When it comes to getting pregnant, it’s not as easy as some people may think. For the women that are young, single, and free, that statement might sound like music to your ears, especially when you’re nowhere near ready for children! For couples trying to have a baby, the reality of not being able to do something your body was naturally equipped to do can be very depressing and stressful for a woman.
According to the CDC, 6.7 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 have issues of either getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term. That statistic is quite overwhelming, but that just goes to show you just how common infertility is, and with that number being so large, it can’t solely just be that there’s something wrong with your “lady parts”… there usually other factors that play a role too. So what else is going on?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance which causes cysts on the ovaries. It can also cause your menstrual cycles to be irregular and sometimes women experience having no cycle at all. The CDC says that PCOS is the most common cause of infertility in women and the PCOS foundation states that a lot of women have this condition and don’t even know it. You definitely want to check with your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of PCOS:
- Hair growth in unusual places
- Acne breakouts
- Irregular periods
- Skin tags
- Trouble getting pregnant
STIs and Other Infections in the Reproductive System
Endometriosis is the most common form of change that affects your ability to get pregnant, but there are also changes that can occur in your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries that can contribute to infertility.
The most commonly found blockage would be in the fallopian tubes. Infections in the fallopian tubes usually begin in the cervix and work its way up to the fallopian tubes. The most common infections are gonorrhea and chlamydia. If these conditions are left untreated, it can scar the fallopian tubes and cause a blockage.
The fallopian tubes are where the sperm and egg meet. If these tubes are blocked you will have trouble conceiving. When a woman has these types of issues, doctors will refer the woman to fertility specialists that can help them in hopes of success in the first cycle.
Waiting Too Long to Get Pregnant
This particular aspect doesn’t seem fair in theory because women are often told as young girls to wait until marriage before intercourse, but what if you don’t find you’re spouse until you’re in your mid to late 30s? The sad truth is, age does play a big role in fertility issues.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that one-third of couples trying to conceive have trouble if the woman is over 35 years old. A woman in her 20s has eggs where about 90% of them are normal. When she hits her 40s, 90% of them are abnormal.
The Times Have Changed
With that percentage of normal and abnormal eggs, it can seem a little discouraging to wait to have kids. These days you are seeing more and more women have kids later in life. You might be wondering how that’s possible when the quality of their eggs have decreased.
Well, that’s because of a process called freezing.
As long as the potential mother is in good health, she has a better chance of conceiving with a frozen egg from her 20s than she does with a current and fresh egg at an age where she is closer to menopause… but it’s not impossible… she just has a greater likelihood.
Breast Cancer and Motherhood
Women are now freezing their “good eggs” so that in case they wait till later in life to have kids, they’ll have a good batch to work with. Because of this process, breast cancer survivors can conceive.
There have been no studies that show any harm will go to the baby or the mother whether the mother currently has cancer or has beat it. The pregnancy might be deemed as “high risk” by your doctor but that doesn’t necessarily have to end your journey to motherhood.