Infertility is a common problem. About a third of the time, infertility is because of a problem with the woman. One third of the time, it is a problem with the man. Female Infertility is a term when a woman hasn’t been able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. If a woman keeps having recurrent miscarriages, it is also called infertility. Female infertility can result from physical problems, hormone problems, and lifestyle or environmental factors.
Most cases of infertility in women result from problems with producing eggs. One problem is premature ovarian failure, in which the ovaries stop functioning before natural menopause. In another, polycentric ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries may not release an egg regularly or may not release a healthy egg.
The primary symptom of infertility is difficulty getting pregnant. Various causes of infertility may result in additional symptoms. Any of the following problems may cause infertility:
- Infrequent ovulation (egg release from the ovary) accounts for 20% of female infertility problems. If your ovulation is infrequent, your periods will be spaced apart by longer than a month, or they will be absent. Common causes of infrequent ovulation include body stresses, such as eating disorders, unusually ambitious exercise training, rapid weight loss, low body weight and obesity. Some hormonal abnormalities such as thyroid problems, pituitary-gland problems, adrenal-gland problems and polycystic ovary.
Syndrome can delay or prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. Some symptoms that might suggest a hormone abnormality include unexpected weight loss or gain, fatigue, excessive hair growth or hair loss, acne and ovarian cysts. Cysts in the ovary can cause pelvic pain and also can interfere with the normal process of ovulation.
- Scarring in the fallopian tubes: It can prevent pregnancy because it stops the egg from traveling into the uterus. Fallopian-tube problems are the cause in approximately 30% of female infertility problems. Damage can be from a previous surgery, a previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, tubal scarring from endometriosis or from pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease is a bacterial infection in the pelvis, caused by sexually transmitted bacteria such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. It often scars, damages or blocks the fallopian tubes. A history of pelvic pain, with or without fever, may suggest a diagnosis of endometriosis or pelvic infection.
- Abnormalities in the shape or lining of the uterus: It’s almost 20% of female infertility problems. Fibroid tumors or uterine polyps sometimes result in heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain or enlargement of the uterus. Scar tissue can develop within the uterine cavity as a complication of uterine infections, miscarriages, abortions, or surgical procedures such as a dilation and curettage (D&C). Such scar tissue can lead to infrequent periods or minimal menstrual flow.
The causes of failed ovulation can be categorized as follows:
These are the most common causes of anovulation. The process of ovulation depends upon a complex balance of
hormones and their interactions to be successful, and any disruption in this process can hinder ovulation.
There are three main sources causing this problem:
- Failure to produce mature eggs
- Malfunction of the hypothalamus
- Malfunction of the pituitary gland
Physical damage to the ovaries may result in failed ovulation. For example, extensive, invasive or multiple surgeries, for repeated ovarian cysts may cause the capsule of the ovary to become damaged or scarred such that follicles cannot mature properly and ovulation does not occur. Infection may also have this impact.
This presents a rare and as of yet unexplainable cause of an ovulation. Some women cease menstruation and begin
menopause before normal age. It is hypothesized that their natural supply of eggs has been depleted or that the majority of cases occur in extremely athletic women with a long history of low body weight and extensive exercise.
Although currently unexplained, “unruptured follicle syndrome” occurs in women who produce a normal follicle, with an egg inside of it, every month yet the follicle fails to rupture. The egg, therefore, remains inside the ovary and proper ovulation does not occur.
A small group of women may have a cervical condition in which the sperm cannot pass through the cervical canal. Whether due to abnormal mucus production or a prior cervical surgical procedure.
Causes of Poorly Functioning Fallopian Tubes :
Tubal disease affects approximately 25% of infertile couples and varies widely, ranging from mild adhesions to complete tubal blockage. Treatment for tubal disease is most commonly surgery.
