How Do I Know If I Am Infertile?

Unveiling the Emotional Journey of Infertility

Determining Calgary infertility can be a complex process involving a range of medical evaluations and an understanding of what infertility means. Infertility is typically defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected, regular sexual intercourse. For women over 35, the time frame is six months rather than a year. It’s a condition that affects both men and women, and there are several signs and factors to consider if you suspect infertility.

Understanding Infertility

Infertility may be due to a single cause in either you or your partner or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of women (6.1 million) in the United States aged 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles: One of the most apparent signs of potential fertility issues is irregularity in menstrual cycles, including cycles that are too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), irregular, or absent.
  • Painful Periods: While many women experience cramps with their periods, excessive pain could indicate conditions like endometriosis, which can affect fertility.
  • No Periods: The absence of menstruation can indicate potential fertility issues.
  • Symptoms in Men: For men, signs of potential infertility include changes in sexual desire, testicular pain or swelling, problems with erections and ejaculation, and small, firm testicles.

When to See a Doctor

Women under 35 are advised to seek help after one year of trying. For women 35 or older, seeking consultation after six months of trying is recommended. Earlier intervention may be warranted if there are known issues like irregular cycles or a history of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility can be due to various reasons:

  • For women, common causes include ovulation disorders, tubal occlusion, endometriosis, uterine or cervical abnormalities, and age-related factors.
  • For men, causes often involve sperm production, function, or delivery issues.


Infertility evaluation can include several steps:

  • For women, this might involve physical exams, ovulation tracking, hysterosalpingography (to assess the condition of the uterus and fallopian tubes), and laparoscopy.
  • For men, evaluation typically includes semen analysis, hormone testing, genetic testing, and testicular biopsy in some cases.


Infertility treatment can range from medication to assist ovulation, such as the Creighton Method, and surgery to repair reproductive organs to assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Treatment choice depends on the underlying cause, the couple’s ages, how long they have attempted to conceive, and personal preferences.


Facing infertility can be emotionally and physically challenging. However, many individuals and couples find success with the current treatments available. The key is early evaluation and intervention, guided by healthcare professionals specializing in reproductive health. For those concerned about their fertility, the first step is to have an open discussion with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate steps and evaluations.


For more detailed information and support, reputable sources like the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Resolve: The National Infertility Association and the CDC offer comprehensive guides and assistance for individuals and couples facing infertility challenges.

Remember, while infertility can feel isolating, support and resources are available to help navigate this journey.