What Causes Female Infertility and How Can I Treat It?

When I was younger, I was always so elated whenever I missed my period. It was only when I entered young adulthood that I began to understand that an irregular cycle (or a lack of it) indicates that something is amiss within. If continued in the long-term, such irregularities could indicate a type of hormonal imbalance, or ovulation irregularities.

How Does Female Infertility Happen?

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According to WedMD, a lack of ovulation accounts for about 30 – 40% of infertility cases. Typically, a female would ovulate regularly based on her menstrual cycle, and when her egg is not fertilized, it is shed from her uterus together with blood and mucus (Period lesson #1!).

A lack of ovulation (aka anovulation) may be a result of hormonal imbalances (e.g. drastic changes in your body fat composition – this affects hormone production and regulation, or PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome) such that the egg had not been developed/released from the ovaries.

Another reason for this could be blocked fallopian tubes, and even endometriosis. (More anovulation causes can be found here.)

How Can I Treat Infertility?

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Treatment for infertility usually comes in the form of drugs – Clomid, Serophene being the most common ones – to stimulate egg production in the ovaries. Some other solutions require injections, like Ovidrel, Novarel, Pregnyl – these medicines are stronger, and they stimulate the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) which triggers ovulation.

Some might even opt for IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) if they really wish for a child more immediately.

However, some might feel that drugs/IVF are intrusive and are wary of possible side effects that they may have on the body, or simply don’t subscribe to those methods due to cultural/religious beliefs. In these situations, ladies may opt for alternative means such as traditional Chinese medicine, where symptoms and body problems are attributed to imbalances of body functions, instead of the modern medicine (‘Western’) context where symptoms are directly treated with a formulated solution. (There is a point to note that engaging in TCM as your alternative treatment may result in slower results.)   (Slideshow: a list of TCM foods for fertility)

There has also been a recent form of technology called NaProTechnology, (derived from the term Natural Procreative Technology), that works to find out why the woman’s body is not functioning correctly, and then apply treatments that work cooperatively with the body’s natural procreative cycle to correct the condition, maintain the human ecology and sustain the procreative potential instead of suppressing the system.

According to Fertility Care Singapore,

“The FertilityCare System is based upon the standardised and objective monitoring of normal and naturally occurring biological signs. This series of biological markers (biomarkers) reveals the presence or absence of certain types of reproductive and gynecologic abnormalities. They give the physician and the patient a “handle” on the menstrual cycle to allow for its proper evaluation and, if necessary, its treatment. It does this in a way which is cooperative with the cycle.”.

This treatment might be a good option, especially for those concerned about cultural/religious boo-boos.

Personally, I am not married and have not experienced this firsthand myself. So, this article only serves as a reflection and summary of some of the ways to help with female fertility, and should not be seen as medical advice.

For the best advice, visit your gynae for a consultation!

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