Patient Resources

A Few Potential Signs You May Have a Fertility Problem

A typical rule of thumb when it comes to trying to conceive is that if you have been trying to get pregnant for one year without success or for six months if you’re 35 or older without success, then your infertility specialist at NCCRM will likely diagnose you with infertility. You might be thinking that one year, or six months depending on your age, is too long to have to wait before knowing if there is a real problem. Here are some factors you and your partner should consider if you think you might be dealing with infertility – if you answer yes to any of these questions, talk to your infertility specialist at NCCRM. 

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Having an irregular cycle can be a red flag for infertility because it can be a sign of an ovulation problem. If your periods are unusually short (less than 24 hours), unusually long (more than 35 days), come unpredictably, or you don’t get them at all, then you should talk to your doctor.

Light Or Heavy Bleeding And Cramps

Bleeding between three to seven days can be considered normal. However, you should tell your doctor if your bleeding is very light or extremely heavy and intense. Menstrual cramps that are so intense that they interfere with your daily life can be a symptom of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Both conditions can cause infertility.

Older Than 35 Years Old

Both female and male fertility declines with age. The risk of infertility increases at age 35 for women and continues to grow with time. Male fertility is also affected by age, though not as drastically as it is for women. Research has found that as age increases, male fertility and sperm health decrease.


Being overweight or underweight can lead to trouble conceiving. In fact, obesity is believed to be one of the most common causes of preventable subfertility. For women who are obese, research has found that losing 5-10% of their body weight can jump-start ovulation. Research has shown that men that have a BMI less than 20 or are obese might be at risk for having lower testosterone, sperm concentration, and sperm counts.

Smoking And Alcohol Use

While most people are aware of the risks of using tobacco and alcohol while pregnant, smoking and drinking while trying to get pregnant can also cause problems. Smoking negatively affects sperm counts, sperm shape, and sperm movement, all of which are important factors for conception. In women, smoking can speed up the process of ovarian aging, bringing on earlier menopause. If you quit early enough, you might be able to reverse some of the damage. Heavy alcohol use can also lead to fertility problems for men and women as well. Excessive drinking has been linked to lower sperm counts, poor sperm movements, and irregular sperm shape in men, and one study found that with every additional drink consumed per week, the IVF success rate decreased.

NCCRM Infertility Specialists

If you don’t get pregnant after one year of trying, or six months if you are 35 or older, you should talk to your doctor. For more information about signs of infertility, visit our website or call our office today. NCCRM was established in 1992 to provide advanced reproductive techniques to couples who dream of having their own child. We invite you to put your confidence in our team at NCCRM, we look forward to working with you!

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