Have you been trying to conceive without success? Do you suspect you’re experiencing infertility? Some women know their fertility is not optimal after a battery of tests or many years of trying to conceive without a successful pregnancy. However, in other cases, fertility problems are harder to assess. A professional medical evaluation is needed for a full fertility-health diagnosis.
Female fertility problems are the primary factor for about 30% of couples struggling to conceive. While there are many different types of female fertility-health issues, this article covers five that women should not ignore and resources for learning what to do about them.
Signs & Symptoms of Possible Female Fertility Problems
1. Unexplained changes in the menstrual cycle. For women, the health of the menstrual cycle offers a good picture of fertility. Unexplained changes in your menstrual cycle can signal a possible fertility problem.
Menstrual cycle issues to watch for:
- Absent, Scant or a very light cycle
- Very heavy cycles passing many small clots, large clots or tissue
- Mid-cycle spotting
- Reproductive pain, intense menstrual cramps
- Long cycles (over 35 days) or short cycles (less than 21 days)
- Anovulatory cycles
Menstrual health concerns are extremely diverse but respond well to natural therapies in many cases. Learn more: Menstrual Health Resources.
2. Hormone imbalances. Do you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance? Hormonal imbalances is perhaps the most common female fertility problem. If you’re unsure, have fertility hormones tested with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) and ask questions.
Common imbalances that affect fertility:
- Elevated LH (luteinizing hormone) levels
- An imbalance between LH and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
- Insulin resistance
- High or low FSH
- Low or high thyroid stimulating hormone; autoimmune thyroid problems (Hashimoto’s)
- Estrogen dominance; excess estrogen; or low estrogen
- Low progesterone
- High prolactin
- High or low testosterone or DHEA
To help recover from hormone imbalance, start with a general hormone balance program. Learn more: Restore Hormonal Balance For Improved Fertility. Follow up by addressing your challenge areas with guidance from a fertility specialist.
3. Being over or underweight. University of Washington research in Fertility and Sterility finds obesity is a primary cause of female fertility problems in about 6% of cases. Another 6% of female infertility cases are caused by being underweight. Use a BMI calculator to find out where you stand.
Tip: Fertility experts suggest a BMI of at minimum 22 for optimum fertility. A BMI below 30 is best for fertility. Learn more: Can Body Weight Impact Fertility Health?
4. Reproductive infections, blockages or adhesions (scar tissue). Any of the following female fertility progbals can disrupt the uterine environment or blocking fertilization of the ovum.
Women at risk:
- History of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or sexually transmitted infections
- Uterine fibroids, endometriosis or large ovarian cysts
- Past C-section or other abdominal surgery
- Complicated D & C
- Chronic yeast or bacterial infections
- Fallopian tube blockage
Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis require medical treatment. Delaying or skipping medical treatment for any type of reproductive infection can be harmful to your long-term fertility. After treatment, use natural therapies to encourage recovery and normalize tissue. A few excellent choices: Fertility Yoga, Self Fertility Massage, Systemic Enzymes.
5. Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)/ Perimenopause or Menopause. Fertility starts to decline in our thirties, but when the menopause transition occurs is unique for every woman. Some women start perimenopause as early as their mid-30’s. Most others begin the transition in their early to mid-40’s.
Symptoms to watch for:
There can still be opportunities to conceive during perimenopause and POF if you have a menstrual cycle with regular ovulation. Learn more: Achieving Pregnancy During Perimenopause or Nurturing Yourself and Your Fertility with POF.
Natural pregnancy is no longer a possibility post menopause. IVF with an egg donor or another path to parenthood are options to explore.
Focus on Being Fertile
The symptoms presented here are warning signs to watch for and review with a fertility specialist. They do not immediately indicate infertility. Further, there are other body signs not included here that indicate a fertility challenge. For example, immunological and anatomical issues also lead to female fertility problems.
Pay attention to what’s going on with your body and find out as much as possible about your fertility health. Some fertility problems require medical help. Others resolve and all can benefit from lifestyle and diet changes, or a natural and medical combination approach. Wherever you fall, knowledge is power in overcoming any fertility challenge.
- Signs of Infertility: How To Know if You Are Experiencing Infertility. (2019).Retrieved from: https://natural-fertility-info.com/signs-of-infertility-how-to-know-if-you-are-experiencing-infertility.html
- Green, B. B., Weiss, N. S., & Daling, J. R. (1988). Risk of ovulatory infertility in relation to body weight**Supported in part by the National Institute of Child Health and Development, contract NOI HD 02821. Fertility and Sterility, 50(5), 721-726. doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(16)60305-9. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028216603059?via%3Dihub
- Malik, S. (2014, Nov.). The Truth about Weight and Fertility. Retrieved from: https://www.shadygrovefertility.com/blog/fertility-health/the-truth-about-weight-and-fertility/