The main causes of tubal damage include:
Caused by both bacteria and viruses and usually transmitted sexually, these infections commonly cause inflammation
resulting in scarring and damage. A specific example is Hydrosalpnix, a condition in which the fallopian tube is occluded at both ends and fluid collects in the tube.
The most common of these are appendicitis and colitis, causing inflammation of the abdominal cavity which can affect the fallopian tubes and lead to scarring and blockage.
This is an important cause of tubal disease and damage. Pelvic or abdominal surgery can result in adhesions that alter the tubes in such a way that eggs cannot travel through them.
This is a pregnancy that occurs in the tube itself and, even if carefully and successfully overcome, may cause tubal damage and is a potentially life-threatening condition.
In rare cases, women may be born with tubal abnormalities, usually associated with uterus irregularities.
Evaluation of female infertility :
Multiple tests have been proposed for evaluation of female infertility. The basic evaluation can be performed by an interested and experienced primary care physician or an obstetrician-gynecologist. The primary care physician generally should refer the patient to a specialist for treatment of infertility. Many gynecologists initiate treatment prior to referral to a reproductive endocrinologist. This decision depends upon the results of infertility tests and clinician experience.
What things increase a woman’s risk of infertility ?
Many things can change a woman’s ability to have a baby. These include:
- Excess alcohol use
- Poor diet
- More athletic training
- Being overweight or underweight
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Health problems that cause hormonal changes, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and primary ovarian insufficiency
How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children ?
Many women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways:
- Ovaries become less able to release eggs
- Smaller number of eggs left
- Eggs are not as healthy
- Health conditions that can cause fertility problems
- More likely to have a miscarriage
How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors ?
A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30.
Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility. So, women should talk to their doctors if they have:
- Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
- Very painful periods
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- More than one miscarriage
Treatment of infertility :
- Treatment of the cause
- Sometimes drugs
- Sometimes intrauterine insemination (sometimes called artificial insemination), which involves placing semen directly in the uterus
- Measures to lessen stress, including counseling and support
Herbs which is useful :
More women are turning to herbs to help them conceive than ever before. That’s because the use of herbs has been successful with many women. There are herbs that are used to boost fertility in both men and women. In most cases, herbs do not have many side effects, if any, and are safe to take to improve chances of pregnancy.
Supari (Betel Nut) :
It gently maintains the healthy production of female hormones & relieves congestion of the blood & abdominal area. It also maintains healthy female reproductive system, helps eases menopausal transition and helps support healthy libido. It is also used to check the gynecological problems and vaginal discharges. It helps in increasing the retentive power of the uterus. Removes debility after child birth. Useful in Leucorrhoea and backache.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus ) :
Asparagus is an herb that regulates hormonal secretion. Shatavari is in fact considered to be one of the most helpful herbs for women as it helps in balancing the female hormonal system. Shatavari effectively nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs. It is also a best source of plant-derived estrogens. Shatavari really a healthy choice for women who are nursing as well as menopausal and post-menopausal women.
Shatavari totally nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs causing it to be very effective in the enhancing fertility. It nourishes the here womb and ovum and prepares the female organs for pregnancy and prevents threatened miscarriage. Shatavari contains phyto-estrogens, the precursors of estrogen and is very helpful for women who suffer from low natural estrogen levels as a result of menopause.
Shatavari acts as a galactagogue and is useful in lactation failure – it promotes lactation.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera ) :
The name Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means “having the smell of the horse” as it’s giving a “horse” life force and sexual energy. “Ashwa” – the horse and “Gandha” – the grass.
The herb helps to mend female infertility. Ashwagandha is also used for the treatment of amenorrhea (delay or absence of menstruation), menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), as well as Ashwagandha prevents premature menopause, and that pesky diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Among other specific woman conditions, when Ashwagandha is rather useful are the pregnancy period and abortion or in the complex treatment of female infertility.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) :
Centella asiatica is an adaptogen, it helps to reduce the nervous tension caused by abnormal production of certain hormones, resulting in increasing the chance of hormonal harmony, leading to increasing of sexual desire and increase percentage of conceive.
