Infertility

Infertility is defined as trying to get pregnant (with frequent intercourse) for at least a year with no success. Female infertility, male infertility or a combination of the two affects millions of couples in the United States. An estimated 10 to 18 percent of couples have trouble getting pregnant or having a successful delivery.

Infertility results from female factors about one-third of the time and male factors about one-third of the time. The cause is either unknown or a combination of male and female factors in the remaining cases.

Female infertility causes can be difficult to diagnose. There are many available treatments, which will depend on the cause of infertility. Many infertile couples will go on to conceive a child without treatment. After trying to get pregnant for two years, about 95 percent of couples successfully conceive.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease

What is Polycystic Ovarian Disease?

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common condition affecting 5% to 10% of women in the age group 12-45 years. It is a problem in which a woman's hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with menstrual periods and make it difficult for her to conceive. The principal features include no ovulation, irregular periods, acne and hirsuitism. If not treated it can cause insulin resistant diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol leading to heart disease.

What causes Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)?

1- Normally, the ovaries make female sex menhormones and a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). These help regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle.

2- Polycystic ovary syndrome is related to an imbalance in these sex hormones. In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This causes patients to stop ovulating, get pimples and grow extra facial and body hair.

3- Follicles are sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs. Normally, one or more eggs are released during each menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation.

4- In polycystic ovary syndrome, the eggs in these follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary, hence the name polycystic ovaries.

5- PCOS seems to run in families, so the chance of having it is higher if other women in the family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes

Common symptoms of PCOD/PCOS include:

1- Acne

2- Weight gain and trouble losing weight

3- Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker, darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.

4- Thinning hair on the scalp

5- Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods others have very heavy bleeding

6- Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility)

7- Depression

Irregular Periods

The normal length of a woman's menstrual cycle is 28 days, but this varies between individuals. Irregular menstruation is when the length of the cycle is more than 35 days, or if the duration varies. A period, or menstruation, is the part of the menstrual cycle in which the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus, is shed. This appears as bleeding from the womb that is released through the vagina.Periods usually start during puberty, between the ages of 10 and 16 years, and they continue until menopause, when a woman is 45- to 55-years old. Irregular periods, also called oligomenorrhea, can occur if there is a change in contraception method, a hormone imbalance, hormonal changes around the time of the menopause, and endurance exercises.Treatment for irregular periods during puberty and around the menopause is not usually necessary, but if irregular periods occur during the reproductive years, medical advice may be necessary.

Uterine Fibroids

Introduction

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that originate in the uterus (womb). Although they are composed of the same smooth muscle fibers as the uterine wall (myometrium), they are much denser than normal myometrium. Uterine fibroids are usually round. Uterine fibroids are often described based upon their location within the uterus. Subserosal fibroids are located beneath the serosa (the lining membrane on the outside of the uterus). These often appear localized on the outside surface of the uterus or may be attached to the outside surface by a pedicle. Submucosal (submucous) fibroids are located inside the uterine cavity beneath the inner lining of the uterus. Intramural fibroids are located within the muscular wall of the uterus.

Causes of Uterine fibroids:

The exact cause of Uterine Fibroid is still not clear but their growth appears to depend on increasing estrogen hormone levels. Genetic factors are known to include development of Uterine fibroids. Also, suppressed sexual desires and functions are often found to be one of the reasons in many patients.

Leucorrhoea

Leucorrhoea is a thick, whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge. It is the most commonly experienced condition of women of reproductive age. Women experiencing vaginal discharge, at first instance, feel very embarrassed and worried as to why they are suffering from this problem. Though majority of the women fear and think of it as a disease, usually it is a sign of just an infection. It is normal to experience vaginal discharge few days before menarche (before a woman starts on her periods for the first time), just before periods and during a sexual fantasy or sexual stimulation. Some amount of discharge is normal and essential for vaginal lubrication. However, the amount of discharge may increase due to vaginal infections and may come and go from time to time. This condition can be quite embarrassing if characterised by foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Leucorrhoea can often be a pointer to various gynaecological conditions and infertility, and hence requires evaluation and treatment.

Menopausal Complaints

Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after you've gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States. Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. There are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy. Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you've skipped a period but aren't sure you've started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test.

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