Knowing whether or not you are fertile, or infertile, can be difficult and you are definitely not alone in wanting to find out if you are infertile or not. As you are trying to conceive a baby, it is imperative that you know when you to need to get extra help in baby-making process. After all, the longer you wait and try to figure out things on your own, the longer your fears of infertility will eat away at you.
Suspecting That You Are Infertile
Unfortunately for women who are trying to conceive a baby, getting pregnant doesn’t happen overnight. And while this may be a known fact, it doesn’t keep the terrible thought of being infertile running through one’s head. This is especially true when you hear about your friends and family members who conceived the first time they tried. However, the truth of the matter is that it takes time to conceive.
Questions to Ponder
As every situation and person is different, the time it takes to conceive varies for each couple. Generally speaking, specialists do not consider infertility until a couple has failed in conceiving after trying for six months over the age of 35 or at least one year if they are under the age of 35. This is only the beginning, as these are also questions that you should consider asking yourself to help determine infertility:
- Do you have regular periods, and ovulate regularly?
- Are you currently taking, or have taken, legal or illegal drugs that could be affecting fertility?
- Have you ever been tested for STDs? If you have tested positive in the past, did you receive the necessary treatment for the STD?
- Have you been diagnosed with endometriosis, PCOS, or any other type of reproductive health problem?
- How is your overall general health? Are you significantly underweight, undergoing cancer treatments, etc.?
If you answered the first question with a no, or the other questions with a yes, then the possibility of being infertile is there. Therefore, it is critical to undergo fertility tests as soon as possible.
Do Your Own Research First
While nothing can be more concrete than fertility tests, they can be very stressful, time-consuming and expensive. So, before putting yourself as well as your partner through all the fertility testing, dig a little deeper and do some homework of your own.
One of the most common ways for women to do their own research is with a fertility monitor, which works to track the body’s hormonal changes. This ultimately provides indication of when you are most fertile. If no peak reading is achieved, then it could mean that there are underlying fertility issues.
In addition, there are also at-home tests that can be purchased, such as the Fertell Fertility Test, which is known to be accurate 95% of the time. This test can be used by both partners. In men, it tests the motile sperm concentration, and in women, it tests the ovarian reserve via the FHS, which is the follicle stimulating hormone.
While this is a good start, this test does not test for all infertility causes, so there is a possibility that you could be facing infertile issues even if the test reads negative.
Women: How to Know If You Are Infertile
Answers in regards to infertility are not easy to come by, and many couples never get a concrete answer as to why they are infertile. Instead, they are diagnosed with what is known as unexplained infertility. However, before it comes to that, women go through a myriad of tests. Because there are so many different factors to be considered in determining the cause of and presence of infertility, you need to be prepared to undergo a lot of testing.
Generally, you will see a specialist or visit a fertility clinic. When you do visit the specialist, you need to be straightforward and upfront with their pre-screen questions. Don’t beat around the bush or keep something from them. It is important that they know everything about you and your past, as previous issues like Chlamydia or use of steroids can be the root cause of your possible infertility.
Some of the tests that you may go through could include:
- Hormone and ovulation testing: Using a variety of methods, testing will be conducted to see if there are any ovulation issues or hormonal imbalances affecting your fertility.
- Ultrasounds: In a number of cases, doctors will perform an ultrasound to check for fibroids or cysts as well as the uterine lining for any underlying issues resulting in infertility.
- Hysterosalpingography: This is a special kind of X-ray that utilizes fluids to view your reproductive organs, particularly your fallopian tubes.
- Laparoscopic surgery: This is a surgical procedure performed outpatient that is used by doctors to look for cysts, ruptures, blockages and other medical concerns that could be affecting your fertility.
- Hysteroscopy: This is a procedure that expands the uterus with water or gas providing the doctor an easy way to look for any irregularities within the uterus using a special kind of tool called the hysteroscope.
- Endometrial biopsy: The doctor will take a small tissue sample from your endometrium to test for abnormal hormone levels.
Based on your medical history, your specialist will determine the most appropriate route of infertility testing. You can learn more about infertility and the various tests by visiting the American Pregnancy Association, Fertility Today and The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
Men: How to Know If You Are Infertile
Infertility doesn’t just happen in women, as it could be the man that is the problem in conception. In fact, it is known that about half of the time, the men have something to do with the infertility issues.
As a general rule, men undergo semen analysis. For this testing, men will need to provide one sample of semen, sometimes two samples. The semen is then tested for a number of factors. Specialists look for the sperm count, as well as the amount of and the shape of motile sperm.
Another test that men frequently undergo is blood testing to examine hormone levels. Sometimes, further testing may be required, including genetic testing, usually depending on the results of the semen analysis.
If you have been trying to conceive for several months, and have not been able to test positive for conception, then questioning your fertility is likely going to be something that runs through your mind. Schedule an appointment with a physician to discuss fertility options if you believe there may be a problem with your fertility. The sooner that you can fix the potential problem, the sooner that it can be treated, which means the sooner you can go about your life.