5 Early Signs of Infertility in Women
It is common for couples to struggle with getting pregnant at first. Sometimes this is just coincidental, but in other cases a failure to get pregnant may be a result of female infertility. There are some early signs that can help women to identify if they may be infertile. Here are 5 early signs to look out for before talking to your fertility doctor.
- The first sign that you may have fertility complications is if your menstrual cycle or ovulation cycle changes significantly. Often a woman can identify these cycle changes through abnormal periods. You may get heavier bleeding or lighter bleeding than normal. Also, the number of days between each period, or how long your period lasts can be a sign of fertility problems. Keep track of cycle lengths and your flow with a calendar for reference later on.
- Another key indicator is if you have never gotten a period, or your periods stop all of a sudden for extended periods of time. If you are an adult woman and have not gotten a period, this is a serious issue that should be addressed with a doctor even if you are not trying to get pregnant. If your period stops, this can be a sign of pregnancy, but if not pregnant it is an issue you should keep track of and report to your physician. Also, be conscious of abnormally painful periods with pain in your back, pelvis, or other areas where cramping may occur.
- If you are infertile because of a hormonal imbalance you may notice different symptoms because the cause of your infertility is of a different origin. You may observe a change in the texture or condition of your skin. For example, many women begin to break out more when their hormones are not in proper alignment. Also you may not have as strong a sexual desire. Other physical changes include hair loss, weight gain or dark hair growth in uncommon areas of your body like your upper lip, chin or your chest. You can detect hormone levels using basal temperature charts on your own, or you may choose to have a blood test performed in a doctor’s office.
- Age may be another early indicator of infertility in women. After the age of 35, many women’s chances of becoming pregnant decrease significantly. After age 35, a women’s chance of getting pregnant during each conception cycle is as low as a 5% chance as compared to a 20% chance at age 30. If you are trying to have a child when you are over 35, you should seek medical help and work with a doctor to increase your chances of being fertile and having a child. This is especially important if you have been trying to conceive for 6 or more months and have not become pregnant.
- Prior health conditions may also be an early sign that you are predisposed to infertility. If you are having trouble getting pregnant and have poor health, you should consult a doctor about your likelihood of getting pregnant. Often infertility is common in individuals with illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension or thyroid issues. Also, STD’s such as chlamydia or gonorrhea can block your fallopian tubes leading to infertility. If you have any of these issues, working with a fertility specialist as soon as possible may be your best option in order to conceive.
While these symptoms are not absolute signs that you are infertile, they are key concerns that you should address with your healthcare physician if you are having a hard time getting pregnant and think you may be infertile. These signs should be used as a guide, but the only true way to know if you are definitely infertile or not is to visit your fertility doctor as soon as possible to determine treatment options.