Difficulty Conceiving Children

What Causes Difficulty Conceiving Children?

In order to hopefully treat and prevent recurrence of difficulty conceiving children we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow difficulty conceiving children to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind difficulty conceiving children consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to difficulty conceiving children.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Overtraining
  • An Underweight Problem
  • Anorexia/Starvation Tendency
  • Low Progesterone
  • A Weight Problem
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent colds/flus
being very easily irritated
sugar/sweet craving
major unexplained weight gain
having non-scalp scaly/flaky skin
slowed pulse rate
history of stress fractures
chlamydia
excellent HDL cholesterol level
animal-derived thyroid hormone use
occasionally feeling unusually cold
poor cold weather tolerance
... and more than 90 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of difficulty conceiving children:
Cause Probability Status
An Underweight Problem 92% Confirm
Overtraining 22% Unlikely
Syphilis 12% Unlikely
A Weight Problem 5% Ruled out
Low Progesterone 3% Ruled out
Anorexia/Starvation Tendency 0% Ruled out
Hypothyroidism 0% Ruled out
Chlamydia 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Reproductive Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about difficulty conceiving children:
When you have tried, how difficult in general has it been for you to conceive children?
Possible responses:
→ Not applicable / I have not tried / don't know
→ It has not been difficult
→ There was some difficulty
→ It was very difficult
→ I am infertile / unable to have children
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no difficulty conceiving children, difficulty conceiving children or being unable to have children, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Brain Tumor

In very rare cases, a brain tumor can cause infertility.

Endometriosis

It has been estimated that some 25-50% of infertile women suffer from endometriosis.  The cause of infertility is believed to result from the scarring and adhesions that form in the reproductive tract as a result of inflammation.  Scar tissue and adhesions may reduce fertility by either obstructing or distorting the shape of the fallopian tubes, which in turn impedes the passage of sperm to the egg.  In the event that sperm do reach the egg, they may encounter a hostile environment unfavorable to fertilization.  Finally, scarring from endometriosis may obstruct the fallopian tubes so that if an egg is fertilized, it may be unable to travel to the uterus for implantation.

Folic Acid Deficiency

Folic acid deficiency can lead to infertility.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism in women sometimes causes ovarian problems; ovulation may become less frequent or disappear altogether.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Impaired fertility is a prominent feature of PCOS.  This is believed to result from elevated insulin levels that stimulate excess androgen production by the ovaries.  The androgens cause premature follicular wasting which causes inconsistent or absent ovulation, which in turn is associated with infertility.

Vitamin A Requirement

Vitamin A is involved in steroid hormone synthesis and cell differentiation.  It is important for healthy growth, normal reproduction and lactation.

Elevated Cortisol Levels

Chronically elevated cortisol levels can stop a woman from ovulating and may lead to infertility.

Fibroids

Submucous fibroids are the type that most commonly cause significant problems; even small tumors located in or bulging into the uterine cavity may cause heavy bleeding, anemia, pain, infertility or miscarriage.

STD Chlamydia

As many as 40% of women with untreated chlamydia will develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).  Undiagnosed PID caused by chlamydia is common, resulting in a 20% infertility rate.

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