Whether you are trying to conceive or just thinking about having a kid in the future, it is vital to be aware of these infertility warning signs you should never ignore. Knowing the usual signs of infertility can help you take action early and address potential issues.
Although there are many different reasons for infertility, some symptoms that you might be experiencing a version of the problem that is treatable include pelvic pain, irregular or missed periods, very light or brief cycles, abnormal discharge, and irregular bleeding.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five heterosexual women are unable to have a child after attempting for one year with unprotected penile-vaginal sex. This statistic reflects the prevalence of infertility (CDC). Infertility is frequently identified by a professional after a couple has unsuccessfully tried to conceive for a year (or six months if the person attempting to get pregnant is over 35 years old).
Infertility is frequently a symptomless condition; nevertheless, your body may occasionally reveal clues as to why you may be having difficulty conceiving a child. If you experience any of the following five signs, schedule a visit with your primary care doctor as soon as you can. They will evaluate you to identify whether or not you have a condition that interferes with your fertility. Then they will treat the underlying issue.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, conventional treatment is successful in helping 85 to 90 percent of infertile couples conceive. This is a significant statistic to keep in mind since it shows that most infertile couples can have children. Therefore, even if you have these indicators of infertility in women, therapy is most likely available; therefore, be sure to consult with a doctor for assistance getting started if you want to get pregnant.
1. Absence of a Menstrual Cycle
It may take your body a couple of months after you stop using birth control for it to rebalance itself and begin the process of ovulation again. However, you should see a doctor as soon as possible if you haven’t had a period in three months. “No periods signal that a woman is not ovulating and has little chance of conceiving without aid,” says Lorna Marshall, M.D., FACOG, a reproductive endocrinologist at Pacific NW Fertility in Seattle. “No periods also suggests that a woman has little chance of conceiving without assistance.” When possible, we aim to start drugs to induce ovulation as early as possible.
If that doesn’t work, the next stages are injectable medicines, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF). The cure can be as easy as popping a daily pill called Clomid to trigger ovulation (IVF).
2. Irregular Periods
If you don’t get your period on a consistent basis, it may be impossible for you to predict when or if you will ovulate. “Cycles that appear sporadically are symptomatic of an underlying issue connected to ovulating,” explains Sheeva Talebian, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. This disorder can make it exceedingly difficult to conceive a child.
“The reasons are similar to a complete lack of periods: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and hypothalamic amenorrhea,” in which the brain’s hormone-sending signals are off, says Dr. Talebian. While there are many causes for irregular periods, some may result from more severe diseases. An irregular menstrual cycle could indicate a reduced ovarian reserve, which could result from endometriosis or early ovarian failure.
3. Bleeding Between Periods
In most cases, you should only experience bleeding during your period. “Bleeding in between your cycles or after intercourse can indicate a uterine polyp or fibroid, or a cervical lesion,” explains Dr. Talebian. “Bleeding after intercourse can also indicate a cervical lesion.” In addition to the question of becoming pregnant, a physician should make certain that these symptoms do not point to something more serious, such as cancer, even if this scenario occurs very infrequently.
4. Extremely Heavy Menstrual Flow
If you use more than one pad or tampon per hour for several hours, if the blood clots you pass are larger than a quarter, or if you bleed for longer than seven days, your period is deemed unusually heavy. Marcy F. Maguire, M.D., FACOG, a reproductive endocrinologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, states that this symptom “may be indicative of the presence of uterine fibroids.” “Heavy periods are also related to various bleeding problems as well as endocrine issues,” according to the article. Fibroids that prevent conception can be surgically reduced in size or removed entirely, and blood problems can be treated with the appropriate medicine.
5. Pain in the Pelvis
Endometriosis is a condition that can be identified if you have severe period cramps, pain that lasts throughout your cycle, or discomfort after having sexual activity. “The tissue meant to line the uterine cavity is discovered outside the uterus in the pelvis,” explains Dr. Maguire. “This is the case with endometriosis.” Endometritis can cause scarring of the pelvic tissues, which can decrease fertility and raise the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. In addition, according to Dr. Marshall, “Endometriosis may lower a woman’s egg production. As a result, we may prescribe a more expedited evaluation and treatment.”
In any case, if you experience pain in your pelvis along with a fever and an irregular discharge, it is possible that you are suffering from an infection, which, if untreated, could potentially result in scarring. According to Dr. Marshall, tubal obstruction is a substantial risk a woman faces if she has a pelvic infection. As soon as the couple begins trying to conceive, a test to determine whether or not the fallopian tubes are open should be performed.
6. Cycles that are Brief and Light
If you have cycles that are consistently very light or cycles that are shorter than 18 days, it’s possible that you aren’t ovulating or that you aren’t producing enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy if it does happen. This is something to consider if you have cycles that are consistently very light or cycles that are shorter than 18 days. To assess whether there is a problem that could be hurting your ability to conceive a child, your doctor will be able to undertake specific tests to assess your hormone levels.
If you have trouble conceiving after one year of unprotected penile-vaginal sex or six months if you are 35 or older, you can consult a doctor. In addition, you must consult a medical professional if you are suffering any symptoms at all, including but not limited to missing periods, irregular periods, or bleeding in between periods.