Potential Signs of Infertility

You should know the potential signs of infertility if you are having difficulty getting pregnant and you suspect that you may be having infertility problems. 

Tell your doctor if you show any of these signs and ask for a referral to an infertility specialist.

One Year Without Pregnancy
You may be infertile if you have been trying to get pregnant for at least a year with no results. "Trying" to get pregnant means having unprotected sexual intercourse an average of three times per week.

Missed Periods
Missed periods-known as amenorrhea-or irregular periods can be a sign of hormonal problems, which can make getting pregnant difficult. Missed periods can be a sign that the ovaries have failed, sex hormones are not being produced properly, reproductive organs are malformed, hormones are imbalanced or a woman has too little body fat. Any of these can cause infertility.

Painful Periods
Painful periods and heavy cramping may be a sign of one of several diseases that can cause infertility.

Abdominal Pain
Unexplained abdominal pain not associated with your period may also signal endometriosis, internal infections or other causes of infertility.

Retrograde Ejaculation
In men, retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen is redirected to the urinary bladder instead of through the urethra. Because sperm does not exit the body, it cannot fertilize the egg and infertility can result.

Erectile Dysfunction
In men, the inability to create an erection can be a sign of an abnormality in the blood vessels of the penis, which can cause infertility.  It's important to note, however, that erectile dysfunction can be caused by stroke, alcohol abuse, circulatory problems, and other factors not related to infertility.

Multiple miscarriages, the loss of a fetus before the twentieth week of gestation, can signal infertility problems. There are other causes of miscarriages, but if a woman has repeated miscarriages, it could be a sign of infertility problems.

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