While roughly 60 percent of couples conceive without medical assistance within six months of trying, one in eight couples are struggling with infertility.
Per the American Pregnancy Association, infertility is a condition of the reproductive system that prevents the conception of children, and the diagnosis of infertility is usually given to couples that have been attempting to conceive for at least one year without success.
It is a common misconception that infertility is solely a woman’s problem, but in reality, one-third of infertility cases are related to the woman alone, one-third are related to men, and the last third is a combination of factors involving both partners or unknown causes.
There are several signs and symptoms that can contribute to infertility, but thanks to advances in medical technology, you may still be able to conceive despite your infertility diagnosis.
Today, we’re going to address some of the signs you should look out for if you think you may be struggling with infertility.
Signs of Infertility in Women
(1) Irregular periods
While the average woman’s cycle is 28 days long, a woman experiencing irregular periods has a cycle so varied that she can’t even estimate when her next period will even come. This could be related to hormonal issues or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), both of which contribute to infertility.
(2) Abnormal or Painful periods
If a woman experiences periods so painful that it disrupts her daily life, or bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual, it could be related to infertility.
(3) Ovulation Disorders
Problems with the regulation of reproductive hormones or problems in the ovary can lead to ovulation disorders, meaning infrequent or absent ovulation. These problems include PCOS, Premature ovarian failure (the ovary no longer produces eggs), and excess production of prolactin by the pituitary gland, which in turn reduces estrogen production.
(4) Damage to Fallopian Tubes
Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes can prevent sperm from getting to the egg or block the passage of the fertilized egg into the uterus. This damage can be caused by infection or previous abdominal or pelvic surgery.
(5) Hormonal imbalance
When there is a hormonal problem taking place, women can experience symptoms such as increased acne, facial hair growth, thinning hair on the head, reduced sex drive and desire, and weight gain.
Signs of Infertility in Men
It’s more difficult to spot signs of infertility in men, so those symptoms may go unnoticed for years. The first step to determine signs of infertility in men is to get a sperm count test done.
- Hormonal Imbalance
Common signs of hormonal imbalance in men are abnormal hair growth, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction, a common condition. In many cases, hormonal imbalances in men are the result of taking body building supplements and steroids, and poor lifestyle & diet choices.
Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and HIV, and some types of infections can affect the health and production of sperm, or can cause scarring that blocks the passage of sperm.
(3) Prior surgeries
Certain types of surgeries such as vasectomies, testicular surgeries, prostate surgeries, and abdominal surgeries can adversely affect sperm transport and counts.
At Procrea Fertility, we understand that every path to parenthood is unique, and our team is dedicated to helping you build your family. If you’re unsure of whether it’s time to see a fertility specialist, take a look at our considerations guide, and please feel free to contact us today if you have any questions or concerns.