Signs of infertility in women


After a year of unprotected sex, you aren’t pregnant. How do you know if infertility is at play? For many women, there are signs. For some there are none. And, of course, it may not be you.

Are your periods irregular?

An irregular cycle may be a red flag for infertility struggle. If your cycles are short (less than 24 days) or long (more than 35 days) or are unpredictable, speak with your doctor. Menstrual cycles should be regular and operate at about a 28 day cycle. Anything much different than that and there may be an ovulation problem.

Do you bleed heavy or light? Is your cramping severe?

Bleeding for three to seven days is normal. Anything more or less and there may be cause for concern. If your bleeding changes from month to month this is something you want to discuss with a doctor. Changes might include heaviness or coloring, length of bleeding, and/or level of cramping.

Are you older than 35?

Age does contribute to reproductive ability. A woman at age 30 has a 20% of getting pregnant during any given cycle. By age 40 that chance has dropped to 5%.

What about your partner?

Male factor infertility is difficult to determine however, if there are problems with impotence or ejaculation, this could be the source of your inability to get pregnant. Low sperm count or compromised sperm mobility will need to be tested in a lab, but signs of sexual dysfunction can also be a sign of infertility.

Are you over or under weight?

Excessively thin or overweight can affect hormone development and fertility. Lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol and eating a poor diet can affect your fertility.

Have you had successive miscarriages?

A miscarriage can indicate an ability to get pregnant but not to carry the baby to term. This is also a type of infertility. Miscarriages are not uncommon with about 10-20% of pregnancies ending this way. But successive miscarriages may indicate a bigger problem.

Have you or your partner had chronic illnesses including cancer?

Diabetes and hypothyroidism can lead to infertility. Some medications like insulin, antidepressants and hormones may lead to irregular cycles and difficulty with conception. Some cancer treatments compromise fertility altogether. Explore your medical history to see if any of these might be affecting your ability to get pregnant now.

Source: American Fertility Association, About


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