Amid the excitement and preparation of planning a pregnancy, it’s important to keep fertility in mind, and watch for signs of fertility trouble. If you find that you haven’t gotten pregnant after trying for some time, the next best step is to schedule a visit with a gynecologist.
Here at Ideal Gynecology, our board-certified gynecologist Lillian Schapiro, MD, FACOG, provides outstanding care to patients in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area. She routinely helps patients detect and find solutions for fertility problems to help you accomplish your dream of starting or expanding your family.
Let’s discuss some of the most common signs of infertility and what you can do about it.
How is infertility defined?
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of trying. Two or more consecutive miscarriages can also indicate a fertility problem. If you’ve been trying for at least 12 months without success, or if you’re 35 years of age or older and have been trying for at least six months, it’s wise to see a fertility specialist.
Fertility begins to decline more rapidly at or near age 35. If something is wrong, it’s critical that we identify the problem, so that we can address it as soon as possible. Getting help sooner, no matter your age, will increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Signs that could point to fertility issues
You aren’t alone if you're having trouble getting pregnant. One in every five women has trouble getting pregnant after a year of trying. Though it can be difficult to recognize infertility symptoms right away, there are a few signs:
The average woman's cycle lasts approximately 28 days. However, as long as the cycle is consistent, it is considered normal if it lasts between 21-35 days. There may be trouble if you have cycles that are so unpredictable that you’re unable to tell when they’ll arrive. Thyroid disorders and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are just two issues that can cause irregular periods.
You may occasionally skip a period because of temporary life stress or overexercising. If you haven't had your period in months, however, it's a good idea to see a doctor.
Unusually heavy periods that interfere with your daily activities could be a sign of uterine fibroids or endometriosis. Both conditions can make it difficult to get pregnant.
Painful during intercourse
Although it may not seem related, pain during intercourse could be a sign of an underlying condition like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease that can interfere with fertility.
Weight gain, hair loss, constant fatigue, fluid retention, headaches, facial hair, and severe acne are all symptoms of hormonal imbalances. In these cases, the body's hormones are out of balance, making it more difficult to conceive.
It’s important to keep in mind that infertility isn’t just a woman’s problem. Men and women can have issues impacting fertility.
The next step
If you have signs of fertility trouble, the first step is to see a gynecologist for an infertility workup. From there, Dr. Schapiro may recommend treatment or refer you to a fertility clinic for further care.
We’re here to answer your questions and discuss your issues surrounding fertility trouble. To schedule a visit with Dr. Schapiro, give our team a call at our Atlanta or McDonough office today.