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Female infertility

Female infertility

Patient records suggest that female causes explain around one in three cases of infertility. Thee causes might be physical (such as damaged Fallopian tubes), hormonal (as in irregular cycles), or simply age-related.

At Bridge we can carry out investigations into female infertility and help to find the treatment that is best for you. 

Damaged tubes

A blockage in the Fallopian tube can prevent sperm from reaching an egg, or a fertilised egg from reaching the uterus. It may also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilised egg implants in the tube rather than the uterus.

Fallopian tubes can be damaged following pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or after pelvic surgery. Problems can be detected by ultrasound and/or laparoscopy (which will confirm the extent of the damage and whether surgery or IVF is the best treatment option. The good news is that most women can be helped by fertility treatment.

Hormonal problems

Irregular or absent periods are common and are usually the sign of a hormonal problem. This is frequently is frequently associated with a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is often resolved by weight loss and medication. Women with PCOS usually have several cysts on the ovaries and high levels of (male) androgen hormones. Whether for infertility or not, PCOS requires treatment because of its close links with diabetes and other risks of heart disease. In some rare cases women do not ovulate because of a premature menopause; for them egg donation is the only effective fertility treatment.

Age

For reasons that are not entirely clear, female fertility declines with age, such that women over 35 are much less fertile and more prone to miscarriage than younger women. One certain explanation is that the genetic and chromosome make-up of eggs and embryos deteriorates with age. This is most clearly illustrated in the increasing risk of Down’s syndrome seen in older mothers.

Down’s syndrome is a condition caused only by an abnormality in which there are three copies of chromosome 21, not two as there ought to be. In other cases chromosomal defects may prevent the embryo from implanting in the uterus (whether in natural or assisted) conception, and be the cause of miscarriage.

Female infertility

Patient records suggest that female causes explain around one in three cases of infertility. Thee causes might be physical (such as damaged Fallopian tubes), hormonal (as in irregular cycles), or simply age-related.

At Bridge we can carry out investigations into female infertility and help to find the treatment that is best for you. 

Damaged tubes

A blockage in the Fallopian tube can prevent sperm from reaching an egg, or a fertilised egg from reaching the uterus. It may also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilised egg implants in the tube rather than the uterus.

Fallopian tubes can be damaged following pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or after pelvic surgery. Problems can be detected by ultrasound and/or laparoscopy (which will confirm the extent of the damage and whether surgery or IVF is the best treatment option. The good news is that most women can be helped by fertility treatment.

Hormonal problems

Irregular or absent periods are common and are usually the sign of a hormonal problem. This is frequently is frequently associated with a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is often resolved by weight loss and medication. Women with PCOS usually have several cysts on the ovaries and high levels of (male) androgen hormones. Whether for infertility or not, PCOS requires treatment because of its close links with diabetes and other risks of heart disease. In some rare cases women do not ovulate because of a premature menopause; for them egg donation is the only effective fertility treatment.

Age

For reasons that are not entirely clear, female fertility declines with age, such that women over 35 are much less fertile and more prone to miscarriage than younger women. One certain explanation is that the genetic and chromosome make-up of eggs and embryos deteriorates with age. This is most clearly illustrated in the increasing risk of Down’s syndrome seen in older mothers.

Down’s syndrome is a condition caused only by an abnormality in which there are three copies of chromosome 21, not two as there ought to be. In other cases chromosomal defects may prevent the embryo from implanting in the uterus (whether in natural or assisted) conception, and be the cause of miscarriage.

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