to treat infertility and improve the chances of pregnancy.

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