Various factors contribute to female infertility, including hormonal imbalances, health conditions, and lifestyle choices. However, some cases of infertility are linked to the structural defects of a woman’s reproductive tract. In this regard, the best infertility specialist in Dum Dum has shed light on some structural defects that affect a woman’s fertility and, hence, need immediate medical intervention.
1. Scarring caused by STIs: If left untreated for an extended period, STIs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or vaginal infections and sometimes spread to other reproductive organs like the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. Structural infertility occurs when the infections cause scarring, especially within the fallopian tubes and lead to blockages in the tubes, hindering the fertilization of the egg, thereby affecting fertility.
Even if fertilization occurs, scarring increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy—a condition where pregnancy occurs outside the womb. In this scenario, scar tissue within the fallopian tube can impede the fertilized egg’s journey to the uterus. The egg, therefore, becomes trapped in the fallopian tube and gets implanted there.
2. Endometriosis: It occurs when cells similar to the endometrium start growing in locations outside the uterus, like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic lining, and even organs such as the bladder and intestines, causing scar tissue and inflammation. These adhesions can contribute to infertility.
3. Fibroids: Fibroids are non-malignant tumours that develop in the uterus in response to estrogen. They may manifest on the outside (subserosal fibroids), within the muscular wall (intramural fibroids), or into the uterine cavity (submucosal fibroids).
Subserosal fibroids and intramural fibroids remain harmless unless they grow large enough to distort the uterus’s shape. On the other hand, submucosal fibroids are dangerous as they distort the womb’s lining, making it challenging for a fertilized egg to implant.
Besides affecting the lining and shape of the womb, fibroids can contribute to infertility by disrupting the movement of sperm and eggs. This interference occurs when fibroid growth blocks the fallopian tubes or obstructs the cervix, impeding sperm from reaching the womb. Later in pregnancy, they also heighten the risk of preterm birth and miscarriage.
3. Uterine septum: An uterine septum, a congenital defect present from birth, can lead to recurrent miscarriages because of the abnormal shape of the uterus. This condition causes the inside of the uterus to take on a heart shape rather than the typical triangular form, while the external appearance remains normal. This condition stands as the most frequently observed uterine abnormality linked to fertility challenges.
If you have been attempting to conceive for a year without success, it is advisable to visit an infertility specialist and undergo a thorough fertility assessment to rule out the possibility of a structural defect.