Infertility Warning Signs Every Women Looking to Conceive Should Be Aware Of
Here is the bad news about infertility: it affects a lot of people. 1 in 8 couples will struggle. Here is the good news about infertility: it often gives you hints that it is there. Think of it as breadcrumbs leading you to the root cause of your conception struggles.
I want to go through the main infertility warning signs women experience. The sooner you realize there is a problem, the sooner you can go about addressing the issue/s preventing you from having a baby.
If you are not trying yet, you can tackle these issues before they become a problem. If you have been trying unsuccessfully, these may lead you to the problem. This is great information to know so you can start a conversation with your doctor.
These signs may be considered more “obvious,” but I want to start out by mentioning some of the basic problems that can lead to fertility. These signs and symptoms may not be as subtle as those below, but they are important to know.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Uterine fibroids
First off, if you are over the age of 30, you are at a higher risk of dealing with infertility. In no way is every woman in her 30s or 40s going to be infertile, but the chance of having some difficulties goes up.
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Then any fertility-rated health problem you have already been diagnosed with will increase the chances that you will struggle with fertility.
Paying attention to your period (or lack thereof) can be your first look at your fertility situation. Remember your period is only one part of a larger cycle that includes ovulation. If one part of your cycle is out of whack, the other part probably is too.
Do you have any of the following issues?
- No periods
- Missed periods
- Abnormal periods
- Irregular periods
- Pale or very dark purple periods
- Bleeding in between periods
- Brown spotting before period
You should consider no periods or missed periods as a glaring road sign telling you to pull over into the OBGYN’s office. Irregular menstruation – like when your period decides to skip two months and then come twice in the same month – can be a sign too.
Then any sort of abnormality may be worth investigating. This could be anything from excessive cramping to extremely heavy periods. Anything that feels “off” may be a sign of uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, etc.
Stay very aware and talk to your doctor in detail about your periods. There may be things you may have never considered an abnormality.
For example, hormone and period expert Alisa Vitti explains that brown spotting before your period can be a sign of low progesterone levels, which may make it difficult to conceive a baby and difficult to keep the pregnancy. (Fortunately, she offers an all-natural solution: more B6 vitamin.)
Your hormones really are the stars of your fertility show. If they are not balanced and working properly, you are probably in for some conception issues – and possibly miscarriages too. Here are some signs of hormone imbalances:
- Male-Pattern Hair Growth
- Weight Gain
- Changes in libido
- Premature aging
Think about all the changes and annoying side effects of puberty and menopause. All of this happens because your hormones are shifting. In the same way, when your hormones are imbalanced, you will get a lot of those same symptoms.
Acne or male-patterned hair growth could be signs of too many “male” hormones. If you recently got off the birth control pill, your natural hormones may still be adjusting.
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Also, remember that sex hormones are not the only factors here…so are your stress hormones. If you are experiencing stress, depression, or insomnia, you may want to talk to your doctor about balancing your adrenals.
Other Health Problems
Many people may not take the time to realize how interdependent all the body’s systems are on one another. Your period and hormones may feel closely tied to your chances of becoming a mother, but so are things like your digestion.
Here are some other health problems that could still lead to fertility issues:
- Gut/digestion issues
Your gut acts like a control center for your whole body. When your digestive system – particularly all your gut flora – is not aligned correctly, you could have issues with your hormones and your fertility.
Signs of gut issues include: diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, weak immune system, headaches, extreme fatigue, acne and other skin conditions, joint pain, autoimmune diseases (Crohn’s and Celiac, for example), strong sugar cravings, brain fog, and nutrient deficiencies.
Once again, Alisa Vitti recommends combatting this issue by getting rid of sugar, dairy, and gluten.
Of course being overweight or underweight is connected to gut health issues. But it is also connected with poor diet and poor exercise habits. Below is a video that explains why weight affects fertility and what to do about it:
Finally, remember STDs may not show up with any symptoms until they start wrecking your fertility. If there is any chance at all that you could have possibly picked up an STD throughout your life, get checked.
Awareness is often the first step toward fixing any problem. So if you feel like you recognize a lot of these infertility signs in your own life, you can be empowered to start fixing the problems today.
But how do you even do that? What are your next steps? I will break it down for you:
- Visit your doctor, talk about these issues, check for big fertility concerns like polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis, and then get blood tests to see if you are deficient in nutrients or having some major hormonal imbalances. Also check for digestion issues like Celiac and test for any STDs.
- Once you have a clear idea about what specific issues you are dealing with, follow the specific instructions from your doctor (example: boost your vitamin D if you are deficient, treat any hidden STDs, or cut out the gluten)
- Then take charge of your own health. Eat clean and green with plenty of vitamin-filled produce. Lower your sugar intake. Find ways to de-stress (whether that is taking things out of your life like toxic friendships or adding things to your life like exercise, art, or meditation). Consider acupuncture. Take a probiotic.
- Finally, take a well-rounded, all-natural, fertility-boosting prenatal. You will want a blend of essential vitamins (like the B vitamins) as well as helpful herbs like ashwagandha and vitex.
Then remember something important: just because you have some of the signs of infertility does not mean you will have infertility – or that the issues are incurable. You have such a wide variety of natural and medical options to help you bring a baby into the world.