Physical Symptoms

Some causes of infertility can only be diagnosed by a thorough evaluation while others have physical manifestations. Sometimes physical symptoms are noticeable to women and sometimes they can only be determined through a physician’s exam. Physical symptoms that can suggest certain infertility diagnoses are listed here.

DES Usage By Mother

DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a synthetic estrogen pill that was prescribed to many pregnant women in the US from 1938-1971 (into the 1980’s in Europe) to prevent miscarriages. If your mother took DES while she was pregnant with you, it may have an impact on your own fertility. DES has been known to cause uterine defects, and abnormal cells in the cervix or vagina in the daughters of women who used it. If a woman’s mother used DES at any time during her pregnancy, it should be mentioned to the fertility specialist.

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An inguinal hernia can cause unexpected changes in the body. Hernias form when tissue from inside the abdomen pushes out through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. The most common symptom associated with a hernia is a bulge that can be seen or felt even when lying down. Pain, pressure or a burning feeling can also indicate hernias.

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High Fever

A woman's body temperature changes throughout the course of the month. But the temperature shouldn't be at 38.3 degrees Celsius (101 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher for any length of time since this suggests the presence of infection. A recurring high fever that lasts for more than a few days with pelvic pain may indicate pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) — a common cause of female infertility — or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Pelvic pain associated with high fever requires immediate attention from your healthcare provider since it may be PID or a life threatening condition, such as a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

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Weight Gain Or Loss

Significant weight gain and weight loss can cause problems with ovulation. Obesity can be a symptom of polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) and extreme weight loss can cause the cessation of menstruation. Excessive exercise has been associated with ovulatory problems as well.

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