What are the causes and treatments for female infertility?

Dr. Sankar Das Mahapatra

Infertility Specialist
Infertility is a condition that commonly affects couples. When it is the female partner who is responsible for the inability to conceive a child, the condition is what is commonly known as female infertility. Female infertility accounts for nearly one-third of all infertility cases. The primary causes are: • Blocked or Damaged Fallopian Tubes: Pelvic infections or pelvic surgery may leave scars that may damage the fallopian tubes and prevent sperm from reaching an egg, causing female infertility. • Hormonal Abnormalities: Problems with the hormonal processes that cause ovulation and thickening of the uterus lining in females can end up negatively impacting their fertility. • Cervical Issues: Certain conditions in the female body can prevent sperm from passing through the cervical canal and affect their fertility. • Uterine Issues: Fibroids, polyps or other abnormalities with the uretus can impact a woman’s fertility. Treatment options available for female infertility are: • Laparoscopy: A laparoscopic surgery can help reconstruct reproductive organs in case pelvic or tubal disorders are causing infertility. A laparoscope helps treat scar tissue, blocked fallopian tubes and ovarian cysts. • Hysteroscopy: A hysteroscope helps remove polyps or fibroids, divide scar tissue or unblock fallopian tubes to improve chances of fertility. • Medication: Drugs like clomiphene, letrozole or gonadotropins help treat ovulation problems and stimulate the ovaries to release multiple eggs, thereby increasing chances of pregnancy. Metformin is advised to set right ovulation issues in case insulin resistance or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) are the root causes. • Intrauterine Insemination: A specialist places semen into a woman’s uterus while she is ovulating in order to stimulate pregnancy. • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A specialist takes mature eggs from a woman’s uterus and fertilizes them with sperm in a lab. Thereafter, the embryo or fertilized eggs are implanted back into the uterus to initiate pregnancy. • Ayurveda: Several natural treatments are prescribed in Ayurveda for female infertility. A few of these are Banyan tree bark (combination of dry fig tree bark powder with sugar), Shatavari (helps treat ovulation problems), Vamanam (therapeutic vomiting that helps clear undigested food and balance kapha and pitta doshas) and Swedanam (a perspiration technique to remove impurities through sweat glands).
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