Rule Out These 6 Most Widespread Causes Of Infertility
Fertility basics: conditions factoring in
The human species is not very fertile. It is estimated that, for women, the possibility of being fertilized, if it has a fertile ratio, does not exceed 25% and this probability decreases with the age of the partners. It is classified as “infertile” or “subfertile” the couple that does not get a conception after 12 months of free and unprotected relationships. It is therefore evident that a couple must grant themselves a certain “trial period” before defining themselves as infertile or sub-fertile. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines, it is justified to begin investigations to determine the presence of one or more obstacles to conception only after at least 12 months of free and unprotected intercourse. This limit is lowered to 6 months for women over the age of 35 and in the presence of risk factors (previous interventions on the pelvic organs, previous serious ovarian uterus infections, endometriosis)
There are various causes of infertility or sub-fertility, which can thus be classified into a few large categories, which can frequently coexist with one another. A very small proportion of couples is defined as sterile or suffering from absolute sterility (less than 10%) when conditions exist that make it impossible to achieve a pregnancy.
Causes of infertility, subfertility or absolute infertility
- Tubaric / pelvic: obstruction or closure of the fallopian tubes, pelvic adhesions.
- Endometriosis: the presence or recurrence of an often disabling condition for women, but sometimes asymptomatic, which severely reduces the chances of conception.
- Ovulatory / hormonal: lack or irregularity of ovulation, irregular cycles, hyperprolactinemia, micropolicistic ovary syndrome, reduced or absent ovarian reserve.
- Cervical: the mucus present in the uterine cervix is hostile to the passage of spermatozoa due to a lack of estrogen, due to the presence of infectious factors or to previous surgical interventions that have damaged the cervical glands or very rarely because the woman produces antibodies directed against spermatozoa themselves.
- Uterine: presence of congenital malformations of the uterus, myomas or adhesions within the uterine cavity or inflammatory factors affecting the endometrium (the mucosa covering the uterine cavity).
- Unknown: The investigations were not able to highlight one or more specific causes. This situation is referred to as idiopathic infertility. It is often a diagnosis that should be correctly defined as “insufficiently investigated”, but which is reached for the long period of research or the age of the partners, which do not allow for the completion of the investigations.
Therefore, the first and most important step to take is to determine the cause of fertility problems. The diagnosis of the cause of infertility in women can be achieved through a wide variety of means. They include visits from fertility specialists, blood tests, pelvic ultrasounds, X-rays and sometimes laparoscopy.