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How do I know if I’m infertile? 7 signs you may have trouble conceiving

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse for women under 35, or after six months for women over 35. “How do I know if I’m infertile?” Understanding whether you are infertile involves careful monitoring of your menstrual cycle, assessing any existing medical conditions, considering lifestyle factors and seeking appropriate medical testing. Early intervention and consultation with specialists can provide you with the best chances of addressing and overcoming fertility issues. 

Infertility is nuanced, however the following guide can help you understand if you might be facing any issues.

Track Your Menstrual Cycle

A regular menstrual cycle is a good indicator of ovulatory function. Cycles that are consistently too short (less than 21 days) or too long (more than 35 days) could signal ovulatory problems. Anovulation (not ovulating) is a common cause of infertility. Pay attention to the regularity, length, and symptoms of your cycle. Irregular periods or no periods at all are warning signs.

Assess Any Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can affect fertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, thyroid disorders and hyperprolactinaemia are some common issues that impact fertility. If you have any chronic conditions, it’s essential to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Examine Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle choices can significantly influence fertility. Factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, obesity and stress can reduce fertility in both men and women. A healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining a normal weight are beneficial for reproductive health. If you have a history of exposure to toxins, such as radiation or certain chemicals, this could also be a factor.

Monitor for Specific Symptoms

In women, symptoms like heavy or painful periods, pelvic pain and unusual vaginal discharge can indicate underlying conditions affecting fertility. Men should watch for symptoms like changes in hair growth, sexual function problems, pain or swelling in the testicles, and noticeable changes in ejaculate. These symptoms warrant a medical evaluation.

Seek Medical Testing

If you suspect infertility, medical testing is crucial. This might include blood tests to check hormone levels, an ultrasound to look at the ovaries and uterus, and tests to check for blocked fallopian tubes. Additional hormonal tests might also be conducted.

Understand Your Age

Age is a critical factor in fertility, particularly for women. Female fertility declines significantly after age 35 due to a decrease in the number and quality of eggs. Men also experience a decline in fertility with age, although it is more gradual.

Genetic Factors

Sometimes, genetic factors play a role in infertility. If there’s a family history of fertility issues, this might increase your likelihood of similar challenges. Genetic testing can sometimes identify specific inherited conditions affecting fertility.

How do I know if I’m infertile? Consult a Specialist

If you have concerns about your fertility, consulting a fertility specialist or a reproductive endocrinologist can provide clarity. These specialists can offer comprehensive testing and tailored treatment plans, including medications, assisted reproductive technologies like IVF or surgical interventions if necessary.

How do I know if I’m infertile? 7 signs you may have trouble conceiving
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