Infertility can have a huge impact on both men and women, but some of the signs of infertility are often overlooked by men, as well as women experiencing secondary infertility (i.e., attempting to get pregnant after having already had at least one child). It’s important to be aware of these symptoms, so you can work with your doctor to diagnose and treat any fertility issues that may exist. (For related reading, see: Uncovering Infertility.)
The causes of infertility
One in eight couples has trouble conceiving, and while there are many causes of infertility, the most common include ovulation disorders, uterine or cervical abnormalities, endometriosis, and fallopian tube damage. Other causes can include premature menopause, hormonal imbalances, obesity, sexually transmitted infections, and exposure to certain chemicals or medications.
Blockage in the Fallopian tubes
One cause of infertility is a blockage in the Fallopian tubes. This blockage can be caused by a variety of things, including endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or scar tissue from previous surgeries. If you suspect you have a blockage, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Some common symptoms include pain during sex, heavy bleeding during periods, and pelvic pain.
Infertility can be a confusing and stressful time, especially when you don’t know what’s causing it or how to proceed to find out. To help you navigate the emotional and physical symptoms of infertility and make an informed decision about your next steps, follow this guide on 7 infertility symptoms you should never ignore, along with advice on how to figure out the cause behind them so you can move toward successful treatment and conception.
7 Infertility Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
In the United States, around 12% of married couples are infertile—meaning they’ve been unable to conceive after one year of unprotected sex. If you’re experiencing infertility, it’s important to visit your doctor immediately to find out what’s causing it and begin treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, infertility can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), premature birth, and delivery complications. Here are 7 common symptoms of infertility that you should never ignore.
1) Early signs you have an issue
- You’ve been trying to conceive for a while with no success. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year or more without success, it’s time to consult a fertility specialist.
- Your menstrual cycles are irregular. If your periods are irregular, it can be difficult to know when you’re ovulating. This can make it harder to get pregnant.
- You have pain during sex. Pain during intercourse is often a sign of endometriosis, a condition that can cause infertility.
2) Go to see your doctor right away
If you’re trying to conceive and you’re under 35, you should see your doctor if you haven’t been able to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. If you’re over 35, you should see your doctor if you haven’t been able to get pregnant after six months of unprotected sex.
- There are a number of different fertility tests that your doctor can perform to check for potential problems.
3) Too much stress is bad for fertility
When you’re trying to conceive, the last thing you want is more stress in your life. But unfortunately, that’s often what happens. According to a new study, stress may be to blame for up to 30% of all infertility cases.
4) Smoking decreases your fertility
While you may have heard that smoking is harmful to your health, you may not know that it also decreases your fertility. Smoking damages the lining of your Fallopian tubes, which can prevent eggs from passing through to the uterus. It also decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your eggs, which can prevent them from fertilizing. Plus, smoking increases your risk of miscarriage and premature birth. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to quit smoking for the sake of your fertility and your baby’s health.
5) Drinking too much also decreases your fertility
When you drink alcohol, it passes through the placenta and affects your baby’s development. Alcohol use is also linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s best to limit your alcohol intake or abstain from drinking altogether.
6) Low sperm count is another possible reason for infertility
A low sperm count is one of the main causes of infertility. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormones, genetic defects, and exposure to certain chemicals. If you have a low sperm count, you may experience symptoms such as difficulty conceiving, changes in your testicles, and erectile dysfunction. If you’re concerned about your fertility, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine the cause of your infertility and develop a treatment plan.
7) Other causes of infertility
If you’re trying to conceive and haven’t been successful, it’s important to consult with a doctor to rule out any potential medical causes. infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, low ovarian reserve, and more.