Buy Gotu Kola Powder – 1 Kg. Pack size
Ashoka (Saraca Indica)
Saraca Indica is a small evergreen tree. Its bark contains an oestrogenic compound and has a stimulating effect on the endometrium (inner layer of uterus) and ovarian tissue.
It is useful in menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding) due to uterine fibroids, leukorrhoea (white discharge) and in internal bleeding. It is well established for its effectiveness in menorrhagia and dysmenorrhoea.
It also has a stimulatory effect on the ovarian tissue and may produce an oestrogen-like effect that enhances the repair of the endometrium and stops bleeding.
Buy Ashoka Powder – 1 Kg. Pack size
Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa)
Symplocos racemosa is an evergreen tree, with white to yellowish flowers, and purplish black drupes. Its astringent bark is recommended in the treatment of menorrhagia and other uterine disorders.
The stem bark has anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in Ayurveda for various female disorders. Studies have reported that S. racemosa stimulates and increases the levels of reproductive hormones, FSH (Follicular Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinising Hormone).
Ghrit Kumari (Aloe Vera )
Aloe barbadensis is a coarse-looking perennial plant with a short stem, with crowded leaves that have spiny teeth on the margins. Aloes have long been in use for a host of diseases such as, digestive, skin and liver ailments.
A study on Aloes showed that the in-vitro production of oestradiol and progesterone by ovarian cells was significantly increased by it.
Lifestyle Solutions :
- Fertile period and frequency of coitus : Regular intercourse three to four times per week beginning soon after cessation of menses should ensure that intercourse falls within the fertile period.
- Eat healthily : A balanced diet will help ensure your body is healthy enough to become pregnant and nourish a developing baby.
- Caffeine : Women contemplating pregnancy can probably have one or two cups of coffee per day without impairing their ability to conceive.
- Exercise regularly : Weight reduction is best achieved by a combination of reducing calorie intake (a balanced diet) and increasing calorie expenditure (exercise). Regular, moderate exercise of around 30 minutes a day helps to maximize your fitness and keep your weight in check.
- Drink wisely : Alcohol may affect fertility and sperm quality (as well as affecting your weight), so do limit your drinking. Women who are pregnant are advised to drink less or no alcohol at all.
- Quit smoking : Smoking has been linked to infertility and early menopause in women and to sperm problems in men. Smoking causes premature depletion of the ovarian pool and premature aging of the ovary by one to four years. It is also a factor in premature or low birth-weight babies. Quitting smoking may help to improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.
- Eat healthy meals that are high in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Some of the foods that can easily be included in this list are green leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, fresh fruits, and nuts. Legumes and whole wheat products are also ideal additions to this list.
- You should try to avoid foods that are very spicy, oily, fried foods and even products made with white flour.
- Eating cottage cheese as well as curd is also a good way to boost your chances of getting pregnant with the help of your diet.
- Female sterility can also be treated with a diet that consists of food that is high in zinc like oysters and other shellfish.
- Bean sprouts and the sprouts of seeds are also seen as a good addition to a diet meant to help with infertility and sterility.
Yoga Poses for Infertility:
Below given are some of the yoga poses for infertility that be done from the comfort of your home.
- Supported Bridge Pose:First lie on the back and bend your knees with the feet flat on the floor. Then, move your feet to your bottom as much as possible. Then inhale and exhale deeply for 4 times and then lift your pelvis and buttocks from the floor slowly, maintaining the feet flat on the floor. Clasp your hand behind your back. Stay in this pose for a minute or two. Keep breathing deeply.
- Cobbler’s Pose:Sit on the floor keeping your legs stretched out. Then inhale and exhale while fetching your feet close to your groin. Push the sole of the feet against one another. Then hold your toes, when you exhale and also try to lower your knees to the ground as much as possible. Hold this position for 3 to 5 minutes while breathing in and out slowly.
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