Common Obstacles to Pregnancy

 

We’ve talked in the past about the importance of proper planning in a pregnancy and what steps you can take once you are pregnant to help maximize the chances of successful childbirth and a healthy baby. Unfortunately, however, even getting to that step can be fraught with difficulty. Conception is a delicate process that can be disrupted by illness and other physical challenges. Knowing what some of the most common impediments are and what can be done to treat them can go a long way towards providing you with the confidence and peace of mind necessary to handle challenging times on the road to a healthy pregnancy and birth.

 

Hormones

 

It is quite common for both men and women to have hormonal imbalances. In women, that imbalance can make it extremely difficult to become pregnant. Some of the most common ways that these hormonal imbalances manifest are in wildly fluctuating levels of progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, or luteinizing hormones.

 

Progesterone is perhaps the most important hormone during pregnancy, as it is essential not only for conception but also for the continued survival of the fetus throughout gestation. Progesterone regulates a woman’s menstrual cycle, prepares the uterus for egg implantation, maintains the uterine lining, and provides nutrients for the baby while it is growing.

healthy pregnancy

A lack of estrogen can prevent a woman from ovulating in the first place, which makes pregnancy in such cases a near impossibility. Too much estrogen, on the other hand, can lead to irregular periods, which poses an equal challenge to trying to conceive. Prolactin, the hormone that regulates breast milk production, helps to encourage eggs to grow, while luteinizing hormone (or LH) also plays a role in ovulation and period regulation.

 

Imbalances in hormone levels can be caused by several factors. The glands that regulate the majority of hormone function, the pituitary gland and thyroid gland, can become unbalanced due to stress, physical trauma, or disease. Sometimes doctors will administer drugs to compensate for the lack of function in these organs. In addition to these fluctuations, improper diet, drug use, lack of exercise, and depression can also severely impact hormone production, so it is important to balance such activities in order to remain healthy enough to become pregnant.

 

STDs

 

It is still possible to become pregnant with an STD, but STDs can have numerous negative outcomes in pregnancies and they can impact the development of an unborn child. Diseases like bacterial vaginosis can lead to preterm labor, premature birth, chorioamnionitis, and endometritis. Chlamydia can cause the same issues in addition to causing low birth weight and eye and lung infections. Gonorrhea and syphilis can cause massive infections that could lead to the death of a child, and HIV can be passed from mother to child, limiting that child’s life expectancy and quality of life. It is very important to take steps to avoid STDS, be screened for STDs before pregnancy, and undergo necessary treatments to limit the chances of spreading such diseases to the child to maximize their survival odds.

 

Fallopian Tube Obstructions

 

In some cases, blockages in the fallopian tubes are to blame for female infertility. Obstructions can make it so that the sperm will never reach the egg, effectively dashing any hopes at pregnancy that you might have. Though there are rarely external symptoms that would hint at this problem, it is a very common condition that can be caused by multiple different issues.

 

Sometimes, the blockage is caused by an infection from an STD. In certain instances, past surgeries, including abdominal and appendix surgeries, may have left an obstruction in the fallopian tube. Most frequently, the blockage is caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can be caused by STD exposure.

 

To treat such obstructions, methods like in vitro fertilization, wherein an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body, can be used. Even in these cases, however, the presence of fallopian blockage can still be an impediment to success. An innovative procedure, tuboplasty, can be used to increase the chances of success of in vitro fertilization or, in some cases, remove the obstructions to the fallopian tube entirely so that pregnancy can occur as normal.

 

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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