Types of Infertility In Females
Infertility is a problem faced by about 15% of married couples around the world. Moreover, since the female reproductive system is more complex than the male, about 60% of all infertile marriages are due to a malfunction in the female body. In this case, medical specialists talk about the presence of female infertility, which may be associated with a variety of diseases or disorders in the female condition.
Types of infertility in females: classification by the presence of previous pregnancies
Primary infertility is a condition in which a woman living a sexual life has never had a pregnancy. Most often, this is due to congenital disorders in the function or structure of the reproductive apparatus or genetic causes, especially often – violations of the number or structure of chromosomes.
Secondary, i.e. “acquired” infertility is infertility associated with the presence of pathological processes in the body of a woman or a man: infections, endocrine diseases, somatic pathology, psychogenic disorders, the effects of harmful environmental factors.
Types of female infertility: classification by causes of the reproductive system disorders
The cause of female infertility associated with the fallopian tubes is the blockage of the tubal canal, which prevents the transport of germ cells. Most often, overlap occurs due to the formation of adhesions inside or outside the fallopian tubes. The causes of adhesions are inflammatory diseases of the reproductive system, abortions, difficult childbirth or trauma, any gynecological operations.
A common type of infertility in women is its endocrine form associated with diseases in the hormonal system. With endocrine infertility in a woman’s body, the process of formation of mature eggs ready for fertilization is disrupted. This means that ovulation does not occur, as a result of which pregnancy cannot occur. In this case, the causes of infertility in women are hormonal disorders in the endocrine glands: ovaries, adrenal glands, thyroid gland.
The most common disease of the endocrine system, with which women apply for assisted reproduction is polycystic. In polycystic disease, the cause of female infertility is the absence of ovulation against the background of excess production of androgens (male sex hormones). Polycystic is characterized by the formation of multiple cysts inside the ovaries – sacs filled with fluid. These cysts are immature follicles with dead eggs that could not get out of the ovaries at the time.
Types of female infertility associated with gynecological diseases
Various gynecological pathologies can also be the causes of infertility in women. Most often, after the disease is cured, impaired fertility is restored. When diagnosing patients, it often turns out that the cause of female infertility was endometriosis. This pathology is characterized by the proliferation of endometrial cells, which should be located only on the inner surface of the uterus, in other organs, for example, on the ovaries, in the muscular layer of the uterus, in the tubes or abdominal cavity.
Diseases of the cervix can lead to the development of infertility: erosion, dysplasia, cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix), sexual infections, etc. In this case, the amount or structure of the mucus produced in the cervical canal may be disrupted. If the mucus becomes too dense or its amount decreases, then the sperm will not be able to get into the fallopian tubes and fertilize the egg.
One of the frequent causes of infertility may be such a cause as premature depletion of ovarian function or early menopause. The usual age of female menopause is 50-55 years, but in some women, the reserve of follicles (and eggs) is exhausted earlier for completely unexplained reasons, menstruation stops at 40-45 years old and even earlier. In some cases, this condition can be overcome with the help of hormonal treatment.
The most poorly studied cause of infertility in women is the formation of antisperm antibodies in the cervical mucus, which destroy spermatozoa.
Physical disorders in the reproductive system are not always the cause of infertility in a woman. Stressful situations, anxiety, negative emotions can also reduce the likelihood of conception or completely exclude it until the mental state is normalized.
Absolute, genetic infertility
The cause of infertility in a woman of reproductive age is sometimes gross genetic abnormalities: the absence of a uterus, ovaries or tubes. If infertility (usually primary) is caused by genetic causes, it is accompanied by a complete absence of egg maturation, for example, Turner syndrome, in which girls are born with underdeveloped ovaries, or with a complete absence (agenesis) of ovaries or their sharp underdevelopment (gonadal dysgenesis syndrome).
Idiopathic (of unknown origin) infertility
Sometimes the cause of infertility cannot be identified – neither a woman nor a man shows any changes in the sexual sphere, and pregnancy does not occur. Obviously, in these cases, doctors have not yet learned how to identify existing methods of disorders in the body that violate conception. In such cases, they talk about idiopathic (of unknown origin) infertility. Moreover, according to some estimates, up to 25% of infertility cases belong to this category.
If the cause of infertility cannot be identified, then it is difficult to build treatment and modern methods of assisted reproduction come to the rescue: IVF, ICSI, AI.
Can birth control cause infertility?
Birth control does not cause a woman’s fertility, after the end of taking contraceptives, it is at the same level as it was before the start of birth control use. Infertility does not develop from contraceptives, but because of pathologies of the female reproductive system and other diseases that can affect a woman’s reproductive function.
Contraception competently selected by a gynecologist, in addition to preventing unplanned pregnancy, has a number of positive effects:
- reduces the risk of developing breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer;
- reduces the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome;
- reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy;
- reduces the manifestations of acne, hirsutism (when taking combined oral contraceptives);
- has a therapeutic effect in endometriosis, ectopia of the cervix, etc.