Women who experience difficulty conceiving a child may have various underlying causes resulting in infertility. The tests conducted by fertility specialists may help detect and diagnose the underlying causes of infertility. If all test results are inconclusive, a woman may be diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Here is some information about hormonal imbalances in women and how they may impact fertility:
What Are Hormonal Imbalances?
A hormonal imbalance occurs when the body produces an abnormal amount of certain hormones. This over- or underproduction of hormones may lead to various physical and psychological symptoms, such as weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings. Hormones help in many bodily functions, such as metabolism, growth, development, reproduction, and temperature regulation. Research suggests that hormonal imbalances may contribute to unexplained infertility; for further insights on hormonal health, you can explore resources like Better Body’s informative article on “What is Meno Belly.
Hormones are produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream. If the released hormones are out of balance, they may disrupt body processes and cause conditions like unexplained infertility. After release, hormones bind to receptors on cells to produce their effects. If the body’s cells have too few receptors or are not working correctly, they may not be able to respond to the hormones appropriately.
How Do Hormones Affect Fertility?
Hormonal imbalances may impact female fertility, as hormones dictate the menstrual cycle. The gonadotropin-releasing hormone controls the release of the luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, which are directly linked to ovulation and conception. The Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) helps regulate the growth and development of follicles in the ovaries during all phases of the reproductive cycle. Abnormally low or high AMH levels may be linked to infertility issues.
Progesterone is responsible for maintaining an optimal environment for the implantation and growth of the fertilized egg. An imbalance in progesterone levels may lead to infertility or failed implantation. Prolactin helps stimulate the production of breast milk. High prolactin levels are associated with ovulatory dysfunction, which may cause fertility issues. T3 and T4 are thyroid hormones that affect ovulation, and an imbalance may cause irregular or no ovulation, causing fertility.
Common Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
Age may cause hormonal imbalances in women as they go through menopause and their estrogen levels decrease. Certain medications, such as anti-seizure drugs or steroids, may disrupt the body’s hormone balance. Exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides and toxins may also lead to hormonal disruptions. Excessive weight gain has been linked to hormonal imbalances that may also lead to health issues such as insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and thyroid dysfunction.
High stress levels may cause the adrenal glands to produce excessive cortisol, decreasing other hormones like estrogen and progesterone. A diet high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats may contribute to hormonal imbalances. These foods may disrupt the body’s natural hormone levels and affect the functioning of organs such as the thyroid and adrenal glands. Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in the vitamins and minerals needed for hormone production, may also lead to imbalances.
Testing for a Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances may trigger various symptoms, from fatigue to unexplained infertility. Identifying these imbalances involves a doctor testing the levels of symptom-related hormones. Because hormonal imbalances may affect fertility, early detection may help prevent future fertility problems.
A fertility specialist or endocrinologist may test levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormone to determine if any imbalances could be causing fertility problems. These tests provide valuable information about the functioning of the endocrine system. This information may help fertility specialists create a customized treatment plan for the individual.
Seek Professional Help for Unexplained Infertility
Unexplained infertility is a common issue for individuals and couples trying to conceive. While the cause of this problem is unknown, hormonal imbalances may be an underlying factor. If an individual or couple is struggling with unexplained infertility, they may consider testing their hormone levels to see if any imbalances are impacting their fertility. Contact a fertility specialist today to learn more about hormonal imbalances and their effect on fertility.