If you and your partner have been having sex regularly for 6 months to 1 year and have not conceived, one of you may have an infertility issue. If you are actively trying to become pregnant, knowing the signs of infertility in women and the signs of infertility in men are beneficial.
There are several signs you can look for that may lead to questions whether you may have a fertility issue including:
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1. Abnormal, Irregular or No Menstrual Cycle At All
When trying to conceive, it is crucial to keep track of your menstrual cycle. This is a common reason why most women do not become pregnant due to infertility. Many women are not aware that they are having an irregular cycle or no cycle at all. To become pregnant you must be aware of when and if you are ovulating.
There are several different applications available to help you keep track of your ovulation, symptoms, bleeding, and more. Once you can get a grasp on how your menstrual cycle is or is not, you can discuss this with your doctor.
2. No Change in Your Basal Body Temperature
Checking your basal body temperature may sound a little old school, but if you have been trying to conceive and believe you are having fertility issues, this may be a method you have been using. A lot of the fertility apps have an area to record your basal body temperature also. What is your basal body temperature? This is the temperature of your body when you are at full rest. When you ovulate, your body temperature increases. If you are checking your basal body temperature daily and are never seeing an increase in temperature, this is a sign you are not ovulating and a sign of infertility.
The best time of day to check your basal body temperature is first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed. Make sure you use an accurate thermometer or a specific basal thermometer.
3. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances are a huge reason for infertility. It is common for women to experience skin changes including more acne, weight gain, loss of hair, dark hair growth, headaches, breast tenderness, nipple discharge (not related to breastfeeding), low sex drive, vaginal dryness, and bloating. When women approach their doctor with infertility issues all of these things are looked at and then it is determined how to balance out your hormones.
If you are experiencing pain during sexual intercourse this could be a sign of an infection. There are lots of reasons for infections that could be from sexually transmitted diseases or a low immune system.
5. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is another very common reason for infertility. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is when a woman does not release an egg regularly, or in other words does not ovulate. The ovaries contain a small cystic structure, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs. The eggs grow, but are never released from these fluid-filled sacs, which causes no ovulation. The difference between a normal ovary and a polycystic ovary is in a polycystic ovary there are many small follicles with eggs in them, but they do not mature properly which leads to no ovulation.
A lot of women do not know they have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome until they are trying to conceive. They may notice some signs that include extra amount of facial hair growth, irregular or no menstrual cycle, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, and darkened skin patches. An imbalance of hormones can go hand-in-hand with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. If you are noticing any of the above symptoms you may have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which may be the cause for infertility.
Men can also be the source of not conceiving. They may not be aware of any issues until they begin trying to conceive. Most of men’s infertility is due to low sperm counts and/or poor sperm quality. Low sperm count means you are not producing enough sperm, so you have decreased chances in fertilizing an egg. Low sperm motility may mean the sperm are not moving normally and are less likely to fertilize an egg. Sperm quality may include the shape and size is not correct which would cause issues with fertilizing with an egg.
Just like women, men may show signs of infertility:
Just like in women, hormones play a huge role in men’s fertility. If men have underlying hormonal issues that have not been treated, they may not be able to conceive with their partner. Some hormonal imbalance signs to look for include increase or decrease in hair growth, decrease in sex drive, abnormal breast growth, decrease in ejaculation or erection.
Pain, Lump or swelling in Testicles
If you notice any of these conditions consult your doctor immediately. You could have an undescended testicle or an undiagnosed cancer.
Problems With an Erection or Ejaculation
Not only is this a hormonal issue but also it could mean you may have undiagnosed diabetes or high blood pressure. It is also important to know that even if you are ejaculating semen, your semen may have no sperm.
When it comes to signs for infertility in both men and women, in most cases couples do not realize there is an issue until they start trying to conceive. It is important to listen and pay close attention to your body, so if you notice something abnormal, you know to bring it to the attention your health-care provider. Your provider and you can look into the issue in more detail and determine whether it may be a reason for infertility.