An estimated 10-18% of couples struggle to get pregnant or have a successful delivery, so if you’re not finding it as easy as you expected, you’re certainly not alone. Dr. Parisa Pourzand has helped many women identify the reason for infertility, and can often suggest treatments.
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for one full year without success, you may receive a diagnosis of infertility. Female infertility contributes to about 50% of infertility cases, although there can be issues with both partners. About one-third of all cases of infertility are the result of female infertility alone.
Causes of female infertility
You may have difficulty conceiving for numerous reasons, but most often there’s an issue in one of three areas:
- Problems with ovulation
- Structural issues
- Problems with your cervix
In order for you to become pregnant successfully, your ovaries must release a healthy egg, a process called ovulation. The egg is then fertilized by a healthy sperm, fertilization, and travels through your fallopian tube to your uterus, which is called transportation. It then must attach to your uterus, which is called implantation.
Causes of problems with ovulation
Ovulation issues are the most common cause of female infertility, and they can stem from a number of underlying issues. For example, if your hormones are unbalanced, you may not ovulate as expected. Additional potential causes include:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Thyroid problems
- Being overweight or obese
- Very low bodyweight
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
There are other possible causes, as well. Ovulation is a somewhat delicate process, requiring many conditions to be just right. Happily, there are often very effective treatments for issues related to ovulation.
Structural causes of female infertility
If the parts of your reproductive system have been damaged or are abnormal, your egg may not be able to successfully travel to your uterus, or the sperm may not be able to reach your egg in order to fertilize it.
Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is often the result of a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, can cause damage to your fallopian tubes, making it difficult or impossible for your egg to pass through. Past surgeries may also cause damage that prevents your egg from successfully moving from your ovary to your uterus.
Endometriosis is another frequent cause of female infertility, although not always. If you have endometriosis, the lining of your uterus, which normally sheds during your period, grows in places it’s not supposed to be. This can cause scarring or make it difficult for the egg to implant as designed.
Cervical causes of female infertility
If your cervix is unusually narrow, a condition called cervical stenosis, you may struggle to become pregnant. This is an inherited condition and something of which you may not be aware.
Another potential problem with your cervix is abnormal cervical mucus. It’s possible for your cervix to produce mucus that makes it more difficult for sperm to reach your egg.
Whether you’re just beginning your journey to parenthood or you’ve been trying for some time, book an appointment with Dr. Pourzand. She can answer your questions, as well as let you know if there are any obvious factors that may hamper the process.
Scheduling is easy. You can book an appointment at either of Dr. Pourzand’s offices online, or simply call 818-208-3414 to schedule at the Glendale office, or 310-203-2212 for the Los Angeles office.