Signs of infertility

Glow • Sat Nov 19. 2016

The first sign of infertility is the inability to get pregnant after 6 to 12 months of trying to conceive.

If a couple has been actively trying for over a year, it may be time to consider if there are reasons conception hasn’t occurred.

Signs of infertility in women are most often related to changes in the menstrual cycle and ovulation. These account for 25% of infertility situations. Other situations have to do with related disease, birth defects, age, or male infertility.

Infertility signs related to the menstrual cycle and ovulation include:

  • Abnormal periods—heavier or lighter than normal bleeding

  • Irregular periods—the number of days between each period varies monthly

  • Absent periods—periods are not occurring at all

  • Painful periods—severe cramps or back/pelvic pain occurs during periods

All of these period-related signs indicate that there might be a problem with ovulation. There may be an abnormality with the development, condition, or release of the egg from the ovaries.

Additional signs related to infertility include:

  • Age—by age 40, the chances of conceiving during any one cycle drops to 5%

  • Weight—being over- or underweight influences reproductive hormone levels

  • Hormone changes—sudden skin, hair, and weight changes may indicate a hormone imbalance

  • Recurrent miscarriagemultiple miscarriages may be a sign of uterine, blood clotting, hormonal, or genetic issues

  • Chronic illness or disease—illnesses and diseases (eg, diabetes, hypothyroidism, cancer, STDs) and their medications may suppress fertility

  • Excessive smoking and drinking—regular and excessive intake can lead to infertility in both men and women

There are also a number of infertility issues that may not have an obvious sign. These include fallopian tube blockage or damage, cervical or uterine abnormalities, and male infertility.

Looking for signs of infertility is the first step to diagnosing a fertility issue, and a doctor can help assess and diagnose these concerns. There are a number of tests available to pinpoint the exact issue, and there are many drugs and procedures to circumvent these issues.

To learn more about your fertility, download the Glow Fertility Tracker and join the Glowing.com Community. You can also access Glow Pages to learn more about doctors that may be able to help. 

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H Posted at Jan 20. 2017
Husband and I have been having unprotected intercourse for 4 years, started trying to have a baby last month. I did everything- track my period, use an ovulation test, used Preseed lube, and I got my period this month. Any suggestions on why it hasn't happened yet?
Sa Posted at Dec 23. 2016
I feel overwhelmed by all the life changes I need to make just to get pregnant. I've been trying since September and no luck. After my period is over I'm back to trying ovulation sticks and limiting junk food caffeine and eliminating alcohol. I wish I hadn't told friends I was trying. Now, I feel self-conscious it hasn't happened and I'm worrying about what potential health issues that may be hiding.
We Posted at Dec 23. 2016
I'm overweight after having my son last September and have also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism 😢 we plan on trying in march and April, now I'm scared 😥