Infertility is a very serious concern several couples across the world face while trying to conceive a baby. Most often, couples only identify the problem after frequently trying to conceive a baby for months or sometimes even years. A research survey conducted in 2017 states that “over 15% of couples face the issue of infertility”.
Infertility can be caused in men and women due to various factors that arise with our daily habits/routine. There’s also a fair possibility that infertility could also be caused genetically. This happens due to an inherited chromosome abnormality. In some rare cases, it could also be due to a single-gene defect passed from the parent to child. The biggest concern when it comes to infertility is the lack of awareness among people which causes a wide gap and makes it difficult for any couple to realise that they might be infertile. It is highly recommended to consult a gynecologists at the right time and have a fair amount of knowledge on this topic.
Below are 7 signs in men and women that could indicate an infertility problem:
Infertility In Men
- Lump in the testicular region
One of the most common signs men tend to neglect or overlook is a lump or abnormality in the testicular region. This could be caused due to the inflammation of the testicles or swollen veins (varicocele) in the scrotum which if not addressed soon could lead to permanent infertility.
- Low Sperm Count
Another very common sign of infertility in men is having a low sperm count. It is very important to get your sperm count tested if one is trying to conceive a child for long and is unable to do so. Low sperm count could be cause due to various reasons. It could be a pre-existing genetic condition, or due to daily lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol/smoking,erectile dysfunction, exposure to radiation, even due to blockage caused due to a previous infection.
In some cases, obesity could also be the reason behind infertility. The prime hormonal defect in obese men is hypotestosteronemia, which results in impaired spermatogenesis leading to poor fecundability. Studies have also shown that most mechanisms accounting for reduced fertility potentials in overweight men are reversible if identified at an early stage.
- Celiac disease
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten. Celiac disease most often results to infertility in men. Although, the fertility of men can be improved by adopting a gluten-free diet.
Infertility in Women
- Irregular periods
The most common sign of infertility in women is the irregularity in periods. If your periods are occasionally late by a few days, that’s probably not an issue but if they are completely irregular which makes it impossible to track your menstruation cycle, it could lead to infertility. In layman’s terms, irregular periods indicate that you are not ovulating, which means you cannot conceive a child. Almost 30-40% of women gain their fertility back in these cases so we strictly suggest you to visit a doctor if you constantly see an irregularity in your periods.
- Pain during intercourse
Another common sign of infertility in women is experiencing excruciating pain during intercourse. The medical term for painful intercourse is called dyspareunia. It could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition which causes infertility.
In some cases, the cause for the pain doesn’t directly affect fertility but the fact that intercourse causes pain makes getting pregnant nearly impossible.
Two such common pain conditions are ‘vulvodynia’ and ‘vaginismus’ (pain or a burning sensation in the vaginal region).
- Change in Skin Tone
A very noticeable sign of infertility in women is also a sudden change in the skin tone. The onset of adult acne, could be a sign that the hormone levels are off. More specifically, sudden severe skin tone change could mean that you’re suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS occurs in women who have an excess of androgens, also referred to as “male hormones. It tampers with the hormonal balance, thus leading to infertility.
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Dr. Aishwarya V. Mathikatti
MS (OBG), Diploma in Reproductive Medicine (Germany), Diploma in Ultrasonography, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology Infertility
Dr. Aishwarya has an experience of over 7 years. She is very passionate about artificial reproductive techniques and she constantly updates herself with the latest techniques.