Can hormones affect fertility?
Hormones play an important role in female fertility and reproduction (particularly those that control the menstrual cycle). Hormones signal and govern the formation of an egg in the ovary, the release of the newly formed egg into the fallopian tubes, and the changes in the thickness of the uterine lining for its implantation for a pregnancy to occur.
Any of these processes can be delayed or prevented by a lack of or insufficient quantity of one or more hormones, making pregnancy difficult to obtain.
Anovulation, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and hyperprolactinemia can happen due to hormonal imbalances. Infrequent or missing ovulation is a common symptom of these diseases, making it difficult for a person or couple to conceive.
Symptoms of fertility issues
You may have fertility issues if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Heavy or painful periods.
- Absent or irregular periods (it can mean that you’re not ovulating).
- A cycle that’s longer than 35 days (about 1 month 4 and a half days) or more.
- A cycle that’s less than 21 days (about 3 weeks) in length.
- Spotting in between periods.
- Unexplained weight gain.
- Increased hair growth on the face, neck or chest.
- Unexplained Stomach problems (like Constipation and diarrhea).
Factors that put you at higher risk of infertility:
- Age- Both the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs start to deteriorate as she gets older. The rate of follicle loss accelerates in the mid-30s, leading to fewer and lower-quality eggs, making it more difficult to conceive and increasing the chances of miscarriage.
- Smoking. Smoking increases your chances of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. In addition to harming your cervix and fallopian tubes, it’s also known to prematurely age your ovaries and reduce your eggs. Before starting fertility treatment, you should quit smoking.
- Weight. Ovulation might be affected in both overweight and underweight women. For the frequency of ovulation and the likelihood of conception to increase you need to achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI).
- Sexual history. The fallopian tubes can be damaged by sexually transmitted illnesses including chlamydia and gonorrhea. Having unprotected intercourse with several partners raises the risk of infection.
- Drugs & Alcohol. Recreational drug abuse and alcoholism can reduce fertility.
When to see a doctor?
If you or your partner has had previous reproductive problems, or if you have a history of irregular or painful periods, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, repeated miscarriages, or cancer treatment, you may want to start therapy right away.
Otherwise, it depends on your age:
- Most doctors recommend trying to conceive for at least a year before testing or therapy if you are below 35 years of age.
- If you’re between 35 and 40, talk to your doctor after six months of trying.
- If you’re over 40, your doctor may recommend testing or treatment right away.
Treatments for hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalance is manageable and should be treated whether or not the patient is trying to get pregnant. Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or diet modification can help regulate hormone levels and increase the chances of pregnancy.
Contact Doral health & wellness today to schedule a fertility consultation.