How do I know if I’m infertile?
This is an important question for many who are looking to start a family. For those who aren’t sure how to know if you’re infertile, there are lots of resources and support out there to help you get the answers you’re looking for.
You can always reach out to a professional for information about what being infertile means and how to know if you’re infertile. You can also keep reading to learn about what signs to look for and how doctors diagnose infertility in men and women.
How to Know if You’re Infertile [Signs and Symptoms]
In the United States, about one-third of infertility cases are due to female factors, one-third is from male factors, and the remaining cases are either unknown or a combination of female and male factors.
While the main symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive, there are many other signs and symptoms you can look for, depending on if you’re male or female.
For males, signs of infertility can include:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Erectile dysfunction
- And more
Signs of infertility in females can include:
- Underlying medical conditions
- Hormone changes
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- And more
If you experience any signs of infertility and you’ve been trying to conceive for at least a year, you may want to consult your doctor. Sometimes, underlying infertility causes may require treatment, while other may need simple ways of adjusting your lifestyle.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Infertility?
Before your doctor decides to complete any fertility testing, he or she will want to know about your sexual habits to help recommend ways that might improve your chances at conception.
When couples are still unable to conceive after some time, doctors will look to certain infertility tests. There are infertility tests for males and females, and you and your doctor will determine what needs to be done.
Specific infertility tests for males can include:
- Imaging, such as a brain MRI, scrotal, or transrectal ultrasound
- Hormone testing to determine your testosterone and other male hormone levels
- Testicular biopsy to help identify any possible abnormalities that could be contributing to infertility
- Semen analysis, which could be like a urine test
- Genetic testing to determine if there is a genetic defect that is causing infertility
- And more
For women, any of the following infertility tests could be performed:
- Ovarian reserve testing, which helps to determine the quantity of the eggs that are available for ovulation
- Imaging tests, which could include a sonohysterogram or pelvic ultrasound
- Hysterosalpingography, as it evaluates the condition of both the uterus and the fallopian tubes to look for any possible signs of blockages or other problems
- Ovulation testing, which is a type of blood test that measures your hormone levels to help determine if you’re ovulating
- Other hormone testing to check and evaluate the levels of ovulatory hormones and pituitary hormones
Although rare, there may be circumstances that require doctors to complete:
- Laparoscopy, which is a minimally-invasive surgery that helps identify blockages, scarring, endometriosis, and more
- Hysteroscopy, which is used to help look for uterine disease
Infertility tests and evaluations can be expensive and may involve uncomfortable procedures. There is also no guarantee that you’ll get pregnant, even after all the testing and counseling.
However, remember that no everyone needs to have all or many of these tests done to determine the cause of infertility. Talking with your doctor can help a great deal, as they will determine which tests you’ll have, which can help reduce a lot of stress.
Are There Other Options? [Surrogacy Could Be Right for You]
Even after an infertility diagnosis, there are still ways to conceive that people can discuss with their doctor, including surrogacy.
Surrogacy provides intended parents with the genetic relationship they are looking for, but they are not the ones to carry the pregnancy to term. Intended parents work with a surrogate, a fertility clinic, and other surrogacy professionals to make their dreams of having a family come true.
For those who are struggling with infertility, the first step you need to take is grieving and processing your emotions. Doing so can help prevent any possible hostile feelings toward their surrogate during this relationship.
Surrogacy is an emotional process, and the most important thing for you to know about going from infertility to surrogacy to build your family is that you don’t need to rush. This is an option that is always available to you, no matter how long it takes you to work through the struggles and emotions of infertility.
Talking with a surrogacy professional can help, as they can provide answers and support during this challenging time in your life. Reach out when you’re ready or if you have any questions about how to know if you’re infertile.