While there are a few obvious warning signs in both women and men that speak of infertility, there are some few unusual ones, which one may not be mindful and assume to be a way of life. If you have been trying for a child for more than a year, it’s opined to consult a gynaecologist who will eradicate any possibilities of infertility. If there are any risks identified, they will help you in the cure of the same. Hormones play prime role infertility and can also play a spoilsport, even without you knowing it.
Following are some of the indications for women and men that are uncommon and need to be observed to if you plan to grow your family.
Symptoms of Male Infertility
While there are common indications like trouble in erection, disinterest in physical relationships or swollen testicles there are also some uncommon symptoms that can be determined.
Sense of Smell Doesn’t Work: Coming of age and fertility are governed by various hormones in the body. There is a condition called as Kallmann Syndrome, where the hypothalamus (part of the brain) does not secrete at all the necessary hormones to induce puberty or secretes them in such low amounts that it causes infertility. Kallmann Syndrome may affect silently and the only presenting symptom may be an inability to smell. Associated other symptoms of Kallmann’s maybe low libido, erectile dysfunction etc.
Recurring Chest Infections: While respiratory infections are common, these infections happening, again and again, are a matter of worry and can be an indicator of The Kartegener’s Syndrome. This is an autosomal recessive disorder, where a person gets recurring lungs and chest infections. Interestingly in men that suffer from Kartagener’s the sperm swimming capability is reduced or absent significantly due to inappropriate sperm tail function, resulting in restriction of the sperm movement towards the egg and the fertilization of the egg. This rare ailment affects 1 in 30,000 men.
Tiny Testicles: These are mostly found in a hereditary disorder where there is an extra ‘X’ chromosome present in the male i.eKlinefelter’s Syndrome. With the testicles remain very small in size, they are unable to produce the male hormone testosterone and also show improper sperm production. This happens 1 in 600 men and is the presenting symptom of Klinefelter’s syndrome. These men are usually very tall, have a disproportionate body, little to no facial hair and fat deposits around the breast.
Apart from men, women have their own set of problems that can lead to infertility with painful periods being one of the biggest symptoms. Outlined are a few others that can become a roadblock while trying to conceive a child.
Excessive Facial Hair and Pimples: Excessive facial hair, especially in the chin area, is a sign of PCOS. This combined with pimples on the face, neck and back or even independently indicate an imbalance in the hormones released by the body. Typically in PCOS, the androgens (male hormones) are higher and this hampers ovulation and leads to infertility. The hair, acne, blackened patches on the skin are also due to these raised androgens.
Secretions from Nipples: Other than the lady being pregnant or breastfeeding there shouldn’t be any secretions coming out of the breasts. Breast milk or sometimes clear fluid leaks out of the nipples only when the prolactin hormone increases and you suffer from hyperprolactinemia. Raised prolactin hormone also hampers ovulation and leads to infertility. This condition can be mostly treated by medications and can be determined by a simple blood test.
Icy Hands and Feet: Extreme cold hands and legs mean that the thyroid gland isn’t working as it is supposed to be. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid results in erratic ovulation and random menstrual cycle leading to infertility. Dry skin, constipation and fatigue are added symptoms for detecting underactive thyroid.
This article has been contributed by Dr. Rajalaxmi Walavalkar – a Medical Director, Senior Gynaecologist and IVF specialist at Cocoon Fertility