Signs and Symptoms of Infertility
Support in identifying possible signs and symptoms of infertility can be a great resource to couples trying to conceive. This guide will provide information on infertility, the condition involving the reproductive system and impairment in conceiving children. Infertility is typically diagnosed after a couple has tried unsuccessfully to conceive for at least one year. Infertility can be a source of great stress and conflict in a couple trying to start a family, and having infertility support can be very beneficial to a marriage. Consult your physician if you have one or more of the following signs of infertility, in order to pinpoint strategies to take to promote conception.
Irregular or Absent Menstruation
Amenorrhea refers to the abnormal absence or suppression of menstruation in post pubescent, pre-menopausal women. Typically, menstruation should occur each month in healthy women of child bearing age. However, if you find yourself having a cycle that is delayed or irregular, it might be a symptom of infertility. Potential causes of amenorrhea include changes or disruptions in hormone levels, changes in the glands, or changes in the body's organs. Possible causes here may be related to a failure in one or both ovaries, trouble in the central nervous system, hormonal imbalances, malformed or injured reproductive organs, or a minimal amount of body fat.
A miscarriage refers to the condition where a fetus is expelled from the uterus before a full term pregnancy. Miscarriages are not always symptoms of infertility, as they may also occur if a woman has genetic susceptibilities, or through reasons related to injury, trauma, or sickness. However, if you experience multiple miscarriages, you should see a physician for testing to determine if the reasons for the miscarriages may be related to trouble with your reproductive system.
Endometriosis refers to a potentially life-threatening disorder where the lining that normally grows on the inside of the uterus begins to grow in other locations, such as on the fallopian tubes, around the ovaries, or even around the pelvic tissue. The combination of endometriosis and menstruation may result in infertility. Similarly, a menstruation period that is exceedingly painful or heavy may be indicative of possible infertility.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease refers to an infection caused by bacteria that may also affect fertility. The infection typically begins in the uterus and may then spread to other organs related to reproduction in the body.
Stenosis refers to an unnatural narrowing of the cervix. This may result from scarring, injury, or tumors. The presence of Stenosis may be indicative of or contributory to infertility.
Fibroids are another potential contributor to infertility. Also known as uterine fibroids, they are benign, or non-cancerous tumors, that form from tissues around the uterus. It is possible that one in every four women may have or develop fibroids. It is possible to have fibroids without knowledge of their presence, as they may be small enough to not disrupt the process of conception and pregnancy. Typically, fibroids are discovered later in a woman's reproductive years.
Larger fibroids are known to play a role in infertility; when fibroids become large enough to either change the shape of the uterine cavity, or when they enter the cavity itself, fertility can decrease by seventy percent. Fibroids that develop during pregnancy can significantly increase the chances of miscarrying. It is not known why fibroids occur, although some appear to have a genetic origin. Regardless of cause, they can often be treated by surgical removal, or through treatment with anti- inflammatory drugs. They are most easily detected through pelvic tests and ultrasounds.