A woman is said to be infertile when all effort for her to become pregnant with frequent, unprotected sex for at least six months to a year remain unrewarding, especially from a clinically fertile man.
Presently, women are responsible for about 33 percent of infertility cases globally. Unfortunately, we have quite a lot of misrepresentation of facts or misinformation in this society i.e., a lot of women are resting on their mother’s fertility history to justify their fertility potential whereas the tell-tale is all written on them as infertile. For example, someone said and I quote…. my mother gave birth to her last baby at 49 years plus, how can you tell me I can’t use my eggs at 43 years.
When a woman begins to experience heavier or lighter bleeding than usual, have irregular menstrual flow, painful menstruation or no monthly period at all, such a woman will be classified as infertile. Either way a female infertility could be ovulatory or anovulatory. This means the fact a woman ovulates every month or menstruates monthly is not enough to brag at any man she is fertile or claim she is not infertile. Yet this has nothing to do with whether she’s given birth before or not.
In all, the greatest culprit of female fertility is ‘Hormonal.’ Overtly obese women are prone to insulin resistance. Both high body mass index and high blood sugar precipitate polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This PCOS causes hormonal imbalance (Changes in reproductive function) which may lead to longer time to pregnancy or increase chances of miscarriage.
In all these, we cannot over emphasise the need for self-awareness. Paying attention to your body temperature as a woman, taking note of length of your menstrual cycle allows you to calculate approximate ovulation time and possibly the consistency of wetter, slippery mucus from the cervix about the time of ovulation are natural guiding tips to fertility potential as their absence might speed up appearance at the fertility unit before things goes out of hand. Recent studies demonstrated that,
Women who commenced menstruation at younger age (≤12 years) or later than 15 years might be at risk of compromised fertility as against those who started between 12 to 13 years. In some cases, prior instrumentations (surgery) on the reproductive organs (cervix or vagina) might lead to recolonization of bacteria in the vagina area which impact negatively on the ability of the sperm to move and effect fertilization as result of toxicity in the vagina. In the same vein, some women are allergic to the partner’s semen thereby building antibodies that kill the sperm right in the vagina.
On the contrary, a woman can bypass a couple of these challenges by simply modifying health and social lifestyle choices. For instance, living on plant protein source instead of animal protein, exercising regularly (managing body weight), avoiding alcohol and all forms of smoking reduce the speed of egg loss from the ovaries.
It’s imperative to know what is well-thought-out as normal in any event as fertility in women, so you don’t raise needless worries. Nine of every ten couples will require 12 to 18 months of trying to conceive. However, women of 35 years or older require early fertility investigation after six months of unproductive shots at pregnancy. When a woman gets to 30, the ability to get pregnant starts to deteriorate. Worse still, this warning becomes more rapid once women get to 35 years and at 45 years, fertility has declined so much that getting antenatal experience naturally is a big problem for most women. Blood tests to assess the level of reproductive hormones are one of the basic investigations’ women should consider. The day three Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level amongst others will tell where the biological clock is. High FSH is related to lower fertility potential in women.
Checking for fertility status as a woman requires attention to a variety of hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), Estradiol, and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) in order to have an objective and conclusive assessment of reproductive hormones.
The chances of getting pregnant are quite high in women in their early 20s to early 30s. This group has about a 25 percent chance of becoming pregnant each month as their ovulation follows a predictable pattern. The best time to get pregnant for this age group is at the ‘fertile window’ i.e., the most fertile point in your menstrual cycle. These are the two days before and the day of ovulation. On these days, women have the highest probability of conception.
Female infertility is a general term but varies from a woman to another. Usually, it can be addressed with drugs, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology depending on findings at investigational level. Many times these treatments are combined for best outcome. Where abnormalities of the uterus have been demonstrated during ultrasound, laparoscopy or hysteroscopy might be recommenced by the gynaecologist to remove polyps, adhesions (uterine or pelvic), fibroids that distort the endometrial cavity.
Finally, considering the patience threshold of women experiencing delayed conception, there is a need to save them from anguish and pressure from family and friends at the earliest. IVF happens to be the most effective way out. It takes a few weeks involving daily hormonal drugs injections, retrieval of eggs from the woman’s ovaries or a third party (egg donor) as the case may be, fertilizing them with sperm in a dish in an IVF lab, then transferring the embryos into the uterus upon fertilization and early development at 72 or 120hours. IVF is the most effective assisted reproductive technology.
One unfortunate thing about nature is every woman out there looking for fruit of the womb cannot get pregnant at once. The economic pressure of this society is an additional concern for intending parents. While some are through to parenthood at first attempt at IVF, others may require a second attempt but there is pot of Gold at every rainbow end. IVF may be considered expensive by some but the reward is unmatched by any amount charged by clinics offering the services. The voice of a newborn in the home is priceless.