Is This a Serious Symptom?
If you feel like you’re having fertility problems, you certainly aren’t alone. Did you know that 10 to 15 percent of couples of reproductive age in the United States have trouble getting pregnant?
Some causes of infertility do not have any symptoms, while others have signs which may point to reproductive disorders. Here are symptoms that may mean you have issues which need treatment by a fertility specialist in order to have a baby.
Not Getting Pregnant is a Sign in Itself
If you’re under 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for a year, or you’re over 35 and have been trying for six months without getting pregnant, the fact that you’re not conceiving may point to one or more reproductive disorders. It may be time to consult a reproductive endocrinologist, a fertility specialist who can diagnose your issues and prescribe a treatment plan.
Infrequent or Prolonged Menstrual Periods
If you frequently skip periods, or your whole cycle lasts for more than 35 days, this may be a sign of problems with ovulation. Ovulation is the process by which your body, stimulated by hormones, causes an egg to mature and be released. Ovulation problems are usually caused by hormonal issues, which may be age-related or may be caused by other conditions.
Painful Menstrual Periods or Intercourse
Painful periods or pain when having sex may be signs of endometriosis. Many women with endometriosis have no symptoms at all, while others experience pain, cramps and heavy bleeding. Endometriosis is a very common cause of fertility problems in women. There are many treatments for endometriosis, ranging from medications to minimally invasive surgery to IUI or IVF. Fertility specialists will guide you as to which treatment option best fits your situation.
Obesity, Excess Hair Growth, and Acne
Irregular periods, excess hair growth, acne and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS.) PCOS causes the ovaries to swell and contain numerous fluid-filled sacs surrounding the eggs is usually associated with enlarged ovaries with multiple very small follicles (fluid filled sacs containing the egg) around the periphery of the ovaries . Women with PCOS have excess androgens, (male hormones) in their bodies.
The cause of PCOS is unknown, and it is associated with serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as infertility. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing these complications. As a first step, your doctor may recommend weight loss, since even a five percent reduction in weight may help symptoms improve.