Fertility options for women with infertility issues and diminished ovarian function.

If you are experiencing infertility issues or low ovarian function, you are not alone. An unprecedented percentage of women from the majority of industrialized countries will develop dysfunction of the reproductive system in some form or another in their lifetime.

This dysfunction causes infertility, lowered ovarian function and many other conception difficulties.

A large amount of these women are given misinformation about their options regarding their sexual and reproductive health and what they can do to improve their problems.

It is a sad fact that some of these dysfunctional patterns can get started during adolescence. Many teen women begin taking birth control pills.

Inevitably, some of these young women experience health problems or side effects from these oral contraceptives. These contraceptives work by suppressing hormones in the brain to artificially control the ovaries.

Studies have proven that oral contraceptives also decrease the minerals and vitamins that are available to the woman. Some women need supplementation.

Hormone imbalances and low functioning ovaries are to blame for 30% to 40% of female infertility issues. There are several ways to treat hormone imbalances.

Doctors prescribe fertility drugs or medical procedures while others opt to try natural progesterone cream, herbal supplements, Chinese medicine or other natural products.

Infertility is defined as failure to conceive after a year of actively trying for a baby. It is a fact that infertility is becoming more of a problem worldwide.

All over the world, sperm counts are down and both men and women are developing more difficulties in achieving pregnancy according to a team of researchers from Copenhagen University in a study from 1990.

Normal ovarian function and fertility both depend on how many mature eggs are produced every month. If a woman is 30 years old or younger, she will most likely develop more mature eggs each month than a woman who is 35 years old or older.

Loss of fertility depends on more than just age, however. The fewer follicles and eggs that ripen every month, the more problems a woman will have conceiving, no matter what her age.

Some of the contributing reasons for today's rise in infertility and low ovarian function include pesticide exposure, Agent Orange, high lead, cadmium and mercury levels.

Other factors of infertility are environmental toxins and pollution, detergent ingredients, some medications, anatomical irregularities and the almost epidemic low progesterone levels.

Birth control pills are thought to leave residual conception problems. Sexually transmitted diseases and even infectious diseases like German measles and small pox may also affect lowered ovarian function and infertility.

Other causes of premature dysfunction of the ovaries and infertility may involve the following diseases and disorders:

• Abnormal Chromosomes
• Congenital Defects
• Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis
• Autoimmune Disorders
• Thyroid Disease
• Cancer
• AIDS
• Diabetes Mellitus

If you have been on oral contraception and now you're trying to conceive, try to get as healthy as possible before you try to get pregnant. A healthy diet without processed foods, junk food, fast food and high amounts of sugar will be very beneficial.

Organic foods are healthier, if you can get them. Try your best to avoid genetically engineered foods or those that are treated with pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.

Cut way back or avoid all together social vices like smoking, too much caffeine, illegal drugs and alcohol. Find the best vitamin supplement you can find, one formulated especially for women.

It is never too early to begin taking a high quality daily women's vitamin supplement. Get some moderate exercise as well and avoid antidepressant medication if possible.

There are a lot of women today who are going through infertility issues because they are not ovulating every month, but they are pumped full of fertility drugs or prescribed a synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) when no doctor has done a functional hormonal evaluation.

Some women get pregnant when they are not in optimal health and later they find themselves enveloped in severe postpartum depression or experiencing premenopause symptoms. This happens frequently and the real cause could be health issues that have not been explored or treated.

Diminished ovarian function or premature ovarian failure is the title given when premature menopause happens to a woman under the age of 40. Premature ovarian failure occurs in 1 to 3% of women.

These women are possibly facing the end of their egg supply and the end of ovarian function. The causes for this occurrence are many and a woman needs a comprehensive medical evaluation in order to find the underlying cause before beginning any treatment.

Raised levels of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) are common in women suffering from diminished ovarian function. If a woman has periods that are abnormal with cramps, a light flow, a heavy flow or periods that are irregular, they will have irregular ovulation and ovarian dysfunction.

If a woman suffers from diminished ovarian function or premature ovarian failure, she doesn't need to give up her dreams of parenthood. The following alternatives are open to them:

• 1- Adoption
• 2- Surrogate pregnancy – another woman agrees to carry the fetus for the duration of pregnancy and the baby belongs to the couple who are unable to conceive their own.
• 3- Fertility drugs can be attempted if a woman still ovulates at least part of the time.
• 4- Natural progesterone cream can be used to supplement progesterone levels depending on the level of ovarian function.
• 5- IVF or in vitro fertilization uses eggs harvested from a woman and then they are fertilized in a lab. Most women who donate eggs for IVF have diminished ovarian reserves but do have intact function of the ovaries.
• 6- Chinese medicine can be effective for treatment of premature ovarian failure and diminished ovarian function. It works by changing a woman's diet, utilizing certain herbs known to be beneficial to the female reproductive system and using acupuncture treatments.

After a diagnosis of premature ovarian failure, your doctor may suggest a biopsy of the ovaries. If the results reveal very few or no follicles, stimulating ovulation through the use of fertility drugs will most likely be a poor choice for success.

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