8:46 pm - 04/19/2006

how to tell if you're infertile?

Ok, I am 19 years old, and I have a serious fear of being infertile.. I don't have any abnormalities with my period other than really severe cramping, and it isn't in my family history, I just have a really bad fear about not being able to have a child. Is there any way I can tell if I am? Symptoms? Tests of some sort? Anything would help me out... I know this is crazy, and I'm not planning on having babies anytime soon, but i DO want them.. and just am so freaked out.. So yeah, I know it'a a weird question, but entirely serious. Thanks.
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_anxi0us 20th-Apr-2006 01:59 am (UTC)
I have the same fear. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, and there's an elevated risk of infertility when you have it, so ya... *hugs*
arrien 20th-Apr-2006 02:17 am (UTC)
and cancer, and diabetes, and weight gain, and heart disease.. :P

PCOS is grand, I tell ya.
eumelia 20th-Apr-2006 02:01 am (UTC)
I don't know what the test is called, but you can always talk to your gyno and ask him/her about it.
It's always best to talk to your doc.
soakedinstars 20th-Apr-2006 02:03 am (UTC)
garg, i dont have a gyno here yet. heh. i just moved and don't get medical insurance for another year.
erikalyn 20th-Apr-2006 02:01 am (UTC)
I can't answer your question but I know exactly how you feel. I'm 19 as well and have been afraid of being infertile since I was 14.. I actually used to be more worried when I was younger than I am now but it still lingers in the back of my mind.
geminigirl 20th-Apr-2006 02:13 am (UTC)
Often, infertility isn't diagnosed until someone has been trying to concieve for a while-for many people it's six months while having regular sex, and charting fertility signs, (basal body temp, cervical position and texture, and cervical mucous) or twelve months while having regular sex and not charting. After that, a health care provider will start to do things like hysterosalpingiogram, hormone level screenings, and so on.
arrien 20th-Apr-2006 02:16 am (UTC)
you'd need to get your hormone/blood levels checked and then there are several procedures that follow after that. There aren't any "run of the mill" tests that docs do "just because" though. They're generally done when a woman and her partner have been trying unsuccessfully for at least a year for a baby.

I have PCOS and have been trying to have a baby for almost five years. it totally sucks.
maggiewatchie 20th-Apr-2006 02:17 am (UTC)
I have had similar fears from time to time. I've been told by my mother (perhaps not the best source for medical info, but still) that if you have normal periods (as in, it doesn't disappear for months at a time) that there's no real reason to worry. Since I've always had regular periods, even when not on HBC, this calmed my fears greatly. But if having further testing (which I would guess would be expensive and difficult to prove "necessary" to an insurance company if you are not having any problems trying to conceive) would make you feel better, certainly pursue that!
gothstar 20th-Apr-2006 05:05 am (UTC)
Not true.

My cousin has been told she is infertile (not 100% but the doctor said the chance of her ever becoming pregnant is less than a half of a percent) and she gets regular periods.
shakidaisy 20th-Apr-2006 02:34 am (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that some women are diagnosed as being infertile but they are still able to have children (naturally, through IVF, etc). Fertility is still somewhat mysterious!

One thing you can do is start checking and charting your "fertility signs" which include basal body temp, cervical mucus, and cervix position. One great resource is "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler, MPH. I love this book so much and you'll be able to learn TONS more about your cycle.
storychick 20th-Apr-2006 04:39 am (UTC)
I second TCOYF.
damonsgirl 20th-Apr-2006 02:34 am (UTC)
dont freak....

but i knew i was going to get glasses YEARS before i did

Knew i was going to get braces YEARS before i did

and i knew i was infertile since i was 8 and i am.

every feeling i have comes true. sometimes it works out well sometimes it doesnt.
quixotic 20th-Apr-2006 03:31 am (UTC)
i'd think that's very unusual, though. considering how frequently things like this occur compared to how much people fear and anticipate them, it's probably not likely that the op isn't in the same boat.

katarokkar 20th-Apr-2006 02:50 am (UTC)
I wonder about that sometimes, but it never freaks me out or anything because really, unless you have something very, very wrong with you (that would probably have been diagnosed by now) there are so many fertility treatments, IVF etc.

