PCOS and Blocked Fallopian Tubes account for many cases of infertility in women. These are disorders which need immediate medical help. PCOS Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a condition where women have more male hormones than female hormones. This causes problems in ovulation making them irregular or rare. The problem needs immediate medication because, if left uncured, it can affect other areas of the body and increase risks like heart diseases, diabetes and infertility.
Ovulation occurs when the ovarian follicle opens and releases an egg into the fallopian tube. The extra male hormones prevent the egg from maturing and getting released. The egg thus stays inside the cyst, which is the follicle filled with fluid. Women who have PCOS tend to have large ovaries which contain clusters of these cysts. The female hormones are imbalanced and this keeps repeating in every cycle. Women who suffer from PCOS are resistant to insulin. Extra insulin has to be pushed and it is stored as glucose in the cells. This increases appetite and weight and also produces more male hormones. Scientists are still not sure what causes PCOS. They blame it on the patient’s genes, diet and toxins present in the environment.
Most women who have PCOS are obese and tend to have excessive hair growth in their face, thighs, lower abdomen and on some other parts of the body. Irregular periods, skin problems and thin hair on the scalp are some of the other symptoms of PCOS. Weight loss, medication and surgery are some of the ways to treat PCOS. PCOS cannot be prevented but its diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Women who have blocked fallopian tubes have problems conceiving. Fallopian tubes are narrow ducts that connect the uterus to the ovaries. When an egg gets released from one of the ovaries, it passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus. The egg meets the sperm in the fallopian tube and gets fertilised before it reaches the uterus. These tubes, when blocked, prevent the eggs from meeting the sperm. The fallopian tube can be blocked due to a number of reasons. It could be due to an infection, a sexually transmitted disease or other diseases. In order to find out whether the patient’s fallopian tube is blocked, the doctor would carry out a laparoscopy or hysterosalpingogram. In this test, the doctor inserts a liquid dye through the cervix with the help of a catheter. An X-ray is done to check if the liquid reaches the abdomen freely or if there is a blockage in between. Another method is where saline is used instead of a liquid dye and the blockage is detected through an ultrasound rather than an X-ray. Any damage in the fallopian tube may be corrected with the help of surgery which unblocks the fallopian tube.
If the patient is, however, ovulating normally, then intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in vitro fertilisation or artificial insemination directly into the uterus (IUI) are methods that can help the woman conceive. A significant percentage of infertility cases in women are caused because of problems in the fallopian tube.