Signs of Female Infertility

5 Common Symptoms of Infertility in Women

With birth control and advanced healthcare we’re able to decide exactly if and when we’re ready to build a family. But when that exciting time finally comes, some find that getting pregnant fast isn’t as easy as expected. 

For those who have been trying to get pregnant with no success, these infertility symptoms may shed some light about why it’s hard to get pregnant quickly. 

If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms and can’t get pregnant it’s recommended that you consult a medical professional before self diagnosing or treating infertility. These are the five signs you might be infertile.

#1 Abnormally Painful Periods and Change in Sex Drive

While periods are never fun or comfortable, some women experience much more painful periods than others. Many experience painful periods without any underlying medical conditions causing them.  

But for some who have painful periods, especially periods that become increasingly painful as you get older, there may be cause for evaluation. If your painful periods coincide with a change in your sex drive, it could be a sign of endometriosis. 

Endometriosis is a disorder that affects a woman’s reproductive organs. Over 176 million women across the world have been diagnosed with this condition. A key indicator of endometriosis is when uterine lining tissue begins to grow on other organs in the body. Typically these growths are centered around the pelvis and lower abdomen, although in some cases they can spread to other parts of the body. 

Those who have been diagnosed with Endometriosis usually experience difficulty getting pregnant due to growths causing blockages in the Fallopian tubes, cervix, or uterus. 

Depending on the severity of the case of endometriosis those diagnosed with this condition often also have a coinciding diagnosis of infertility. Thankfully, medical advancements have given us treatments for endometriosis related infertility, giving many women hope for successfully getting pregnant after an endometriosis diagnosis.

#2 Irregular Period Cycles

Every woman’s individual cycle is different. However, if you begin to notice a significant change in the regularity of your period cycle you may want to consult your doctor. 

A normal period cycle is between 24 to 35 days. If you find that you’re getting your period either sooner or much later than this timetable, or in an erratic pattern you may be showing signs of anovulation. 

Anovulation is caused by a hormone imbalance that prevents the ovaries from releasing an oocyte (or egg) in a menstrual cycle. Because an egg is necessary for ovulation to occur, a woman cannot get pregnant if this happens. About 30-40 percent of infertility cases in women are due to anovulation. Often, irregular periods are a good indicator that someone might be facing fertility issues.

#3 Changes in Period Flow

Just as every woman’s cycle length differs, period flow heaviness will be different for every individual. However, if your period flow changes and becomes noticeably heavier it may be a sign of menorrhagia. 

Menorrhagia is the term for very heavy menstrual bleeding, and often presents as a symptom of Anovulation. For those experiencing Anovulation related hormone imbalances they may find that their progesterone levels are too low. 

Progesterone is responsible for maintaining regular period cycles. During a normal menstrual cycle progesterone is produced after an egg is released. It prepares the uterus for pregnancy by helping to thicken the uterine lining, making it a critical hormone to get and stay pregnant. If progesterone levels are too low they can cause abnormally heavy bleeding. 

This abnormal bleeding is often mistaken for a period, but is usually  an indication anovulation or a hormone imbalance. If you notice a significant change in your cycle or experience sudden heavy bleeding you may want to talk to your doctor to see if you may need infertility testing.

#4 Lack of Periods

Each time a woman gets her period it means she has ovulated that month. If you have no period at all then your body has stopped ovulating or has an irregular ovulation cycle. 

Having no period at all is a good indicator that you might be facing an infertility diagnosis. 

There could be many factors that contribute to a lack of period. Medical conditions, dietary issues, or hormone imbalances all could factor into why you’ve stopped getting your period and that you may be facing infertility issues.

#5 Increase in Facial Hair

While it may seem unrelated to fertility, signs of increased hair growth on the face, chest, neck, or back could be a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (or PCOS) symptoms. 

PCOS is a condition caused by an overabundance of male hormones known as androgens. These normally are converted into estrogen, but for those suffering from PCOS the body may not convert them. 

If this happens, then the high androgen levels begin to interfere with the release and development of eggs during a menstrual cycle. PCOS may also cause the ovaries to enlarge and grow small cysts containing immature eggs. 

This condition also can lead to problems with ovulation either by stopping it completely or making it irregular. This results in significant problems with fertility health and successful conception and pregnancy.

Treatment Options for Infertility

Only a trained medical professional can diagnose a case of infertility. Once you’ve been diagnosed, there are several different fertility treatment options you and your doctor can pursue.

IUI, IVF, Donor Eggs or Donor Sperm, and even Surrogacy can all give you a route to having your own biological children. As fertility treatment can get expensive, Fertility Finders offers financial counseling, recommendations on insurance for fertility treatments, and fertility financing advice.