The types of reproductive health issues that could plague women are many. Exposure to pesticides, cancer, different types of STDs, or even the weight of a woman will all factor into the issues that surround reproduction. Yet the majority of the women who suffer from them will be diagnosed with just one of several common reproductive issues.
Because of this, of the 6.1 million women who suffer from reproductive health issues in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, The likelihood that something unusual would be the reason for reproductive issues is very slim. And as a result, doctors will start with the most common reproductive health issues as they work toward a conclusion as to what is the underlying reproductive problems.
Women between the ages of 15 and 44 years old are the population that is targeted by reproductive health issues because these women are considered to be of childbearing age. Of this group of girls and women, the most common issues revolve around reproductive disorders, cancer, lifestyle choices, and the environment in which women live.
As such, some reasons for issues with reproductive health can be prevented. Others, unfortunately, cannot. A factor that makes reproductive health problems so unpredictable for so many.
Here are the most common reproductive health issues.
A condition that can cause a painful menstrual cycle, endometriosis is also considered one of the most common reproductive health issues as well.
According to the Mayo Clinicfor those who have endometriosis, the Endometrium grows outside the uterus versus inside. As a result, when the tissue breaks down and the body tries to shed it during a period, it becomes “trapped.” This is what causes periods to be painful. So painful, in fact, that school may be missed or women may lose their jobs as a result of the condition.
The areas in the body that Surrounds the trapped tissue can become scarredaccording to the publication. Cysts can also grow in the ovaries. All of which contribute to reproductive issues for women.
9 Cervical Cancer
While it may not be cancer itself that causes there to be reproductive issues, the treatment for cancer may. And that is why cervical cancer can cause reproductive issues for women.
According to Cancer Research UK, most women will not be able to get pregnant after they have gone through treatment to rid their bodies of cervical cancer. The reasons for this include:
A radical hysterectomy had to be performed
Radiotherapy may cause the ovaries to stop functioning properly
Chemotherapy drugs can cause early menopause
While it may be possible to catch cancer early and remove it without the need for further treatment, that is not always the case. And as result, cervical cancer is a common cause of reproductive health problems.
While polycystic ovary syndrome sounds like a scary condition, it is actually easily treated once it is diagnosed. As such, while it is a common reproductive issue, it does not preclude women from getting pregnant. All they need is a bit of treatment and some lifestyle changes to make PCOS a thing of the past.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, PCOS is a “hormonal imbalance” in conjunction with “metabolism problems” that causes issues with the ovaries. As such, eggs that are released are not healthy for fertilization or are not released at all. And because of this, infertility can result without medical intervention.
7 Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids can make it more difficult to conceive, once they are located, they can be removed. Making this common reproductive issue one that can be resolved.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicinethe way that uterine fibroids cause fertility issues include:
Changes in the shape of the cervix limit the number of sperm that can enter
The altered shape of the cervix can make it difficult for sperm or embryo to move toward implantation
Fallopian tubes can be blocked
The lining of the uterus can be negatively changed
Less volume of blood flow to the uterus can make it difficult for the embryo to implant
Fibroids may or may not interfere with women becoming pregnant. But, if they are discovered, according to the publication, they should be removed. This limits the risk of miscarriage if women do become pregnant and can even help with conception being removed.
6 Being Overweight
Being overweight is unhealthy for so many body systems. This includes the reproductive system as well.
According to Your Fertilitywomen who are overweight and obese carry more leptin in their bodies. This can lead to a hormone imbalance. And if there is a hormone imbalance, fertility is reduced.
Further still, carrying extra weight can cause menstrual cycles to be irregular. And if there is not an egg released with regularity, women will not get pregnant.
5 Being Too Thin
When women are too thin and have a BMI that is under 18.5, they run the risk of suffering from reproductive issues. This is because being too thin can cause hormone imbalances, according to the Better Health Channel.
Hormone imbalances make ovulation insistent. And when ovulation cannot be counted on, fertility issues are likely to result.
4 Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Contracting a sexually transmitted disease can both “directly and indirectly” cause infertility in women, according to Loma Linda University. This is because the initial disease can make it difficult to become pregnant. But if left untreated, it can lead to permanent infertility.
The two most common STDs, per the publication, include herpes and HPV. However, other STDs that can lead to infertility include:
The sooner that women receive treatment, the better the chances they have at regaining their reproductive health. Thinking that the diseases will go away on their own will not treat anything. It will only lead to heartbreak for those who wanted children.
All of the eggs that women will have, they have at birth. As such, as they age, those eggs age as well. And the older the egg, the more difficult it is to conceive.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, when women reach the age of 30, their fertility begins to initially slowly decline. As they move closer to the age of 35, the ability to develop decreases more rapidly. And this will continue to happen at a more dramatic pace the older women get. This makes aging one of the most common reproductive issues for women.
2 Environmental Toxins
With plastics, chemicals, and pollution in the environment, it should not come as any surprise that environmental toxins can cause reproductive issues in women.
According to the Collaborative on Health and the Environmentthe environmental toxins that can cause infertility issues in women include:
Depending on the timing of the exposure there can be more or less negative outcomes to the pregnancy if women do get pregnant, per the publication. Generally, the more exposure at the beginning of the pregnancy, the worse outcomes there are for babies and the pregnancies making it to term.
1 Choices In Lifestyle
Women who are looking to conceive and are having problems may want to look at their lifestyle choices to see if they are negatively affecting their ability to become pregnant.
According to Jamaica Hospital Medical Centerchoices in lifestyle that can affect reproductive health include:
Excessively drinking alcohol
Being under stress
All of these lifestyle choices can make conception more difficult. And it is not until these practices have ended that most women will be better able to become pregnant.
Source: Centers For Disease Control, Cancer Research UK, Office on Women’s Health, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Your Fertility, Loma Linda University, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center