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Signs of Infertility

written by: Jessica Bello • edited by: lrohner • updated: 10/13/2010

Worried about not being able to conceive? Learn about some of the most common signs of infertility and when to contact your doctor.

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    One of the most obvious signs of infertility in women is not conceiving despite regular intercourse with your partner. If you have not conceived a baby within one year, a visit to the gynecologist may be in order. Contact your doctor earlier if you have any reason to be worried about your fertility or if you are over the age of 35. The earlier infertility is diagnosed; the better is the chance of finding a treatment that will work.

    Even if you have some symptoms that could be sign of infertility, it does not mean that you are definitely infertile. If you have experienced any of these signs, have been trying for a baby for some time and are concerned about your fertility, you should contact your doctor. If you are young, the doctor might ask you to continue trying for some time or he might start a fertility investigation. Some early signs of infertility includes:

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    Age

    One of the main reasons behind infertility is often age. A study made by American Bureau of Health has shown that only two thirds of women can fall pregnant within one year after the age of 35. The chance of falling pregnant naturally decreases fast after this age and this is linked to the fact that the quality of eggs is reduced as a woman gets closer to menopause. The risk of miscarriages also increases with age.

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    Irregular or No Menstrual Period

    An irregular period could be a sign of infertility. Women who have a period longer than 35 days or shorter than 24 days should seek medical advice before trying to conceive as an irregular period could be a sign of a problem with the ovulation. Irregular periods do not have to be a fertility problem, but it could indicate hormonal imbalances or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

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    Heavy Bleeding

    This could also be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Common symptoms that occur together with heavy bleeding are irregular periods and acne. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility and affects around 70 percent of infertile women.

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    Weight

    Being overweight reduces fertility and can affect ovulation. Being severely underweight can also result in infertility, as it could stop ovulation.

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    Painful Periods

    This could be a sign of endometriosis, which is a condition that could cause infertility. Small pieces of the womb lining are found outside the womb in places such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, bowel, vagina or rectum. The most common symptoms of endometriosis also include heavy periods, pain in the lower tummy, pain during sexual intercourse and bleeding between periods.

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    Miscarriages

    A miscarriage is a pregnancy that ends spontaneously before the fetus can survive. Many women experience early miscarriages without even knowing that they were pregnant. A woman that has had three or more miscarriages will often be offered evaluation by their doctor to find out what is causing the miscarriages.

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    Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI)

    There are several Sexual Transmitted Infections that can cause infertility. Chlamydia is one of the STIs that could cause infertility if left untreated. If you suspect that you might have a sexually transmitted infection it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible.