Most women or their families do not consider the possibility of being infertile until faced with the inability to conceive. In some cases, the delayed diagnosis will influence the treatment’s effectiveness, hence further delaying pregnancy. Being aware of some of the easily identifiable symptoms will help women to understand their reproductive health better.
Abnormal and irregular periods are the most common and easily identifiable symptom of anything unusual about the reproductive system. A menstrual cycle of 28-35 days is considered to be normal if it is consistent. But if your cycle varies to an extent that it becomes difficult to estimate the possible date of periods, it is necessary to consult a doctor. Such irregularities could be signs of PCOS and hormonal imbalance. The absence of periods is a something that requires serious consideration. If you haven’t had your periods in more than three months, it is time to see your gynaecologist.
Most women experience cramps and some amount of pain during periods. But if you experience excessive pain and discomfort during periods, it could be signs of conditions such as endometriosis which can hinder the chances of pregnancy.
Hormone fluctuations can cause disturbances to the reproductive system in various ways and delay pregnancy. PCOS is a commonly seen issue among women of reproductive age and it is a hormonal disorder that causes ovaries to dysfunction and disrupts ovulation cycle. Hypothalamic dysfunction is another condition that affects ovulation cycle. In this condition, the production of two hormones follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which are essential for timely release of mature eggs from ovaries are disrupted. This condition could be a result of fatigue, excessive emotional stress, sudden weight loss or gain.
The irregularities in hormone production often reflect in the body and they are quite easy to spot. Skin issues such as acne, rashes, dark spots and pigmentation are few signs that can be identified in the early stages itself. Facial hair growth, thinning hair, weight gain and reduced sex drive are few of the other symptoms of hormone imbalance. This imbalance could be resulting from disorders such as PCOS or Hypothalamic dysfunction or thyroid gland dysfunction or stress.
Pain During Sex
Some women have been experiencing painful sex all their lives. In most cases, they believe that it is normal or they are too shy to talk about it. The reason lies in the lack of awareness and taboos attached to a women’s sex life. However, painful sex is not normal. It could be due to underlying conditions including hormone irregularities, endometriosis or dysfunctional organs. All these can pose serious threats to fertility, hence deserves immediate medical attention.
About the Author
Dr. Parasuram Gopinath is the Senior Consultant & Scientific Director at CIMAR Fertility Center with branches in several parts of Kerala. Tamil Nadu & Dubai. After Dr Parasuram completed his post-graduation in Obstetrics and Gynecology, his work has been mainly focused on infertility and embryology. He had undergone further training in Advanced Reproductive Techniques like Oocyte Cryopreservation, IMSI, IVM etc. from several centers in Singapore, Germany & Canada. He has personally done over 3000 ICSI procedures and was instrumental in introducing the technique of IMSI in South India. He is an Invited speaker at Several National conferences on Infertility and do also have several publications to his credit.
Dr. Parasuram Gopinath, MBBS. MS(OBG)
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