What are signs of Infertility?

You've been trying to get pregnant for some time now and still no luck. When should you feel is the right time to seek assistance? What are some of the signs you should look for that may indicate infertility factors?

As you know, the sperm of a male and the egg of a female are needed for natural conception. Through intercourse, a males sperm needs to be able to find and fertilize a females egg to create an embryo. That embryo must then be implanted to the female uterus for a successful pregnancy. Sounds simple, right? So why is it that you're still unable to conceive that easily?

Here are common factors to consider for females:

Advanced Maternal Age

Although every women's egg quality and ovarian reserve varies from patient to patient, a delay in pregnancy until a later age may decrease both egg quality and ovarian reserve. The traditional definition of advanced maternal age refers to women >35 years of age who are looking to get pregnant. It is possible for women who have a low egg quality (high FSH level) or low ovarian reserve (low AMH level) to get pregnant through infertility treatment such as egg preservation, egg donor and IVF. A woman with advanced maternal age may experience a higher risk of miscarriages and irregular periods.

Ovulatory Disorders

Releasing of the egg in an ovary is called ovulation. If a woman is not able to ovulate, she is unable to conceive. Ovulatory disorders are broken down into two groups: anovulation and oligo-ovulation. Anovulation is the state in which ovulation does not occur at all. Oligo-ovulation is the state in which ovulation may occur irregularly or infrequently.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (also known as PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that falls within both the anovulation and oligo-ovulation category. It is one of the most leading causes of infertility in today's reproductive age. PCOS occurs when a woman's reproductive hormone levels are imbalanced causing issues in the ovaries. Because the ovaries creates the egg that is released as a part of a normal menstrual cycle, any problems in the ovaries will not allow proper ovulation to take place.

Common Signs of PCOS:

  • Irregular periods

  • Increased or thick facial hair

  • Hair loss or thinning of hair

  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight

  • Acne

  • Issues conceiving

Uterine or Cervical Abnormalities

The lower part of the uterus is called the cervix. The uterus or womb of a female is where implantation occurs. Abnormalities in the uterus (most common abnormalities are congenital uterine conditions, polyps or fibroids) interfere with the implantation of an embryo.