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Common causes of fertility problems in women -

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue found in the uterine lining (called endometrial tissue) grows outside your uterus, usually in the abdominal-pelvic cavity.

•  Possible symptoms: Some women have no symptoms, while others have painful menstrual periods or intercourse, and general pelvic pain.

•  Possible solutions: fertility drugs with artificial insemination, surgery to remove abnormal tissue or unblock tubes, assisted reproductive technologies (ART), or adoption

•  Success rates: When fertility drugs to increase egg production are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. Between 20 and 50 percent conceive after surgery (either naturally or with treatment). And between 20 and 30 percent conceive with ART treatments.

Ovulation problems


An ovulation problem is any condition (usually hormonal) that prevents the release of a mature egg from your ovaries.

•  Possible symptoms: absent or infrequent periods and abnormally light or heavy bleeding

•  Possible solutions: fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization

•  Success rates: About 70 to 90 percent of couples ovulate with treatment, and of those, 20 to 60 percent get pregnant.

Poor egg quality


If your eggs are damaged or have chromosomal abnormalities, they can't sustain a pregnancy. The quality of your eggs declines significantly with age.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: in vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor eggs or embryos, or adoption

•  Success rates: Couples who undergo IVF with donor eggs have about a 30 to 50 percent chance of having a baby per IVF cycle.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which small follicles in your ovaries don't develop into larger, mature follicles. It's also characterized by hormone imbalances and unpredictable ovulation patterns.

•  Possible symptoms: irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and obesity

•  Possible solutions: Lifestyle modifications (diet and exercise) or fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization. A new treatment for PCOS uses a diabetes drug called metformin (Glucophage), which can help restore regular ovulation.

•  Success rates: Many overweight patients who lose 5 to 10 percent of their body weight will start ovulating regularly. About 70 to 90 percent of women who take fertility drugs ovulate, and of those, 20 to 60 percent go on to conceive. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 of those pregnancies miscarries. Fertility drugs also come with a higher risk of multiple births.

Blocked fallopian tubes


Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes prevent your partner's sperm from getting to your egg, and prevent the fertilized egg from getting to your uterus. Leading causes include pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, and previous sterilization surgery.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: surgery to open the tubes, or in vitro fertilization (IVF) if surgery fails or the tubes are too badly damaged to repair

•  Success rates: Conception rates vary widely — from 20 to 60 percent — depending on the location and severity of the blockage and the amount of scar tissue that develops after surgery. Couples who try in vitro fertilization have about a 20 to 40 percent chance of having a baby per IVF cycle.

Sperm allergy


If you have an immune reaction to sperm — and less than 2 percent of women do — your body may produce antibodies that kill sperm cells.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technologies (ART)

•  Success rates: About 20 to 40 percent of couples conceive with each cycle of in vitro fertilization.

Unexplained fertility problems

Your doctor may diagnose you with an "unexplained fertility problem" if there's no clear explanation for your infertility (all the tests are normal). Some experts think weight problems (being significantly under- or overweight), excessive exercise, and even environmental toxins may be contributing factors, but no direct links between fertility and those possible problems have been confirmed.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: fertility drugs combined with artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) procedures such as in vitro fertilization

•  Success rates: When fertility drugs to increase egg production are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. After three years of infertility, the chance that a couple will conceive decreases by about 20 to 25 percent each year.

Combination fertility problems


A couple is said to have "combination" fertility problems when both the man and the woman have fertility trouble, or when one partner has multiple problems.

•  Possible symptoms: Symptoms vary, depending on causes.

•  Possible solutions: Treatments vary, depending on causes.

•  Success rates: Rates vary, depending on causes.

Read Common Causes of Fertility Problems in men ....

 
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