There are times when you feel like your body doesn’t want to cooperate. Like when you’ve been trying again and again to get pregnant without success, you feel like it’s trying to tell you something. However, there are times when your body is a very hard read. You can’t tell exactly what it’s trying to tell you. And when you are worried about infertility, you sometimes just have to know what your body is trying to say. So what are the signs and signals of infertility in women?
Let’s start by answering the question what is infertility? Infertility is a disease according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). It’s primarily defined by the inability to conceive successfully after a year of trying through sexual intercourse. This is its primary sign. If you have been struggling to conceive a child for about a year with no success, then you already fit the definition of infertility. However, as a woman, you may still be fertile as infertility affects men and women equally (and an equal percentage of infertility is due to both male and female factors). If you meet the definition, get an evaluation to see what is causing your infertility.
But how can you tell if you are infertile as a woman? Resolve: The National Infertility Association, an organization devoted to infertility and helping out victims of infertility, says that there is no singular sign or symptom for infertility. Many women do not know they are infertile until they try and meet the definition of infertility and discover their condition from the subsequent checkups and evaluations. This means that you shouldn’t panic if you don’t succeed at having a child immediately. The natural process of conception isn’t a sure shot thing every time. Sometimes the success rate of a natural pregnancy can be as low as 25% per attempt even if the couple is healthy and fertile.
However there are some signs that may be related to infertility. One of them is an irregular period. As a reminder of the basic characteristic of infertility, having an irregular period does not mean you are infertile. But it can be a sign that something is wrong. Although sometimes irregular periods are the results of side-effects from contraceptives or other medications like hormones you may have taken in the past, some irregular periods are caused by complications in your reproductive organs and hormones. Your reproductive organs and hormones are the essential pieces in your ability to get pregnant so any problems with these can lead to infertility. The fertility problems that might induce irregular periods include uterine defects, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Another one of the signs you might have to look out for is multiple miscarriages. Fertility doesn’t stop at getting pregnant. What you want is to give birth to a child. Sometimes this is where the problems occur. Sometimes your body is healthy enough to get pregnant but has difficulty keeping your child alive for the nine months it needs to fully develop. This can be due to uterine problems. Your uterus is the womb that the fertilized egg stays in until a baby is formed. Miscarriages may mean that your uterus has problems from myomas, polyps, or scar tissues that prevent it from doing its job. Sometimes you’re born with a deformed uterus that can also lead to multiple miscarriages. Even though miscarriages can occur in normal pregnancies, it is best to get an examination should you experience one.
Remember that there is no singular sign or symptom for infertility. Many women who suffer from irregular periods and go through miscarriages are perfectly fertile (albeit unlucky). The best way to keep track of your body is through regular checkups and examinations with your doctor. With the advances in medical science today, infertility is highly treatable. The earlier you detect it, the earlier you can treat it and often the better your chances are for starting a family of your very own.