Children are believed to be a gift from God and most couples would love to be able to have a child whenever they want. However, this is not usually the case. Infertility is described as the condition whereby a woman or man suffers from natural complications that affect his or her ability to conceive with a partner. Younger women may be diagnosed with infertility if they are unable to get pregnant after having regular sexual intercourse with a partner for six months without using any form of birth control. For those over 35, doctors extend the time to a year before beginning to look for signs of infertility.
Signs of Infertility
You can only look at a person’s inability to have children as the most foremost sign of infertility. While some men or women experience various types of signs, others may detect nothing at all. It is important to know that the underlying cause of the infertility is the main determinant of the type of signs which may displayed, if any at all.
Signs Commonly Experienced by Women
- An irregular period is one of the most clear-cut signs of infertility in women. Menstrual flow may be extremely heavy or excessively light. The length of the menstrual cycle may also vary each month.
- If you do not experience any menstrual flow of blood for an extensive period of time even though you have been conclusively ruled out as not pregnant by a doctor, then this may be a sign that you are infertile.
- Severe pain and discomfort during menstruation is another sign that you may be suffering from one form of infertility or another. Body aches, pelvic pain and stomachaches are some of the common signs you may experience.
Hormonal disorders have been found to be one of the leading causes of female infertility. Some of the signs associated with such a condition include:
- Sexual libido level changes
- Hair loss
- Increase in weight
- Spotting of dark hair in areas such as the chin, chest and even lips
- Intense pain during sexual activity
- Dripping of milky substance from the breast
Signs of Infertility in Men
Diagnosing male infertility is more difficult because most men never display any clear symptoms. Some men are unsuccessful in impregnating multiple women for many years but never consider themselves as infertile. Some of the signs which may indicate male infertility include:
- Loss of sexual desire
- Hair loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pain and discomfort in the testicles
- Under-developed testicles
Deciding to seek treatment for suspected infertility may be difficult for most people, especially men. However, the earlier you see a doctor, the better your chances of getting diagnosed so that treatment can be developed, if necessary. Still, the timeframe of when to seek treatment depends on your age. If you are anywhere from 18-34, booking an appointment with your doctor is a step in the right direction if you have been unable to get pregnant after six months of consistent unprotected sex. Once you are over 35, you should wait about a year before seeking treatment for possible infertility.
What to Expect from your Doctor’s Appointment
Your medical provider will have to conduct various tests before infertility can be diagnosed. You may be asked to provide samples of your urine and blood while various scans such as CT or ultrasounds may be conducted. Depending on the results of these tests, you may be asked to see a fertility specialist to begin your journey of getting treatment. Some of the questions you can expect from your doctor may include:
- What kind of prescription and over-the-counter medications are you currently taking?
- Have you ever been pregnant or suffered a miscarriage?
- How often do you engage in unprotected sexual intercourse?
- When did you start trying to get pregnant?
- Are you noticing any changes in your body?
- Do you have history of chemotherapy or radiation treatment?
- Do you use narcotics, tobacco or alcohol? If yes, how often do you use them?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with any sexually transmitted infections?
- Are you suffering from any type of chronic infection or genetic disorder?
Try to look out for any signs your body may be experiencing so that your doctor can easily detect what your condition and prescribe the best form of treatment.