All about Infertility in a Woman
Inability to conceive even after having regular unprotected sex is termed as Infertility in a woman. Infertility can also refer to the biological inability of an individual to contribute to conception which could be either of the spouse, or to a female who cannot carry a pregnancy to full term (prone to miscarriages). Infertility could be primary or secondary. Primary infertility refers where the woman has never conceived. Secondary infertility refers to a period of inability to conceive following a period of previous conception.
Causes of Infertility in a Woman
A woman’s reproductive system is made up of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix. Disorders of any of these organs could lead to infertility. There are many possible causes of infertility like:
Ovulation is the monthly release of an egg. In some cases the woman never releases eggs, while in others the woman does not release eggs during come cycles. Problems with ovulation are the most common cause of infertility in women. Problems in ovulation can be due to:
Premature Ovarian Failure: A woman’s ovary stops functioning before she is 40.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): This is a condition where a woman's ovaries function abnormally. There are cysts in the ovaries which do not allow ovulation to take place. She has abnormally high levels of androgen. It results in irregular menses or amenorrhoea, weight gain, acne and hirsuitism. This is also called as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome.
Hyperprolactaemia: Prolactin is generally high when a woman is pregnant or breast feeding. If a woman having high prolactin levels is found to be neither pregnant nor breast feeding then it is one of the causes affecting the ovulation and fertility.
Overactive thyroid gland or Underactive thyroid glands are known to cause infertility.
Poor egg quality: The older a woman is the higher the risk. Eggs that develop genetic abnormalities cannot sustain a pregnancy.
Autoimmune Conditions: A woman suffering from ovarian cancer cannot sustain pregnancy.
Fallopian Tubes and Uterus Disorders
For fertilization to take place the egg has to travel from the ovary through the fallopian tubes into the uterus. If there is any disorder in the fallopian tube or the uterus then a woman cannot sustain pregnancy. Following are some of the causes of tubal or uterine disorders:
Fallopian Tube Blockage: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Endometriosis, Ruptured Appendix, Prior Abdominal Surgery, Prior Ectopic Pregnancy, Abortion/Miscarriage, Any prior surgery or affliction pertaining to Fallopian tubes, Contraction of STD infection currently or in the past are some of the reasons of blockage of the Fallopian tubes which are a barrier in sustaining a pregnancy. If a woman has voluntarily chosen to have her fallopian tubes blocked but later wants to conceive then it could be surgically tried to reverse this process, but the chances of becoming fertile again are not very high. Tuberculosis of the fallopian tubes is one of the most common cause of blockage of fallopian tubes.
Surgery of the Cervix: The cervix is the opening or mouth of the uterus. Cervical surgery can sometimes cause scarring or shortening of the cervix.
Uterine Fibroids: Submucosal fibroids are benign or non-cancerous tumors found in the muscular wall of the uterus. They can block the fallopian tube, preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg. They may interfere with implantation of the zygote. Large submucosal uterine fibroids make the uterine cavity bigger which increases the distance the sperm has to travel.
Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus i.e. the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis could also involve your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. With endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would but it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Fertility problems also may develop.
NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): Women who take these medicines for a long-term may find it harder to conceive.
Chemotherapy: Some medications used in chemotherapy can result in ovarian failure. Side-effect of chemotherapy may be permanent in few cases.
Radiotherapy: If radiation therapy has been given near the woman’s reproductive organs there is a higher risk of fertility problems.
Opioid Group of Drugs: Women who take marijuana or cocaine may have fertility problems.
Infertility tests for Women
Detailed Case Examination: A detailed case history is taken by the doctor regarding a woman’s medical history, menstrual cycle, sexual habits and medications if any. A family history of her mother and sisters may also be enquired to rule out any familial tendency.
Blood Test: The most basic blood test includes a complete blood count; urine routine; blood sugar test; thyroid test and hormonal assays.
Pelvic ultrasound - High frequency sound waves create an image of an organ in the body, which in this case is the woman's uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This helps in detection of ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and tumors.
Chlamydia test – If a woman suffers from Chlamydia infection, it has to be treated on priority basis.
Hysterosalpingography: Fluid is injected into the woman's uterus which shows up in X-ray picture. X-rays are taken to determine whether the fluid travels properly out of the uterus and into the fallopian tubes. This test helps to identify blockages in the fallopian tube.
Laparoscopy: The doctor will be able to detect endometriosis, scarring, blockages, and some irregularities of the uterus and fallopian tubes with the help of a laparoscope.
Ovarian Reserve Testing: This is done to find out the quality of eggs after ovulation.
Healing with Homoeopathy
Most of the patients undergo Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) for infertility. These techniques have their own side-effects and can be painful too.
Homeopathy offers an effective, safe, and painless alternative to more invasive fertility treatments.
Homoeopathic medicines show good long term response in PCOS.
Conventional medicines have no cure for PCOS but have medicines which suppress the cysts formation and long term use could lead to cervical/ uterus cancer. Elimination of the disease is more important than suppressing the symptoms. Homeopathy treats PCOS very effectively with zero side-effects.
Homoeopathy is a holistic medicine and treats the patient as well as the pathology. Hence PCOS can be simultaneously treated with any other disease such as anemia, thyroid disorders, diabetes, hairloss etc, with Homoeopathy without having 10 different medicines unlike conventional medicines. Homeopathy looks at the whole person and considers the cause of conception difficulties and treats the cause by removing the blocks to conception and leading the way to a healthy, natural pregnancy.
Homeopathy helps to prevent recurrence of the disease and has high success rates in treating cases of PCOS and Stress in females which are the major cause of PCOS can be very effectively treated with homoeopathy.
Homoeopathy treats not only all physical complaints, but also targets the mind and gently restores mind-body equilibrium - thus it treats the patient as a whole.