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Troubles Conceiving?

If you and your partner have been trying to start or grow your family for some time and have not been successful, you may start to think to yourself “why am I having trouble conceiving?” Unfortunately, there is no quick answer to that question, but The Warrior Coach is here to guide you with the steps to take to determine if it’s time to seek medical help. According to studies, 1 in 6 couples in Canada experience infertility. This number has doubled since the 1980s and continues to grow.

Definition of Infertility

The term “infertility” typically refers to the lack of conception after a reasonable period of sexual intercourse without contraception (ie. Birth control pill, condoms). This “reasonable period” is typically one year for women who are under 35 years of age and 6 months for women over 35 years of age. Infertility can affect both men (30% of the time) and women (40% of the time), or a mix of both male and female factors (20% of the time). Unfortunately, 10% of infertility cases are of unknown cause.

Possible Factors Impacting Fertility:

In women, there are several factors that can impact fertility:

  • Age (fertility decreases after age 35)

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • Low ovarian reserves (low number of eggs)

  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as Chlamydia (can cause blockages in the fallopian tubes)

  • Uterine growths or abnormalities (ie. fibroids or polyps)

  • Abnormalities with your fallopian tubes (missing tubes or blockages)

  • Endometriosis (excess of tissue that gathers around the reproductive organs)

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Early menopause (before age 40)

Factors impacting fertility in men include:

  • Poor sperm quality (their rate of movement and shape)

  • Low sperm count, or lack of sperm

  • A history of sexually transmitted infection (STI)

  • Hormonal imbalances

Other causes of infertility in both men and women may include:

  • Past treatments for cancer (like chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery)

  • Some chronic illnesses (like diabetes), as well as their treatments

  • Tobacco and alcohol use

  • Nutritional imbalances

  • Chronically high stress levels

  • Being under weight or overweight

When Do I Seek Help?

It is recommended that for women 35 years of age or younger, if you have not become pregnant after one year of trying to conceive, consider seeking medical help. If you are older than 35 years of age, seek help if you have been attempting conception for 6 months or longer without success.

Other situations for women where you may want to consider seeking help sooner than the above-mentioned timelines include:

  • If you have severe pain during your periods (menstruation) or while you are having intercourse (these may be signs of endometriosis)

  • If you have no periods or have irregular periods (this may point to problems with ovulation)

  • If you have had surgery in your abdomen or uterus in the past

  • If you have had more than one miscarriage

  • If you have a history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

  • If you have had cancer treatment in the past

  • If you have a family history of early menopause (before age 40)

For men, other situations that you may need to consider seeking medical advice sooner include:

  • If you have had surgery on your testicles or an injury to your testicles in the past

  • If you have premature ejaculation or lack of erections

  • If you have a history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

  • If you have had cancer treatment in the past

You can take The Warrior Coach Fertility Quiz now to help you with your consideration if it is time to seek medical help. If you do choose to reach out for medical advice and potentially treatment, know that The Warrior Coach will be here for you every step of the way.

If you find yourself hesitant to reach out for help, remember, seeking medical assistance to start or grow your family does not define you or your journey, it is simply a story that takes a little longer to write.


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