What Is Female Infertility?
Female infertility refers to a woman of reproductive age who has not conceived after one year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Female infertility can also refer to a female who cannot carry a pregnancy to full term. Female infertility is the most common and widely accepted cause for pregnancy failure in a woman. In human beings, 40 percent of the issues involved with infertility are due to female. Women who are fertile experience a natural period of fertility before and during ovulation and they are infertile naturally during the rest of the menstrual cycle.
FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
The female reproductive system includes the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, vulva, mammary glands and breasts. All these organs are involved in the production and movement of gametes and the production of sex hormones. The uterus is a hollow, muscular, pear-shaped organ situated posterior and superior to the urinary bladder The ovaries are a pair of small glands which are about the size and shape of almonds, located lateral to the superior portion of the uterus. Ovaries produce female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone as well as ova, which are commonly called “eggs” or the female gametes. The fallopian tubes are a pair of muscular tubes that extend from the left and right superior corners of the uterus to the edge of the ovaries The vagina is an elastic, muscular tube that connects the cervix of the uterus to the exterior of the body. It is located inferior to the uterus The vagina functions as the vessel for the penis during sexual intercourse and carries sperm to the uterus and fallopian tubes. The vulva is the collective name for the external female genitalia located in the pubic region of the body The breasts are specialized organs of the female body that contain mammary glands, milk ducts, and adipose tissue. The two breasts are located on the left and right sides of the thoracic region of the body In the center of each breast, there is a highly pigmented nipple that releases milk when stimulated.
DIAGNOSING FEMALE INFERTILITY
There are several methods by which female infertility can be diagnosed:
Physical exam – The doctor asks the woman about her medical history, medications, menstruation cycle, and sexual habits.
Blood tests – several things are checked, like whether hormone levels are correct and whether the woman is ovulating (progesterone test).
Hysterosalpingography – In this test, fluid is injected into the woman’s uterus which is visible in x-ray. X-rays are then taken to determine whether the fluid travels properly out of the uterus and into the fallopian tubes.
Laparoscopy – In this, a thin flexible tube with a camera at the end (laparoscope) is put into the abdomen and pelvis to look at the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries. Through this test, the doctor is able to detect scarring, blockages, and some irregularities of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Genetic testing – This is done to ascertain whether a genetic abnormality is interfering with the woman’s fertility.
Thyroid function test – This is an important test. About 1.3% and 5.1% of infertile women have an abnormal thyroid.