Signs of Infertility
Choosing to try to get pregnant can be an exhilarating experience. For some, that excitement may turn to worry if it seems like things are taking too long. Fertility is a complicated thing and nobody can say exactly how long it will take for a couple to conceive: age, lifestyle choices, and certain medical conditions can impact fertility in both men and women.
Approximately 80% of couples will get pregnant within the first six months and 85% will conceive after one year of regular unprotected intercourse.
For couples that have been trying for only two to three months, it may just take a little more time and effort. However, if you have been trying for a long time or believe that your or your partner’s age, lifestyle choices or medical history may be impacting your ability to get pregnant, talk to your OB-GYN.
Possible Signs of Infertility in Women
Do you have irregular or absent menstrual cycles?
Are your cycles very short or long, heavy or painful? Is your menstrual blood very pale and light or a clotty dark purple/black color? Do you often experience mid-cycle bleeding? Irregular menstrual cycles could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance which can lead to fertility issues.
Are you over 35 years of age?
After 35, many, but not all, women experience a decrease in fertility. If you are in this age bracket and have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for six months, talk to your OB-GYN.
Have you received a previous diagnosis that is fertility-related?
If you have been diagnosed with Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts, a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), blocked or damaged Fallopian Tubes, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Cervical issues, or have had more than three miscarriages, you may have a greater risk of infertility.
Possible Signs of Infertility in Men
For couples that have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, it is advisable that both partners undergo infertility testing. In some cases, the fertility issue could be with the male partner or through a combination of health issues, with both partners. For men, sperm count tests are simple to do and are a necessary first step in evaluating if there may be male infertility. A complete semen analysis will help to determine if any of the following are contributing to infertility.
A male hormonal imbalance between testosterone and estrogen can contribute to infertility.
Inadequate diet and unhealthy lifestyle choices can often contribute to a male hormonal imbalance and low sperm count.
Men may experience infertility issues related to sperm count, health, and delivery.
These issues could stem from a genetic disorder or Sexually Transmitted Disease damage. Also, men who previously had a vasectomy may develop anti-sperm antibodies that can contribute to infertility.
Possible Signs of Infertility for Women and Men
In addition to gender specific infertility symptoms, other health-related symptoms can affect conception for both females and males. Some of these include:
- Thyroid issues
- Poor Adrenal health
- Very low body weight
- Autoimmune disease
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer
- Injury or trauma to reproductive organs or endocrine glands.
- Drug Addiction
- Long-term use of certain medications
- Heavy exposure to radiation or environmental pollution
When To See Your OB-GYN
If you have been trying for more than a year to get pregnant, or if you are over the age of 35, it is important that you see your OB-GYN as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to help both of you with initial testing, as well as further testing from a Reproductive Endocrinologist if necessary.
Don’t panic. Your OB-GYN is here to help!
Located in Fort Collins, Colo., a Woman’s Healing Center is an OB-GYN and surgical-quality aesthetics practice whose mission is to help women of all lifestyles heal their way to better health and happiness.
We accomplish our mission through deep listening and straight talk. As such we are the one and only local alternative to corporatized medicine that provides women the specialized knowledge and training of board-certified female-only, board-certified obstetricians and gynecologists.
Christine Skorberg, M.D., Cherie Worford, M.D., and Amy Grove, M.D. are dedicated to helping each patient through her life’s journey—from delivering her babies to navigating the changes in her body and emotions, to offering the latest medical-grade procedures for looking and feeling younger. Learn more about our obstetric and gynocological services here.