Many couples and individuals don’t suspect infertility until they try to conceive. Months and months of unprotected intercourse that doesn’t result in pregnancy raises suspicions. For those over 35, six consecutive months of trying to conceive with no result should prompt concern. Under 35? Twelve consecutive months of unprotected sex and no pregnancy should prompt a visit to your doctor.
Very often, infertility remains undetected until the time arrives to start a family. The reason for this is that very often the symptoms of infertility females are subtle. Here we take a look at some of the more inconspicuous signs of female infertility and when there’s cause for concern.
7 Subtle Signs of Female Infertility
There are many different causes of female infertility. Sometimes infertility isn’t due to one glaring reason, but could involve an underlying condition such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome or an autoimmune condition. Here we offer seven of the more subtle signs that may indicate an underlying condition or something that relates directly to your fertility.
1. Heavy Periods
If you’re like most females, your periods are heavier some months than others. That’s typical and expected every once in a while. However, if you consistently experience a very heavy flow for your entire period, pass lots of clots or find you need to change your tampon or pad frequently (less than 3 hours consistently) you should reach out to your doctor or mention it at your next exam.
Heavy periods may indicate uterine fibroids or another condition that interferes with conception. Uterine fibroids are fairly common and affect up to 50% of women of reproductive age. Depending on size and location, they may or may not interfere with your fertility.
2. Irregular or Absent Periods
The regulatory of your period is the best indicator of normal ovulation. Regular periods are those that begin every 21-35 days with a flow that lasts from 3-5 days. Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and lasts until the first day of the next period. Typically, ovulation occurs at the midpoint of that cycle. So, if you have a 28-day cycle, you likely ovulate 14 days prior to the beginning of the next period.
An irregular period, one that lasts only a few days or for more than a week, is unpredictable or doesn’t come at all and you are not pregnant, may indicate a problem with ovulation.
3. Painful Periods
Cramping, headaches, bloating, and fatigue are common during the first few days of your period. If your period begins using up your sick days and interrupting your life while you go to bed with a heating pad for days, it could be a symptom of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition that involves tissue like that found in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) which attaches itself to your pelvic organs. Left untreated endometriosis poses a very serious threat to your fertility. The tissue sheds like the lining of the uterus during your period. The shedding is abnormal and may cause scar tissue on your fallopian tubes and ovaries and inflammation of your uterus. Any scar tissue or inflammation may prevent fertilization or implantation of the fertilized egg.
4. Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness makes intercourse painful and difficult. This condition also causes irritation and may even lead to a UTI or yeast infection. Chronic vaginal dryness in women who haven’t experienced menopause is cause for concern. Very often vaginal dryness, along with other symptoms, indicates a hormonal imbalance. When your hormones are not in sync as they should be you may experience infertility.
5. Hot Flashes
Just as vaginal dryness may indicate imbalanced hormones so might hot flashes. Your hot flashes may indicate a higher-than-normal amount of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). When FSH is high, you may have low ovarian reserve. That means your eggs are in short supply which causes infertility.
6. Unintentional Weight Gain or Loss
Weight gain or loss for no reason is never a good sign. In the case of female infertility, it could be a sign of thyroid disease, an autoimmune that affects your production of hormones, diabetes or PCOS, or many other conditions that impact your ability to conceive. Also, your weight plays a significant role in female infertility.
7. Excessive and Abnormal Hair Growth
One of the more obvious symptoms of PCOS is excessive hair growth. You may notice yourself plucking or waxing hairs from your chin, face, chest, or back-all abnormal places for female hair growth. This indicates an imbalance of hormones and an excess of male hormones. Who you have an excess of male hormones your eggs don’t fully mature and cause an overgrowth of cysts on your follicles (where your eggs develop). When your eggs aren’t fully formed, you do not ovulate.
If You Have Subtle Signs of Infertility
Subtle and not so subtle signs of infertility are cause for concern. If you experience any of the above signs or any other abnormal symptoms, it’s time to check your fertility. There are several treatments available to help. Contact the professionals at LA IVF today.