The 1997 study Infertility as a Covered Benefit showed that “approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance.” From assisted reproductive techniques like IVF and IUI to natural fertility treatments such as manual physical therapy and acupuncture, the options available to women dealing with infertility issues can seem endless.
Selecting the treatment approach that is appropriate for you begins with pinpointing the causes of infertility in your case. For some women, mechanical factors are the culprit; for others, it is a matter of hormonal issues. Some women find that it is a combination of both.
Mechanical Causes of Infertility
Scarred or adhered fallopian tubes
Fallopian tubes can become blocked by adhesions – scars that form when the body heals from:
- surgery, such as episiotomy, C-section or hysterectomy
- inflammatory and infectious processes, such ad pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, cystitis or vaginitis
Adhesions can cause a blockage anywhere within one or both fallopian tubes that prevents sperm from meeting egg.
With endometriosis, tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow in or on organs that it shouldn’t. These include the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the various structures that support the uterus, and the lining of the pelvic cavity. It can also be found in the cervix, vagina, rectum, bladder and bowel.
The misplaced endometrial tissue responds to the menstrual cycle as if it were in the uterus – it swells during each monthly cycle. Unlike menstrual fluid that leaves the body, however, implanted endometriosis cannot exit the body. The inflammation that accompanies the swelling can cause adhesions or scar tissue to form at the site of endometrial implants.
Endometriosis, and the adhesions that form as a result, are considered one of the top three causes of female infertility. Endometriosis adhesions can attach to the delicate structures of the reproductive tract or one or both ovaries, causing ovulation pain or decreasing their ability to release an egg. Adhesions caused by endometriosis can also block the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis located on or near the uterus can decrease the opportunity for implantation or cause miscarriage.
Schedule a phone consultation with an expert therapist to learn more about treating infertility naturally.
Hormonal Causes of Infertility
Recognized as significant causes of infertility, hormonal conditions such as POF and high FSH levels present significant challenges to a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone)
follicles to mature and to produce eggs capable of conception. The amount of FSH varies throughout the menstrual cycle and is highest just before a woman ovulates, or releases an egg. FSH signals your body to release an egg every month
POF (Premature ovarian failure)
POF is defined as a cessation of the ovary’s normal function in women under the age of 40. Women with POF produce few or no eggs. It has been estimated to affect one in every 100 women between the ages of 30 and 39. Some women with POF stop menstruating, while others may have short cycles with early or no ovulation.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
PCOS is a disorder in women that interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries. PCOS occurs when the body produces too much sex hormones called androgens. Due to this hormone imbalance, fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries do not break open and release mature eggs. The fluid-filled sacs bunch together to form many tiny cysts. The symptoms of PCOS include but are not limited to irregular periods, abnormal facial and body hair growth, weight gain and acne.