Not being able to have a baby is considered infertility. According to MedlinePlus, infertility is defined as not conceiving a child after one full year of trying frequently. There are many factors that can affect fertility and there are numerous signs that you can't have a baby. If you have any of these symptoms, you may want to consult with a fertility specialist if you want a baby. These specialists can provide you with suggestions or alternative ways to conceive.
Anovulation, or not ovulating, is one sign of female infertility. Basal body temperature charting can be used to help determine if this is a problem. During ovulation, a woman's temperature goes up slightly. If you chart your temperature daily for two menstrual cycles and there isn't a noticeable rise in the temperature midway through your cycle, you should consult a doctor.
Menstrual Cycle Irregularities
A woman who has lengthy periods or irregular periods may have a short luteal phase. A luteal phase is the phase following ovulation. Short or abnormal luteal phases may cause a woman to have trouble conceiving. This is due, in part, to the fact that it is difficult to determine when the woman will ovulate. Charting your menstrual cycle is one way to determine if your cycle is irregular or lengthy. Chart the days of your period for two periods. Count the days from the first day of your period to the day prior to your next period. The number of days you get is the length of your full menstrual cycle. Note the cycle length and continue to chart your periods. Compare the number of days in each cycle. If they aren't the same, or nearly the same (no more than three days difference), you have an irregular cycle. A lengthy cycle is considered one over 35 days. When charting your menstrual cycle, also note the consistency of your cervical fluid. Vaginal dryness should be noted, as vaginal dryness makes it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. Personal lubricants, which are often used to treat vaginal dryness, make the conditions unfavorable for sperm to survive.
A woman who is diagnosed with a condition related to the reproductive system may not be able to have a baby. Polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease all make having a baby difficult. A woman with reproductive abnormalities, such as a blocked fallopian tube or tilted uterus may have trouble conceiving. Signs of these medical conditions include irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal or excessive hair growth, abdominal pain, pelvic pain and abnormal vaginal discharge. Additionally, a woman who has gone through menopause won't be able to have a child.
Male Infertility Signs
A man who has had testicular injuries may be unable to have a baby. Additionally, a man whose testicles are exposed to prolonged heat may not be able to conceive. Other causes of male infertility include low sperm count, cystic fibrosis or an undescended testicle. Erectile dysfunction may inhibit fertility. Cystic fibrosis symptoms include light colored or greasy stool, abdominal pain and frequent respiratory infections. Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to maintain an erection during sexual activities.
As people age, fertility begins to decrease. Women over 32 years old and men over 40 years old usually experience a decline in fertility, states the Mayo Clinic. A person who has diabetes, thyroid disease or has had radiation or chemotherapy may not be able to have a child. Certain lifestyle choices, such as alcohol use, drug abuse and tobacco use are known to cause a decline in fertility. Obesity has also been linked to infertility.