|Where Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)|
|Chapter 14: Infertility (When You Are Not Able to Have a Baby)|
|What Causes Infertility?|
¨ Infertility caused by infection can be prevented.
Infertility in the woman
1. blocked tube
2. ovary does not produce an egg
The main causes of infertility in a woman are:
1. She has scarring in her tubes or inside her womb. Scarring in the tube can prevent the egg from moving through the tube, or the sperm from swimming to the egg. Scarring in the womb can prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the womb. Sometimes a woman gets scarring but does not know it because she does not feel ill. But years later she learns she is infertile.
Scarring can be caused by:
· an infection from an untreated STD that goes up into the womb or tubes (pelvic inflammatory disease or PID).
· unsafe abortion or problems in childbirth that caused damage or infection in the womb.
· unclean conditions when an IUD is put in that caused an infection.
· problems from an operation of the vagina, womb, tubes, or ovaries.
2. She does not produce an egg (no ovulation). This can be because the body does not make enough of the needed hormones at the right time. If her monthly bleedings are less than 25 days apart, or more than 35 days apart, she may have a problem with ovulation.
Sometimes a woman does not produce eggs if she loses weight very quickly, or if she is too fat.
3. She has growths in her womb (fibroids). Fibroids can prevent conception or make it difficult to carry the pregnancy.
4. Illnesses such as diabetes, tuberculosis, and malaria can also hurt a womans fertility.
Family Planning Is Safe
Family planning methods are often blamed for infertility. But family planning methods (other than sterilization) do not cause infertility except in some cases when an IUD has not been put in correctly and causes an infection in the womb or tubes. For more information, see the chapter on Family Planning.