Pregnancy happens in about 80-85% of couples within 12 months of trying to conceive, and in about 15-20% of couples, it takes longer than one year in order to get pregnant. Couples that are unable to get pregnant within 12 months of trying are generally considered to be infertile. Studies show an equal distribution of infertility causes among women and men. Infertility is caused by female factors alone in about 1/3 of all infertility cases, by male factors alone in another 1/3, and combined in 1/3 of all cases. In about 10-15% of cases no specific cause can be found (unexplained infertility).
Infertility symptoms in women
The main sign and symptom of infertility in women (and men) is not getting pregnant after intentionally trying for a certain amount of time by having regular intercourse on a regular basis. The main infertility symptoms include:
- An ovulation disorder such as those associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is among the most common female infertility factor.
- A woman's age is an important factor in female infertility. The ability for ovaries to produce eggs or to produce eggs in sufficient quality declines with age, starting after 30.
- Other causes of female infertility that are usually not associated with any specific symptoms include blocked fallopian tubes, which can occur when a woman has had pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
- Menstrual bleeding/periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.
- Irregular periods. The number of days in between each period varies each month.
- No menstrual periods (amenorrhea). You either never had a period, or your menstrual periods suddenly stop.
- Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea). Back pain, pelvic pain, and cramping may happen
Female infertility may also be related to certain hormone problem (especially PCOS) and symptoms can also include:
- Skin changes, including more acne
- Changes in sex drive and desire
- Dark hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin
- Loss of hair or thinning hair
- Weight gain
Other symptoms of disorders that may lead to infertility include:
- Milky white discharge from nipples unrelated to breastfeeding
- Pain during sex
Many women don't have any other specific symptoms, but that can also depend on what is causing infertility.
Female infertility causes
- Causes of Infertility in Women
- Dealing with the Emotional Impact of Infertility for Women
- Top Causes of Infertility
- Infertility Guide: Why Can't We Get Pregnant?
Infertility questions and answers
- 10 Common Female Fertility Myths
- What Is Unexplained Infertility?
- When Should You See an Infertility Specialist?
- Male Fertility Testing
- Infertility Tests for Men
- Sperm Count Calculator
- Semen Analysis - Sperm Count