Female Infertility - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Female Infertility - Medical Malpractice
Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after trying to get pregnant for a year. It is something that affects up to ten percent of all couples and it is due to female infertility about 33 percent of the time. The rest of the time it is due to male infertility or to a combination of male and female infertility. The cause of the infertility can't be determined in about 20 percent of couples.
Female infertility increases with age and now that more women are trying to get pregnant at older ages, there is more female infertility. The chances of getting pregnant decrease by up to five percent every year past the age of 30. It becomes more prominent after the age of 40.
The causes of female infertility include damage to the fallopian tubes in which the egg cannot pass through the tube in order to be fertilized or the pregnancy ends in a tubal pregnancy. The tube can become damaged due to previous pelvic infections, pelvic surgeries with scar formation and endometriosis. Hormonal causes of infertility including those that interfere with ovulation or those that interfere with the ability of the pregnancy to last past the two weeks it takes after ovulation. This can show up as short periods or a short luteal phase in the menstrual cycle. Fortunately, this problem can often be treated. There can be cervical problems causing female infertility. The mucus of the cervix is hostile to sperm so that sperm cannot pass through the cervix. Unexplained infertility happens in twenty percent of women who have something unknown causing the infertility.
Doctors diagnose male infertility simply by checking a sperm sample for the amount and motility of sperm. It is more complicated in female infertility. Doctors must do serial blood tests for estrogen and progesterone at different times of the cycle. A prolactin level must be checked because, if this is too high, it can interfere with fertility. Doctors can also do an endometrial biopsy to see if the lining of the uterus is thick enough and that it has a good luteal phase. This is done by passing a catheter up the cervix and determining what's inside the uterus. The sample is looked at under the microscope.
A hysterosalpingogram is a good test to see if the tubes are patent enough. A catheter is placed inside the uterus and dye is instilled into the uterus. The idea is to see if the dye passes through both fallopian tubes and out into the pelvic space. This means there is no blockage of the fallopian tubes and is a good sign.
A laparoscopy is done using a camera and multiple small incisions placed in the lower abdomen. The camera looks for evidence of endometriosis and makes sure that the uterus and fallopian tubes look normal. The ovaries are also looked at in order to see that they look normal and have no scar tissue or endometriosis on them.
The treatment of female infertility can be tricky because there can be hormonal or structural things going on-or both. A laparoscopy can be used to get rid of scar tissue or to shave off area of endometriosis. A hysteroscope is a camera study that looks into the uterus via the cervix that can remove polyps and fibroids of the uterus that might be interfering with fertility. Blocked tubes can be opened via a hysteroscope.
Hormones like Clomid can be given to stimulate ovulation with the risk of multiple pregnancies slight. It allows for more eggs to be fertilized. Gonadotropins are also used to stimulate ovulation when Clomid does not work very well. Metformin or Glucophage can be given to women with polycystic ovary disease to normalize the level of their ovulation.
Intrauterine insemination can be done for some couples. The sperm is directly deposited (once washed) into the uterus and this bypasses a possibly abnormal cervical mucus problem. This is done at the time of ovulation and the sperm has a greater likelihood of reaching the egg this way.
In vitro fertilization is the way some couples with blocked tubes get pregnant. The eggs are harvested from the female after ovulation stimulation. The sperm are mixed with the eggs and are incubated to form small embryos. The embryos are placed within the uterus and hopefully, some of them take hold and form a good pregnancy.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here