For a woman trying to conceive, infertility is a dreaded word. Infertility in women accounts for almost half of infertility cases around the globe.
Every couple hopes to conceive every time they try. As the days go by doubts begin to linger in the minds. Woman fears that perhaps she is infertile and unable to have a baby. Such fears are not unfounded but there is good news also. Nowadays medical research has made it possible for increasing number of infertile women to have babies.
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What is infertility medically?
Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant even after repeated unprotected intercourse for a period of a year.
Many people around the globe are dealing with this for various reasons. What is the probability of infertility in women? Around 1 in every 6 women is dealing with some kind of infertility issue.
Not being able to conceive is considered as a curse for the woman in many societies. It is extremely depressing to not be able to carry a baby. However, with the advancing technology and techniques, the problem of infertility in women can be rectified now. One of such solutions is Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
What is infertility in women?
Infertility is the inability to conceive a baby even after unprotected sex for over twelve months.
Infertility in women informally can also encompass the incidents of miscarriages, chemical pregnancy and other such cases which terminate spontaneously.
Types of infertility in women
- Primary infertility in women
- Primary infertility in women is infertility which exists before conceiving even once.
- This may be due to genetic defects or other reproductive disorders.
- Secondary infertility in women
Secondary infertility is when a woman is not able to conceive the second time. This happens when the first pregnancy creates some hostility for subsequent pregnancies.
- It may be uterine scars formed after surgery of the womb.
- It may even be in the case if you had a blood group mismatch with your baby and now you have antibodies against your own baby. This disorder is called Erythroblastosis Fetalis. If an Rh negative woman conceives an Rh-positive baby, She is exposed to Rh protein, which is a blood group protein present on the surface of your cells. The first baby is delivered normally. For the next Rh positive baby, the mother has antibodies which destroys the baby in an early stage.
However, this is debatable whether it is an infertility issue any longer. It is secondary infertility only when the woman is unaware of it. Otherwise, the female is fertile.
Sterility is genetic or may be due to an irreversible damage was done to the female’s reproductive organs. There is no solution for this one which is possible inside the body. Sterility in women is a completely abnormal reproductive organ or incapable reproductive organs. There are solutions to treat this kind of infertility. However, you will need to do them outside your body from a surrogate mother.
- Psychological infertility (asexuality) in women.
A woman who psychologically doesn’t accept the fact that she is a woman or she should become a mother is asexual. While this may not be infertility entirely but apparently it is. Such women experience miscarriages repeatedly. It is very important for the mind and body to work in synchronization and only then harmony exists within the body.
- Unexplainable infertility
Sometimes the woman is perfectly fine but small problems exist and in combination, they make her infertile. The cause cannot be pinpointed but it exists. This is unexplainable infertility in women.
Symptoms of infertility in women
- Inability to conceive even after having regular sex for more than a year at various times
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Dysmenorrhoea (painful periods) or amenorrhoea (absence of periods)
- Developing male characteristics like facial and body hair
- Frequent miscarriages
When to see a doctor for infertility in women?
- When you experience the above symptoms.
- If you find any other changes in your body like rashes in on genital parts.
- Changes in menstrual cycle.
- If you’ve had a medical history of any uterine surgeries.
- Depending on age decide whether you need to see the doctor within half a year if you are between 25 – 35 years or can wait till a year if you are less than 25 years old. For women above 40 years of age, you need to visit the doctor without even a day’s delay.
Problems faced by infertile womenThere are many difficult things a woman has to go through if she is infertile.
- Chronic depression
The society blames on the woman for her inability to conceive. It is nature’s will to give something or take something. Simply bearing a baby in her womb doesn’t define a body as a female. One should abhor such practices and stand up for the victims.
- Divorces and domestic violence
Even in the cases where the male partner is infertile the blame is placed on the women. Thousands of marriages are called off every year just because the female couldn’t bear a child. The financial burden of dealing with infertility is also often reasons for divorces.
- Social seclusion
A part is done by the societal mocking and the rest is done by the infertile woman herself. She feels embarrassed to go out and meet people or talk to colleagues and friends. Such social boycott could be mentally debilitating.
- Psychological problems
A woman is subjected to torture and rebuking constantly and due to this she eventually might even lose her self-confidence. Many women head to counselors and psychiatrists for talking about this. She might even become epileptic.
- Acute stress levels and inability to focus and remember things
Even as you get your infertility tested and try for the infertility treatments, it is exhaustive. The sense of hopelessness and guilt take over. You feel ashamed and worthless. All this leads to acute and unbearable stress. Both emotional and physiological stress further hampers the body. Studies show that an infertile woman undergoes the same level of stress as that by an HIV or a cancer patient. Fertility drugs cause forgetfulness.
Once you are thinking of infertility day and night you might start experiencing insomnia. As the body’s biological clock gets affected, everything starts to fall off and you might be experiencing a complete nervous breakdown.
- Appetite fluctuations
An infertile woman might not feel the urge to eat anything for hours or the need to everything that comes her way. Appetite fluctuations happen because of the stress due to infertility issues.
- Anger and irritation
A woman dealing with infertility goes through something so unexplainable that only she knows how horrible it feels. She gets in her own world of sadness. Even a slight problem can make her angry and irritated. It is not her fault entirely if she becomes unstable.
- Turning to drugs, alcohol and getting suicidal thoughts
Infertility in women has so many taboos associated with it that a woman is left with solitude and drugs. While some might be strong enough to steer away, others would give in such destructive measures.
- Disrupted sexual life
A couple dealing with infertility has to have sex like a cure rather than for pleasure. Sex loses its meaning for such couples. It may be painful and unsatisfying. The couple just becomes a baby making machine trying to get the parts do the production.