One of the real challenges for women is the fact that egg quality deteriorates with age. This type of fertility problem does not affect men, who continue to experience relatively normal fertility for several decades after the time when the eggs (oocytes) of most women have reached a natural end. This is around the age of 45.
There are many components to fertility. Male factor issues may account for between 20% and 30% of all infertility. There are myriad problems that a women might encounter, which can be classified as ovarian (ovulation), tubal (infection, damage), uterine (polyps, fibroids) or inflammatory (endometriosis).
Some of these problems can be corrected by careful surgery. Endometrial polyps and submucosal fibroids (on the inside of the uterine wall) are examples where simple surgery can dramatically improve natural fertility.
Occasionally more complex surgery is necessary to improve fertility, particularly in the presence of pelvic endometriosis (see table below summarising a woman’s fertility). The effect of adding an inflammatory but eminently treatable condition such as endometriosis is dramatic. Fortunately, careful excisional surgery – a hallmark of surgery under the care of Dr Simon Gordon – can easily return a women’s fertility to that of an age-matched woman with an otherwise normal pelvis.
|Age vs fertility % per cycle||Normal pelvis||With endometriosis|