There are a number of common and some less common medical conditions that are specific to our female patients. These conditions should not be the cause of your infertility challenges if they are treated with care and managed properly. Occassionally we have found that unfortunately this is not the case and that these conditions do have a direct impact on the woman’s ability to conceive. Treating these medical conditions first often assists patients to conceive naturally, however, specialist care is occassionally required to assist women to conceive when these conditions are more serious.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (“PCOS”) is a medical condition characterized by:
- infrequent menstrual cycles
- hirsutisum (extra hair on extremities, face, chest, abdomen and back), associated with acne and increase in male hormone levels in the blood
- dysfunction in the production of the LH and FSH hormones that control ovulation
Having Polycystic Ovarian Disease can also make it difficult to conceive. If this is the reason that you are having difficulty, we can help. The first thing that needs to be discovered is whether you have this disease. We will carry out the necessary tests and then prescribe the appropriate medication. Most women with PCOS can become pregnant with the correct medication and care.
Endometriosis is a common disorder that affects the tissue that lines the uterus, causing it to grow outside the uterine cavity. The tissue becomes attached to reproductive or abdominal organs, and swells with blood during menstruation as if it were still in the uterus. Women can be treated medically or surgically:
- Medically: Ovulation can be blocked, or the menstrual cycle can be stopped for four to six months
- Surgically: Laparoscopy or laparotomy can be performed to cauterize the endometrial implants to destroy the endometriosis.
Pelvic adhesions are scars or fibrotic tissue that develops around the tubes, ovaries, bowel and the uterus. Usually this is a result of previous pelvic inflammatory disease, venereal diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, but also could be the result of previous surgeries within the area. They could be the result of a ruptured appendix with abscess formation or endometriosis. These adhesions need to be diagnosed and treated appropriately, something our team of experts will be sure to do.
Decreased ovarian reserve
Decreased ovarian reserve (DOR) is a normal physiological condition that commonly happens during the pre-menopausal years. It can affect patients after the age of 36 although it is more common after the age of 40. Occasionally we have seen patients in the late 20s and early 30s with this condition. It is also seen in patients who have had surgery on the ovaries for ovarian cyst treatment or removal of endometriosis. There are different types of treatment, depending on age. Your doctor will prescribe the one most appropriate to you.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that can affect your uterus (womb), ovaries and fallopian tubes. If you have PID and it goes untreated, it can lead to blockages or "adhesions". Adhesions are where tissues become stuck together, something that can cause fertility problems if it happens around your Fallopian tubes. If PID is mild and treated early, your chances of being able to get pregnant are high. If you have severe PID or your PID goes untreated, the chances of your tubes becoming blocked are higher. We help to identify and treat this disease. But if you think this may be the cause of your fertility problem, it is vital to see us as soon as possible.