Midwest Reproductive Center

Signs of Infertility

Dr. Dan Gehlbach explains how to recognize potential signs of infertility

A common medical problem, infertility impacts an estimated 7.3 million people in the U.S. At Midwest Reproductive Center, Dr. Dan Gehlbach and our team want to provide details about initial signs of infertility so that patients can seek assistance as soon as possible. Dr. Gehlbach has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility when issues do arise.

Infertility Fast Facts

  • 1 in 8 couples will deal with infertility.
  • 80 percent of couples who work with a fertility specialist eventually conceive.
  • Female infertility accounts for 33.3 percent of cases and male factor fertility accounts for 33.3 percent of cases. The rest of the cases are either a combination of issues or defined as unexplained.

Dr. Gehlbach explains the possible signs of infertility

Most physicians recommend that otherwise healthy couples try to conceive for 12 months before seeing a specialist. If you think you might be at risk for fertility problems, consider these questions:

Am I over 35?

Unlike men, who regularly produce new supplies of sperm, women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Female fertility peaks in the 20s and continues to decline as a woman ages. By 40, a woman has only a 5 percent chance each month of conceiving without assistance.

Do I have regular periods?

Once a young woman reaches puberty, her ovaries will release an egg each month and then the uterine lining thickens so the fertilized egg can implant. If the egg is not fertilized, the lining sloughs off and a menstrual period occurs. Sometimes, hormonal issues, ovulation dysfunction or premature ovarian failure can disrupt the normal cycle. Without ovulation, pregnancy cannot occur. During fertility testing, Dr. Gehlbach will order blood tests to check hormones, thyroid function and ovarian reserve.

Do I experience painful periods or pain during intercourse?

Many women of childbearing years develop a condition called endometriosis. In the female body, the uterus is lined with tissue called the endometrium. Sometimes, this tissue grows outside the uterus and attaches to other organs, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterine cavity and intestines. Endometriosis can lead to inflammation and scarring, which may impede pregnancy.

Do I have excessive hair growth, extra weight and/or irregular cycles?

Approximately 5 million women in this country have polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance that can affect fertility as well as overall health. Women with PCOS produce more androgens, or male hormones, than normal, causing issues with the development and release of an egg.

Does my partner contribute to infertility?

Often, people mistakenly assume that infertility is just a female problem. Of the couples dealing with infertility, approximately one-half experience male factor infertility. As part of an initial fertility work-up, Dr. Gehlbach will order a semen analysis. This simple test can check sperm volume, quality and quantity.

Combining experience and empathy, Dr. Gehlbach has helped hundreds of couples create or expand their families. Don’t give up on parenthood. Call our office to make an appointment and learn more about infertility diagnosis and treatment.