Infertility, or the inability to become pregnant, is a common hindrance for thousands of American couples every year. Did you know that 1 out every 6 couples will deal with infertility issues and that 50% of these issues are directly tied to female infertility? If you have not been able to conceive after a year of regular sexual intercourse without using birth control, it may be time to discuss potential fertility problems with a board-certified gynecologist at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett.
There are a number of factors that can affect a woman’s fertility, including age. As women age, their chances of becoming pregnant can decrease due to a decrease in the number of eggs produced. Additionally, there are certain medical issues that have been commonly linked to infertility in women that we will highlight below in an effort to explain what could be causing your infertility problems.
Common Causes of Female Infertility
Problems with Ovulation
Ovulation disorders that affect the frequency of ovulation account for roughly 25% of infertility cases. An ovulation disorder can be caused by flaws in the regulation of reproductive hormones or by problems in the ovary itself. Some common causes for these ovulation disorders include hormone imbalances, eating disorders, use of drugs or alcohol, weight fluctuation and stress.
Damage to the Fallopian Tubes
Damage to the Fallopian tubes is another leading cause of female infertility. Fallopian tubes carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. When they become damaged or blocked, the sperm is unable to reach the egg or the fertilized egg is unable to reach the uterus. Fallopian tube damage or blockage can often result from Pelvic Inflammatory disease, endometriosis, chronic medical illness or certain birth defects.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects 1 out of every 10 women in the US. It occurs when tissue that normally grows in the uterus implants and grows in other locations such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder or colon. This extra tissue can cause scarring, which can obstruct the tube and keep the sperm from reaching the egg. Endometriosis can also affect the uterine lining, disrupting implantation of the fertilized egg. In some cases, endometriosis can cause damage to the sperm or egg itself.
If you are experiencing irregular bleeding, abdominal pain, fever, pain during sex or an unusual vaginal discharge then you could be dealing with female infertility and should request an appointment at once. At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we use a number of work-ups, lab testing, ultrasounds and more to analyze and diagnose each patient to determine if they are experiencing female infertility. Contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today to request your first appointment.