Infertility in Women
DefinitionInfertility is not being able to conceive after a year of trying. This means having regular, unprotected sex. About one-third of cases are caused by male factors. An equal number are caused by female factors. In the remaining cases, the cause is unknown or is due to problems with both partners.
CausesSuccessful conception involves many steps:
- An egg is released from the woman's ovaries (ovulation).
- The egg travels to the fallopian tubes. Here, the man's sperm can fertilize it.
- If the egg is fertilized (conception), it moves down the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
- It implants itself into the wall of the uterus. It then begins its 40 weeks of fetal growth.
|Female Reproductive Organs|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Problems with OvulationIf the egg is not released from the follicle in the ovary, you will not be able to conceive. Some factors that can cause problems are:
Problems with Fallopian TubesIf the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, it is difficult for the egg to be fertilized or to travel to the uterus. Problems can be caused by:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Previous surgeries which have changed pelvic structures or caused scar tissue in the pelvis
- Ectopic pregnancies
- Birth defects
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