“Some possible infertility signs to lookout for”
It is estimated that about 75 percent of couples will conceive within six months of actively trying, and about 80 percent will be pregnant after a year, provided they are having well-timed sexual intercourse in confirmed ovulatory cycles. If conception does not happen after a year come and see us. If you are 35 years old or older, then you should seek consultation after six months of trying.
But what if there are signs or known risks of infertility before the one-year milestone? In that case, we recommend you to run some basic fertility tests as soon as possible. If everything comes back normal, depending on the individual scenario you can be reassured and continue trying on your own for a little longer. However, if there is an identified problem, you will have realized it much sooner, and your odds of successful fertility treatment will be much higher.
What are some possible early warning signs of infertility?
It is important that you pay attention to some symptoms and signs that can potentially mean trouble to conceive.
- Irregular menstrual cycles. Long or short cycles (total duration of the menstrual cycle should be around 28 days) can point to irregular ovulation or no ovulation at all. Immediately monitor ovulation during a few cycles that should occur around cycle day 14, better using urinary testing for LH surge (with over-the-counter ovulation kits). There are many causes for faulty ovulation and most of them relatively easy to treat.
- Abnormal bleeding patterns, pain. Particularly excessive bleeding during the menstrual flow, or bleeding in between cycles, with pain during menstruation and/or during intercourse. They could be due to presence of uterine fibroids or polyps, endometriosis or other.
- For the male partner there are usually no warning signs for having an abnormal semen analysis. Make sure there is no sexual dysfunction present and the frequency of intercourse is appropriate.
Which are the main risk factors for infertility?
- Woman’s age. This factor cannot be stressed enough! If you are over 35 years, fertility potential can already be decreased. Examine your ovarian reserve immediately and consult us for options. Furthermore, if you are under 35 years, but your ovarian reserve is low, treatments can still be very successful, but the window of opportunity may pass, so be proactive.
- History of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Prior or current infection and inflammation from chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause damage of the fallopian tubes, that can lead to obstruction or less obvious dysfunction impacting gamete transport and fertilization. Also, it may put a woman at risk for an ectopic pregnancy. The same applies for men. Left untreated, an epididymal infection can lead to, on one hand, scar tissue within the male reproductive tract creating obstructions, or on the other, increasing generation of reactive oxygen species that can affect sperm function.
- Previous ovarian surgery, cancer treatment. In both instances there may be damage to the ovarian reserve either of surgical origin or due to cancer treatments with radiation and/or chemotherapy.
- Presence of an underlying chronic illness, such as diabetes, thyroid issues, and many others.
- Life-style unhealthy habits (sedentarism, smoking, alcohol), toxics, some medicines, use of anabolic steroids (for men) and use of recreational drugs.
At the Sher Fertility Institute, New York, we will help you achieve your goal of starting a family. For further information please Request An Appointment or call us at (646) 792-7476.