Written by Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
About 40% of all cases of infertility are due to problems with the female partner and another 30% are due to problems in the male partner. The remaining 30% of cases are due either to a cause which affects both the partners, or to a cause which cannot be identified.
A good knowledge of the female reproductive organs, and how pregnancy occurs helps in understanding the different causes of female infertility.
For a pregnancy to occur, three things are vital. There are other issues involved, but these three are the most important:
So, infertility is usually due to one of these problems:
The main causes of female infertility are Anovulation and Obstruction in the Genital Tract.
This is the commonest cause of female infertility, accounting for 40% of all causes of infertility. It is unlikely in women who are menstruating regularly but is not uncommon.
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About one third of all causes of female infertility is due to obsruction in the genital tract. Obstruction can occur anywhere in the genital tract - the tubes, the uterus, the cervix or the vagina. Adhesions or scar tissue in the pelvis around the tubes can also cause obstruction, and prevent the sperm from reaching the ovum to fertilize it. Adhesions inside the uterus can be seen in a condition known as Asherman's syndrome.
1. Tubal Factors: Tubal obstructions may be total or partial and may account for 20% of all causes of female infertility. Endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory diseases, usually as a result of chlamydia infection are common culprits. Some important causes of tubal obstruction are :
A very common infection is by the chlamydia trachomatis organism which causes no specific symptoms at the time of infection, but the damage it causes to the tubes are discovered only on investigating for infertility.
2. Pelvic Adhesions: Adhesions are scar tissues formed as a result of previous infections and may affect the tubes at different regions. They are a common effect of endometriosis.
3. Uterine Factors: Certain conditions in the uterus may affect fertilization and implantation of the ovum and contribute to female infertility.
4. Cervical Factors - Cervical factors may affect the upward movement of the sperm and prevent pregnancy.
5. Vaginal Factors:
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