Infertility is defined as an attempt to conceive (with frequent intercourse) for at least one year without success. Infertility in women, male infertility or a combination of the two affects millions of couples in the United States. It is estimated that 10 to 18 percent of couples have a problem with successful pregnancy or childbirth.
Infertility of female factors results are about one-third of the time and male factors about one-third of the time also. The cause is either unknown or a combination of male and female factors in the remaining cases.
It may be difficult to diagnose the causes of infertility in women. There are varied treatments available, which depend on the cause of infertility. Many couples with infertility will continue trying to get a child without treatment. After trying to conceive for two years, about 95 percent of couples successfully conceive
The most common symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive. A Menstrual cycle that’s too long (35 days or more) or too short (less than 21 days) or irregular or absent that you are not ovulating. There may not be any other external signs or symptoms.
Your doctor may want to start a test or treat immediately if you have or may have an unexpected or painful history of periods, pelvic inflammatory disease, recurrent miscarriages, previous cancer treatment, or endometriosis.
Each of these factors is necessary to get pregnant:
- You need to ovulate. To get pregnant, ovaries must produce and release an egg, a process known as ovulation. A doctor can help you evaluate menstrual cycles and confirm ovulation.
- Your partner needs sperm. For most couples, this is not a problem unless your partner has a history of illness or surgery. Your doctor can do some simple tests to assess your partner’s sperm health.
- You need regular intercourse. You need regular sexual intercourse during your fertile time. Your doctor can help you understand better when you are more fertile.
- You need to have an opened fallopian tube and a normal uterus. The egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tubes, and the fetus needs a healthy uterus to grow.
In women, a number of factors can disrupt this process at any step. Infertility in women is caused by one or more of the following factors:
Ovulation disorders, which means that ovulation is irregular or does not occur at all, represents infertility each 1 of every 4 couples suffering from infertility. Problems in regulating the reproductive hormones by the hypothalamus or pituitary glands, or ovarian problems, can cause ovulation disorders.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS causes hormonal imbalance, which affects ovulation. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance, obesity, abnormal hair growth on the face, body and acne. It is the most common cause of infertility in women.
- Hypothalamic dysfunction: there are two hormones produced by the pituitary gland are responsible for stimulating ovulation every month – (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Excessive physical or emotional stress, high or very low body weight, whether a great weight gain or loss may disrupt the production of these hormones and affect ovulation. Irregular or absent periods are the most common signs.
- Premature ovarian failure: It is also known as primary ovarian insufficiency, usually caused by an autoimmune response or an early loss of ovules from your ovary (possibly from genetics or chemotherapy). The ovary then no longer produces eggs, and estrogen production is reduced in women under the age of 40.
- Too much prolactin: The pituitary may cause an increase in the production of prolactin (hyper prolactin), which reduces the production of estrogen and may cause infertility. Usually associated with a problem in the pituitary gland, this medication can also be caused by other drugs
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that often occurs as a result of the growth of the tissue lining the uterus from the inside, known as the endometrium, outside the uterus. Endometriosis occurs usually in the ovaries, the fallopian tube and the lining of the pelvis. The lining of the uterus is rarely spread beyond the organs of the pelvic area.
The main complications of endometriosis affect fertility. Nearly one-third to half of women with endometriosis have difficulty with pregnancy.
- Luteal phase disorder: When the ovary does not produce enough progesterone after ovulation, subsequently the uterus cannot receive the fertilized egg, so pregnancy progression becomes not available.
- Other causes of infertility include obstruction of the fallopian tubes, which play the role of mediator between ovaries producing eggs, and the uterus, which is supposed to receive the fertilized egg. This blockage can occur following exposure to infection, an ectopic pregnancy in the tube itself or surgery performed there and causing some adhesions. The cervical blockage may also result from a mechanical obstruction resulting from an abnormal cervical structure or a chemical blockage of the mucous secretion that is supposed to help the sperm move properly.
In most cases, the cause of infertility is not identified. Therefore, several small factors are expected to be combined, leading to the emergence of this serious problem:
- Aging– As you age, the quality of your eggs decreases and their amounts also decrease significantly, making pregnancy and childbirth more difficult, especially as the fetus is more likely to develop chromosomal disorders.
- Smoking – It damages the mucous present in the cervix, and causes disorders in the fallopian tube structure, which increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy. it may be accompanied by decreased amount of eggs and an early reduced ovarian capacity for proper functioning. Many doctors insist on stopping smoking before starting fertility treatments.
- Weight imbalances – Overweight, or low weight, significantly affects the regularity of ovulation and increases the likelihood of infertility in women. The normal BMI scale significantly increases the ability to fertilize and conceive properly.
- Abnormal Sexual activity – The more unsafe sex a woman has, the more likely she is to get sexually transmitted diseases, and the appearance of PID pelvic inflammation may lead to more complications and cause fertility decline and ultimately infertility.
- Also, for women who drink too much coffee and alcohol are with greater prevalence of fertility disorders,
At Empower Pharmacy, we provide the following prescription-strength female fertility hormones and medications:
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG): HCG is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman’s ovary, and stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation. HCG is used to cause ovulation
- Clomiphene Citrate: It is the most commonly used fertility drug. Because it can be prescribed by a gynecologist and doesn’t require a fertility specialist, it’s also the very first fertility treatment tried for most couples
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone Injection (FSH): FSH stimulates the growth of follicles and has a role in the maturation of oocytes. The measurement of FSH levels in the blood is one of the most widely used tests to assess a woman’s ovarian function