In this article, infertility and how to know you are fertile. I will explain the signs and symptoms that will point to the possibility of infertility. Pregnancy is the sure confirmation of fertility. There are no specific symptoms or signs that will guarantee that a man or woman is fertile. However, there are certain symptoms or signs whose presence signifies the woman or man will need assistance for the couple to conceive.
For these symptoms and signs, they may be present at the moment or you might have experienced them in the past. Their residual effects might hinder conception.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS of INFERTILITY IN WOMEN
A woman who sees her period regularly and experiences premenstrual symptoms such as mood swing, breasts fullness, breasts tenderness, nausea and bloatedness is most likely to be fertile. If she is infertile, it is not likely due to ovulatory dysfunction, which is the common cause of infertility. During the course of evaluation for infertility, certain questions will be asked by the gynaecologist or urologist. These questions are asked to rule in or out the possibility of any medical condition that can cause infertility.
Apart from the inability to conceive, infertility on its own has no particular symptoms or signs. However, the manifestations of other underlying medical condition that can cause infertility are what you can feel and see as the possible symptoms and signs of infertility respectively.
If a woman is unable to conceive with the following symptoms and signs such as; irregular menses; with or without an anterior neck mass; heat (feels hot in cold weather) or cold intolerance (feels cold in hot weather), and excessive weight loss or gain. Thyroid disease may be responsible for these symptoms and signs. Abnormal thyroid hormone interferes with ovulation.
Also, some infertile women may have breast milk coming from the breasts. Whether they expressed it or it was spontaneous; with or without headache, dizziness or visual disturbance. The likely cause is due to high blood prolactin levels. This high blood prolactin levels could be as a result of tumour in the pituitary or from nipple stimulation. This stimulation can be from direct suckling on the breasts, nipple piercing or herpes zoster involving the chest wall. High blood prolactin interferes with ovulation.
Furthermore, menstrual irregularities associated with abnormal body hair distribution, excessive weight gain, acne with or without voice change is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with this condition have very few menses in a year. Some have to shave not only their legs but also their facial hair. These women have excess androgen; the male hormone which is responsible for their male pattern of hair distribution. Their irregular menses is due to the fact that they do not ovulate.
Chronic cyclical pelvic pain that starts some days before the onset of menses, and wanes with the commencement of menstruation, with or without bleeding from other body parts like the navel, is suggestive of endometriosis. This is when the inner lining of the womb is found outside the womb. It bleeds just like the womb during menses. This condition can cause adhesions to form around the fallopian tubes and block the tubes. Therefore, the egg release at ovulation and the sperm cannot meet because the fallopian tubes are blocked. This will result in infertility.
Similarly, Infertility in a woman with a Prior history of pelvic inflammatory disease is due to tubal blockage. Pelvic inflammatory disease is a gynecological emergency because of it after effect on the fallopian tubes and subsequent infertility. It manifest as fever, lower abdominal pain and or swelling with abnormal vaginal discharge. If poorly treatment, it could result in scarring of the fallopian tubes and subsequent infertility.
In addition, pelvic inflammatory disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis can run a sub-acute course. It will not manifest with the usual symptoms and signs that will prompt health seeking. Also, some individuals can carrier this infection without manifesting any symptoms but will subsequently transmit it to their sexual partners.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF INFERTILITY IN MEN
The fact that a man can achieve and sustain erection does not make him fertile. This is contrary to the belief that a fertile man should wake up every morning with an erection. Nocturnal penile tumescence commonly called “morning wood” is the erection that men get while sleeping or waking up in the morning. It might signify sexual capacity but not fertility. Some of the symptoms or signs of infertility might have occurred in the past or the man just began to notice these changes.
There are no specific symptoms and signs that signify infertility in a man. However, the presence of certain symptoms and signs in a man whose wife is having difficulty conceiving should be a cause for concern. These may be suggestive of an abnormality in sperm production or transport. These can result in Infertility and these symptoms and signs include:
- The opening of the urethral may point up or down instead of being at the tip of the penis. This affects proper sperm deposition at the cervix.
- Sudden reduction in sperm volume can follow retrograde ejaculation or obstruction of the sperm duct. This obstruction could be from inflammatory changes associated with infection involving the urethral, vas deferens or seminal vesicles.
- Reduction in testicular volume or size may be due to atrophy following trauma, infection causing inflammation of the testis, testicular torsion or reduction in blood supply and oxygen to the testis from complication of sickle cell disease.
- Inability to achieve and sustain erection may result from diabetes, effect of prolonged priapism (erection) in sickle cell male.
- Testicular discomfort, swelling or pain and the scrotum might feel like it contains a bag of worms. This is suggestive of varicocele, it affects the sperm structure.
- Breasts enlargement
- Discharge of breast milk from a man’s breast, headache and visual disturbances resulting from a tumour in the pituitary gland can result in infertility.
- Reduce sexual drive from reduce testosterone levels. This can be cause by effects of emotional stress, alcoholism or aging.