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Female Infertility

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This article is about female infertility, its causes, effects and possible treatment.

Pregnancy, Infertility, Stress and Anxiety, Side Effects, Depression, Acupuncture

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“What is the essence of a woman?” This is one of the questions the judges asked during the 1994 Miss
Universe competition. One contestant, Sushmita Sen, gave such a wonderful answer that she won the Miss
Universe title that year. According to her, the essence of a woman is being a mother to a child and teaching
him (or her) about sharing, caring and loving. Indeed, one of the main and most important roles of any
woman is being a good mother to her children. However, not every woman is blessed with the ability to bear
a child.

Pregnancy is one stage in life that almost every woman will undergo. Women, with their unique anatomy
and physiology, are naturally built to be capable of producing life. For some reason, however, some women
are not able to do this. This situation leads to various negative effects on a woman's relationship with her
partner and her self-concept. In response to this concern, different treatments or medications are already
available for women to consider. However, some, if not all, of those treatments have certain disadvantages
or side effects.

Based on a discussion about infertility posted at, infertility can be caused by three main reasons.
Those involving a woman's anatomy are classified under structural issues, which can be problems occurring
in the fallopian tube, uterus or cervix caused by blockage, fibroid or insufficient opening. Another possible
cause concerns the physiology of pregnancy --- a bio-mechanical issue. Scar tissues that can cause blockage
within the uterus and fallopian tube can hinder a woman from getting pregnant. Finally, infertility can
originate from a primary problem with ovulation and is thus called an ovulatory issue. Hormonal
abnormalities, the effect of some medications and other health problems can harm the functioning of the
ovary and cause ovarian failure.

A woman's inability to get pregnant can be very stressful not only to herself but also to her partner. Because
it is expected of her to bear children, not being able to do so is considered a failure on her part. The pressure
imposed on her by her partner and other people may add up to her stress and anxiety. She may start blaming
herself for this situation and develop a concept of herself as someone who is “damaged.” Her partner, on the
other hand, may feel both disappointed and helpless faced with this problem. The stressfulness of their
problem can cause negative changes in their mood and attitude. If the stress and anxiety of having this
problem will not be dealt with properly, it can lead to frequent fighting between couples and possibly cause
them to separate or divorce.

Despite the initial feeling of helplessness, couples may still find encouragement in seeking possible
solutions to a woman's infertility. Nowadays, medications like clomiphene citrate, follicle- stimulating
hormone, and human menopausal gonadotropins are available in the market to stimulate ovulation in a
woman. These treatments, however, have potential side effects which include multiple birth incidence,
headaches or blurred vision, depression and mood swings, pelvic discomforts and ovarian cysts. Solution for
structural and mechanical issues that cause infertility can be resolved mostly through surgery.

Another approach based on oriental medicine is also currently recognized as an effective treatment for
female infertility. Methods included under this approach include acupuncture and herbal medicine. The goal
of acupuncture is to open the blocked energy that prevents fertilization. This is also believed to help restore
the balance among organs especially in the endocrine system. On the other hand some herbal plants when
ingested can increase the chances of pregnancy. These forms of treatment, however, can take a long time
covering a period of approximately three to twelve months before it can be effective.

With all available options as treatment for infertility nowadays, women may still fulfill their yearning for
motherhood. Despite the disadvantages or side effects of some medications, it is through careful
consideration that women or couples should decide what to undergo. If, despite all alternatives, pregnancy is
still not possible for some women, this does not necessarily mean losing their essence. After all, motherhood
is not just attained biologically.

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