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What is the Connection Between Hormones and Infertility?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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The primary connection between hormones and infertility is that hormonal imbalances caused by one thing or another are one of the main causes of infertility. There are various reasons hormones may be imbalanced, but several of them play a key role in fertility. Certain hormone combinations are needed for ovulation, implantation, and to carry a healthy pregnancy to term.

One of the connections between hormones and infertility is that inadequate amounts of certain hormones can lead to lack of ovulation or a uterine lining that is too thin to sustain a pregnancy. One of the less common hormonal deficits is an estrogen deficiency. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for causing the uterine lining to thicken each month. This lining is vital for allowing a fertilized egg to implant properly.

LH is another hormone produced by the human body. This is the chemical responsible for causing ovulation, or the release of an egg once per month. Without ovulation, fertilization cannot take place and no pregnancy will occur.

Progesterone is a type of steroid hormone which is needed to promote a healthy pregnancy. This hormone is usually deficient in those with polycystic ovarian syndrome, one of the major conditions involving hormones and infertility. Natural creams or suppositories can be used to aid the body to support a pregnancy, if one should occur.

Hormones and infertility do not only affect females. Men also have various sex hormones that are needed to create and sustain healthy sperm. Additionally, testosterone is usually high in men and gives them their strong sex drives. When this hormone is not present in high enough quantities, men may not want to engage in sex and fertility can suffer. Other hormones may affect the quality or mobility of sperm, which can make it harder for them to fertilize an egg.

The roles of hormones and infertility are also used in creating birth control pills. By providing the body with synthetic hormones, it “tricks” it into thinking it is pregnant and delays or stops ovulation. This prevents pregnancy in most women. Synthetic hormones have been related to various health issues, however, and should not be taken by women with high blood pressure or heart problems.

Fertility treatments are available to help correct almost any hormonal condition. These can include in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and hormonal replacement therapies. Sometimes more than one method may need to be used at once for successful treatment.

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