Many times, we speak to our female patients and they ask us what symptoms they should be aware of that can commonly be associated with infertility. Dr. Oehninger at Sher Fertility Institute New York is sharing for us on his latest blog the six common symptoms associated with infertility diagnoses in women and, and how commonly infertility diagnoses display no symptoms at all.
According to RESOLVE, one in eight couples experiences infertility issues. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine also declares that infertility impacts men and women equally. Infertility is defined as being unable to achieve or sustain a pregnancy after six months of trying to conceive for women over 35 and after one year of trying to conceive in women under 35.
While the below symptoms alone do not indicate infertility, they are commonly associated with such diagnoses:
- Irregular monthly cycles – The average woman’s cycle is between 28-35 days, but the main factor to consider is consistency. If cycles always fall within the same few days in length, they are normal. If cycles are under or over the 28-35 window or are different every month, this may indicate issues. Being underweight or participating in too much exercise can cause periods to stop. Periods stop with some contraceptives, and this doesn’t indicate issues, but a woman will not know if her cycles are regular until she stops taking birth control. These symptoms are associated with thyroid imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovulatory disorders and endometriosis.
- Painful or heavy monthly cycles – Most periods range between 3-7 days, but women with heavy periods can undergo 10 days or more. Women with heavy cycles also commonly experience severe period pain. These symptoms are commonly experienced with polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovulatory disorders, uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
- Hot flashes or night sweats – If a woman is experiencing sudden feverish heat or sweating exceptionally during sleep, she is experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms can point to early menopause, a low egg count, diminished ovarian reserve or premature ovarian failure.
- Difficulty losing weight or excess weight – For women who struggle with weight and also have other symptoms – ovarian cysts, facial hair, thinning scalp hair, skin issues – the reason may be polycystic ovarian syndrome. In both men and women, excess weight can trigger a hormone imbalance in the body, impacting sperm count and ovulation.
- Pain during sex – Women experiencing pain during intercourse should seek the help of a medical professional to uncover the cause. In some cases, a hormone imbalance or endometriosis may be to blame.
- A drop in sex drive – A drop in sex drive in a female may be a symptom of a larger issue. Hormonal shifts can cause the libido to plummet. This is frequently experienced with low estrogen in women.
In women, a decline in egg supply, diminished egg quality, diminished ovarian reserve, and blockage in the fallopian tubes does not exhibit any symptoms.
Before a couple begins trying to conceive, or if they have been trying without success, basic infertility testing is available, affordable, and may be covered by insurance. For women, testing can involve a blood test to analyze anti-Müllerian Hormone, an indicator of egg supply, and Follicle Stimulating Hormone, an indicator of ovarian function. An ultrasound can also assess the ovaries, uterus, and uterine environment.
Contact Sher Fertility Institute New York at 646-792-7476 or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our fertility doctors. Our Patient Care Specialists will contact you within the next 24 hours.