Signs of infertility are often overlooked until it comes to starting a family and difficulties in conception arise. It’s not an uncommon problem as around 1 in 7 couples experience difficulty in conceiving. Although for some it can happen quickly, for others it can take longer.
To minimise risk it’s a good idea to be aware of the following signs of infertility.
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Our bodies give us signals that we might not be thriving, and one of the early signs of this is an irregular period. Your period is an excellent indicator of your fertility status and if you are having irregular periods, no periods or abnormal bleeding this could mean that you aren’t ovulating. In order to get pregnant, having sex during your ovulation phase will give you the best chance of getting pregnant.
Tip: One thing you can easily do is to take control and learn how to track your own menstrual cycle. Gain an understanding of its four phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation and luteal phases and what these mean for you in relation to getting pregnant.
Changes in Vaginal Discharge
In addition to tracking your cycle, it is also important to take note of your vaginal discharge. Throughout the month its colour and consistency will change depending on which menstrual phase you are in.
Spotting brown blood is common and can occur for a number of reasons including ovulation, implantation and hormonal fluctuations with most of the causes being benign.
However, if you notice brown spotting for 2 or more days during the build-up to your period it could indicate that you are suffering from low progesterone levels. This can be a contributing risk factor for infertility and miscarriages.
If you are planning to start trying to conceive it is a good idea to get a full sexual health check-up to ensure that you do not have any undiagnosed infections present.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common and often come with no symptoms meaning the infection can be present for some time before an infection is detected. If left undiagnosed these infections can cause low-level inflammation and create an unfriendly environment within the reproductive system which is unlikely to support pregnancy.
But it’s not just STIs that could be causing infertility issues. Urinary tract infections, yeast infections and bacterial overgrowth could also be playing a part.
Hormone imbalances happen when there is an incorrect quality of one or more hormones within the bloodstream. These hormones play an important part in reproduction as they help to regulate the development and release of the female reproductive cells and eggs.
Common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include absent or irregular periods, spotting in between periods, painful periods, increased hair growth on the face/neck/chest and back and unexplained weight gain.
Fertility Health Check
If you are planning a family and have any concerns, or have noticed any symptoms mentioned above, don’t hesitate to book a consultation with one of our fertility specialists. We offer a full fertility MOT, and can quickly assess you, and give you guidance and support.