Infertility means the inability of a couple to conceive naturally, even after one year of unprotected sexual cohabitation. It affects many couples around the world, but there are treatment options as well.
According to Dr Sudip Basu, gynecologist and infertility expert at Srishti Infertility Clinic, Kolkata, the causes of infertility in women can be many, such as ovulation disorders, fallopian tube damage, endometriosis , uterine or cervical causes, etc. âIt can be detected and treated at an early age by watching for symptoms. The sooner it is detected, the sooner it can be cured, âhe said.
The doctor explained some major symptoms that could indicate infertility. Read on.
* Heavy, long or painful periods: Some women have a mild period for a few days, while others regularly have heavy periods and terrible cramps. Endometriosis, a disease in which tissue normally located in the uterus is found elsewhere in the body, can be common in women who have a heavy and painful period. Some other symptoms of endometriosis include irregular periods and spotting, chronic pelvic pain (not just during menstruation), bowel problems or pain during bowel movements, pain during sex, back pain, fatigue, nausea, etc.
* Irregularity of the menstrual cycle: An irregular cycle, which includes missed periods, can lead to infertility because it indicates that one is not ovulating regularly. Ovulation irregularities can be caused by a variety of factors, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity, underweight, and thyroid problems.
* Hormonal problems: Some signs of hormonal fluctuation are severe acne, cold hands and feet, reduced libido, loss of sex drive, discharge from the nipples, growth of facial hair, thinning hair on the top of the head , unexplained weight gain and more. A doctor can do tests to see if you have hormonal problems.
* Pain during intercourse: Dyspareunia, or pain during sex, can be an indication of an underlying health problem that can affect a woman’s fertility. Examples of such health problems are infections, endometriosis, and fibroids.
* Dark or pale menstrual blood: Menstrual blood is usually bright purple at the start of a period and may darken over the following days. If your period blood is consistently clearer than normal or very dark when you start your period, this could be a sign.
* Obesity: Obese women are less likely to conceive and are more likely to have problems during pregnancy than others.
* Underlying medical conditions: Medical conditions like PCOS, premature menopause, cancer, cancer treatments, damage to the ovaries or fallopian tubes, endometriosis, etc., can be a cause.
“Tests like hysterosalpingography, endometrial biopsy, laparoscopy, hormone workup can be done to find the cause of infertility, after which, appropriate treatment options can be chosen such as surgeries. in case of blockage of the fallopian tubes or of an ovarian cyst, IVF (in vitro fertilization), intrauterine insemination, ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), egg donation, GIFT (transfer of gametes fallopian tubes) and ZIFT (transfer of intrafallopian zygotes).
âA healthy lifestyle can be an excellent preventive measure against infertility. Limiting caffeine, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, maintaining body weight and reducing stress can go a long way, âthe doctor concluded.