Home / Pregnancy  / What are the signs of infertility?

What are the signs of infertility?

If you are trying to conceive, you may be wondering what are the signs of infertility? Or how long is usually necessary for success and if your fertility should be a concern for you. Learn

signs of infertility

If you are trying to conceive, you may be wondering what are the signs of infertility? Or how long is usually necessary for success and if your fertility should be a concern for you. Learn more about the biological basis of the conception of a child, on the possible causes of infertility, your opportunity to experience fertility problems and on when it becomes useful to consult a specialist.


What are the signs of infertility and why does it occur?

All photographs showing movie stars in pregnancy dresses when they reached their late thirties and even forties might make you think it is easy to become pregnant. But this is often not the case. Up to 1 in 6 couples experiencing infertility problems.


Infertility is the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year (or six months if the woman is aged 35 or more) of regular sex and unprotected. This condition can equally be associated with male factors (one-third of cases) than female factors (one-third of cases). The third of cases which remain unexplained or are caused by factors related to both men and women.


Among the factors that may contribute to infertility in men include:

Problems associated with sperm (eg the presence of abnormally shaped sperm or sperm that can not swim properly, a reduction in sperm count.): These abnormalities can be caused by infections (such as mumps after puberty or sexually transmitted infections), increasing age, certain medical conditions or exposure to chemicals or high temperatures.


Reproductive organ abnormalities (such as cryptorchidism (undescended testicles)) or the concentration of male hormones; erectile dysfunction (problems getting an erection sufficient for penetration).


Retrograde ejaculation (a condition characterized by the movement of sperm within the bladder rather than outside of the penis during ejaculation).


Here are some signs of infertility in women:

  • problems associated with ovulation (release of the egg from the ovaries);
    damage or blockage of the fallopian tubes;
  • problems of the cervical mucus (e.g., too thick mucus or containing antibodies which kill sperm);
  • endometriosis (a condition characterized by the presence of tissue similar to the uterine lining outside the uterus);
  • the polycystic ovary syndrome (a hormonal imbalance that affects ovulation);
  • uterine fibroids (benign (non-cancerous) of the uterine wall);
  • the presence of scar tissue around the reproductive organs or inside thereof (this condition may be caused by sexually transmitted infections, appendicitis or by surgery in the abdominal or pelvic region);
  • birth defects causing a deformation of the uterus;
  • early menopause.



Other factors that may affect fertility (men and women):

  • advancing age (fertility of men and women declines with advancing age, although this decrease is greater in women);
  • emotional stress (which can affect the hormone levels);
  • poor nutrition;
  • having overweight;
  • exposure to certain toxic chemicals (such as lead and pesticides);
  • the use of certain drugs;
  • smoking, illicit drug use and excessive alcohol consumption;
    the use of certain lubricants;
  • certain medical conditions (eg. Cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems).


Some factors other than those we have stated may also play a role in infertility. If you are concerned about your fertility, ask your doctor whether any of these factors may affect your chances of conceiving a child.


Is it possible that you have a fertility problem?

If you are trying to conceive and don’t know the signs of infertility, you may be wondering how much time should be enough for you to get pregnant and when you should start to be concerned about your fertility.


Unfortunately, there is no way to determine exactly how much time is necessary for you to get pregnant. This period varies for each couple and depends on your age, health, birth control you were using before trying to conceive and coordinate your sex with ovulation.


In general, the odds of achieving pregnancy (when you have regular sex and unprotected) are:

25% after the first month,
60% after six months,
75% after nine months,
80% after 12 months,
90% after 18 months.


These data represent only a general guide and probabilities can be reduced for women over 30 years.

How can you know if it is time for you to worry? The main sign of infertility is the inability to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse and (or six months if the female partner is aged 35 or more). Then, you may wish to consult a doctor early if you are concerned about your fertility, especially if your partner or yourself have one or other factors that could  increase your risk infertility.


Review overview