Infertility is a common issue that affects couples all over the world. This is characterised by the inability to conceive naturally despite having well-timed, unprotected sexual intercourse for over a year. The main symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive for a long time. However, there are other infertility symptoms in women as well. These are related to underlying conditions that can influence infertility. It is important to note that often women who have infertility symptoms as listed below, might not face any trouble conceiving, whereas, women who suffer from none of the symptoms mentioned be infertile.
Easy to identify symptoms of female infertility
1. Irregular Periods
On an average, a menstrual cycle lasts for 28-30 days. Some women have their periods like clockwork after exactly 28 while others have one period after 30 days. There are women who even have their periods after 32 days or even after 27 days and so on.
Thus a variation of a few days here and there is normal. However, not being able to estimate the date of the period because of inconsistent cycles or skipping a cycle is not normal. A menstrual cycle of less than 21 days or longer than 35 days is considered abnormal. This may be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or hormone issues.
2. Painful Periods
Many women experience cramps for a day or two during their periods. This is usually bearable. However, some women may have very painful cramps that interfere with their daily life. They may also experience a heavier than normal blood flow. This should not be ignored as it could be a sign of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue lining the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus and mainly in the ovaries. Endometriosis can cause anatomic distortions such as pelvic scarring that can lead to infertility.
3. Hormone Fluctuations
A number of hormones impact fertility. This includes:
- Thyroid hormone
- Follicle-stimulating hormone
- Progesterone and luteinizing hormone
- Prolactin - luteotropic hormone
Hormone imbalances are often the cause of infertility. Symptoms of hormone imbalances include:
- Acne and skin trouble
- The growth of facial hair
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Reduced sex drive
4. Painful Sexual Intercourse
Ideally, sex should not be painful. Pain during sex may be caused by underlying conditions such as:
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Problems with the cervix and uterus
These conditions can increase the risk of infertility. Other factors that can act as indicators of infertility risk are age, thyroid issues, obesity, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, hypertension, cancer or cancer treatment and poor adrenal health.
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