Are You Infertile?

As will be evident below, we could also call this page “Signs of Potential Infertility.”

A substantial number of women are affected by infertility by one degree or another, as are a similar percentage of men.  In other words causes of infertility can be due to both male or female factors. Many have no idea it is a problem until they try to get pregnant, and others

Are you infertile?

Are you infertile?

show symptoms that are easy to recognize.  This is not surprising, given the variety in different forms of infertility.  The signs differ from one person to the next, and may include the man.

One of the most obvious signs of infertility is if the couple is unsuccessful after vigorously trying for a reasonable period of time.  Since there is a good chance the condition will not show itself in other symptoms, a woman should check in with her physician if a year or more of continuous “trying” is unsuccessful.  By “trying” we mean sexual relations an average of 3 times per week.  It could take longer than a year, so patience is called for even as they pass the 12-month mark; some doctors want you to try upwards of two years.

Signs of Infertility in Women

Among the numerous potential signs of infertility, one of the most obvious is an irregular or unusual menstrual cycle.  On the other hand, an irregular cycle could mean several other things—or nothing much at all.  It might have no relationship to a fertility problem.

Pain in the pelvic region could be a sign of PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is covered in some detail on another page.  Unexpected changes in hair, or the appearance of hair in unusual places (chest, face) could indicate a hormone problem that will cause fertility issues.

Although not necessarily a result of infertility, a related phenomenon is weight.  That is excessive weight, or being too thin as the other extreme.  Obesity can be related to hormone problems, which mess with the ovulation process among other things.  A woman who is very thin may lack the necessary nutrients for successful conception.  So giving some thought to one’s weight is worth doing some time before trying to get pregnant.  If unusual weight gain is noticed, that could be related to a hormone imbalance that also ties to infertility.

Abuse of alcohol and other substances also can contribute to infertility, as we discuss in more detail on another page.  They are more causes than signs of infertility.  But if a person finds themselves with these

dependencies, there is a distinct chance that fertility problems are looming.  So in that respect they are a sign of things to come.

Signs of Infertility in Men

What about the man?  There are some signs of infertility in men also.  Men with un-descended testicles may be facing a reduced ability to “contribute” to the process of conception.  Wearing tight underwear or jeans can, over time, also be a factor in infertility in males.  Exposure of the genital area to extreme heat (super hot spa) can likewise result in a reduced sperm count.  Safe to say you don’t want to be taking hot baths or jumping into hot tubs at high temperatures when trying to get pregnant (or if you think you might want to get pregnant).

Some of the signs can be very similar for men and women.  Hormone imbalances that cause weight gain can also reduce the quantity and/or quality of sperm.  So sudden changes in health should be looked at carefully.  Obviously substance abuse can be a big roadblock for both men and women in that they tend to mess up the overall health and thus the ability to produce adequate sperm or eggs.  If you find yourself to be a big drinker, that is a sign that trouble may be brewing.

Final Thoughts 

Obviously observing any of these signs does not automatically mean that there is an infertility problem.  Some apparent signs of infertility may amount to nothing; if the symptoms are dramatic or could be indicators of some other serious condition it is clearly time to visit the doctor.  In fact, if in doubt have it checked out.  Otherwise, being patient and persisting with your efforts will often pay off over time.  As we’ve observed, sometimes patience is the best cure to what may seem like indications of infertility.