Fertility can be one of those frightening subjects to look into. Even if you aren’t planning on having kids in the near future, the thought of potential fertility issues can disturb practically anyone. Granted, most people spend a great deal of time and effort trying not to get pregnant, so thinking about the flip side of things is a little odd. With that said, it’s smart to be on the lookout for fertility red flags. Protecting your reproductive health, even if you’re still on the fence about future kids, is crucial.
That said, the causes of infertility can be as baffling as they are heartbreaking for some people. Sure, most everyone knows that your age and cycle regularity will have some bearing on how difficult it is for you to conceive. But some of the factors, such as uterine fibroids, may exist without your knowledge.
Because everything about this topic can be nerve-wracking, it’s best to educate yourself as soon as possible. Remember, even if one or more of these potential fertility issues rings true for you, there are often treatment options available. As always, consult with your doctor if these or any additional symptoms make you concerned about future fertility issues.
Endometriosis is a painful condition that involves uterine tissue growing outside of the uterus. Although some misplaced tissue may not sound like the cause of a health crisis, endo can be a crushing condition for many women. What’s more, endo may cause scarring that blocks the ovarian tubes and complicates conception, as noted by Resolve.org. If you’ve had endometriosis, or even experienced some common symptoms of endometriosis, then you may want to discuss fertility with your doctor.
An Irregular Cycle
Irregular cycles are an annoying fact of life for many women. According to Very Well, if your irregular cycle is caused by an underlying condition such as anovulation or polycystic ovarian syndrome, then this may mean you’ll have increased difficulty conceiving. And even without any other conditions, irregular periods can make it difficult for you to figure out your ovulation times.
Here’s a terrifying fact: you may have tumors growing in your uterus. These benign tumors, known as uterine fibroids, may affect your fertility by altering the shape of your cervix or uterus, or blocking the fallopian tubes, according to the American Society For Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Fortunately, most women with fibroids will not be infertile, as further explained by the ASRM. It’s just a potential cause.
This may seem like a random symptom. But according to WebMD, infertility is sometimes related to a hormone problem that can cause hair loss or thinning. Strange to say, but your shedding hair may be the first indicator of potential fertility problems.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Dealing with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and all the resulting hormonal imbalances, is a chore on its own. And as noted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, for many women who have PCOS, the syndrome can also result in the absence of ovulation. Without ovulation, getting pregnant is a difficult process indeed.
How often do you think about your cervix on a daily basis? For what it’s worth, it may affect your chances of conception. As noted by WebMD, certain cervical issues make it difficult for sperm to pass through the cervical canal. Sometimes past cervical problems may affect your future fertility.
Isn’t it strange to think about scars on the inside of your body? In fact, uterine scarring can be caused by anything from surgeries to infections, and the resultant scar tissue can block the sperm from reaching the egg, according to USC Fertility. This may be a somewhat surprising cause of fertility problems.
Ugh, chances are you don’t need to be told about this factor at all. It seems like any woman who hasn’t had a kid by A Certain Age will be reminded, over and again, that time is not on your side. For what it’s worth, though, if you’re over about 35, then you may have relative difficulty conceiving, as noted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You’re working with fewer eggs, and your ovaries may not be able to release them as easily. Granted, everyone’s odds vary a little, so it’s best to have a frank discussion with your doctor.
Fallopian Tube Damage
The sperm needs a clear pathway to reach the egg. But as noted in WebMD, if your fallopian tubes are damaged by a condition such as endometriosis or even past surgeries, then it may make conception more difficult. Discuss your fertility with your physician if you suspect this may be an issue.