You could always adopt, too.
queensugar 20th-Apr-2006 03:16 am (UTC)
Just some quick facts: according to American Society of Reproductive Medicine, about 10% of the reproductive-age population is infertile. So already, there is a 90% chance that you are not infertile.


"Reproductive age" can be a bit misleading. Women who are 40 would be considered "reproductive age," though we know that women's fertility starts declining at around age 32. So that plays a factor.

Second of all, the majority of women who are infertile under those stats are infertile because of explicable medical reasons... things that would more than likely have noticeable symptoms at some point in your life... things like pelvic inflammatory disease, PCOS, and endometriosis.

Here's a link to some infertility causes, from the Mayo Clinic:


So basically... unless you have an identifiable disorder or reproductive health problem, the chances of you being infertile are incredibly low. I saw one study where less then 0.3% of female patients had unexplainable infertility problems.

So chances are, you're quite fertile. :) And if you're not... not only do many couples have a lot of success with fertility treatments (not just IVF, but other medical options), but by the time you choose to have children, it's quite likely there will be even more options out there. So really, don't let yourself worry too much.
noabsolutes 22nd-Apr-2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
In the world of medicine, the ages given for fertility in women are between the ages of 15 and 44. (They know there are outliers on both ends, but those are the averages).
switch_fluffles 20th-Apr-2006 04:10 am (UTC)
I am 19 years old to, but the difference is I am trying to have children now. I am completey afraid or being infertile to, because I want children more than anything else in the world. I am glad you posted this question it shows that there are people with simular problems and feelings. thanks
quarble 20th-Apr-2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
Up until (almost exactly) a year ago, I too thought I was infertile. Ya see, following my ordeal with ovarian cysts in high school, an ultrasound technician said the position of my uterus could make it difficult to conceive. I was an idiot, and took that to mean that I had a sort of built-in birth control. Last April, I learned the hard way that an ultrasound technician is not a doctor who can diagnose infertility. I got pregnant at 21, and decided to get an abortion because I knew I was not capable of raising a child at this point in my life.

This is meant to both reassure you that just because you think you're infertile does not mean that you are, and to caution you against taking risks because you might assume that you can't get pregnant. Always use some sort of contraception, because while believing yourself to be infertile is awful, it's even worse when you find out you're not through an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.

I don't mean to be preachy here, but be careful not to accidentally prove yourself wrong.
tokori 19th-Mar-2009 11:53 am (UTC)
I actually had almost the same thing happen at a slightly older age and ended up in the same circumstances. .

I totally agree- be careful.
paintedblue120 20th-Apr-2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
I am 19 too, and I have that same fear. I am afraid I am infertile because I have had irregular periods, it runs in my family, and I have HPV which is a sexually transmitted disease that you can get even if you use condoms and it causes the precancerous cells in your cervix (there are many forms of HPV but the one I have is the most common) and can cause cervical cancer and greatly reduce my chances of concieving and/or carrying a child to term. There is an article about it in this month's Teen Vogue. I could probably get pregnant, but I would probably miscarry because of my HPV. It sucks, because I don't sleep around, and I have only had sex with 4 men, and (thought at the time) I was in love. I thought condoms were enough...

My mom wasn't infertile, but it took her a year of trying to be able to have me, and then my brother came along 14 months later and she and my dad weren't trying. Some people are really really fertile and can get pregnant just by looking at a penis it seems (jk) but some people are perfectly normal and it takes them a long long time to ever have a baby.
paintedblue120 20th-Apr-2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
oh yeah. I forgot to mention, I was still concieved even though my dad has a varicose vein thing... its in the mayo clinic link. Miracles happen.
photobooth15501 20th-Apr-2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
My mom had me when she was 45! When her period stopped she actually thought it was menopause. Lots of women stay fertile for a really long time.

I go back and forth from being really intensely afraid of being pregnant (because I'm 19, unmarried, uninsured, and broke) and being scared that some day I'll end up being infertile. I know this probably won't make much of a difference and you will probably with I am the corniest bastard around, but I like to think of the serenity prayer at times like this.

"Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference"

My sister-in-law got breast cancer at the age of 32. She had to have a chemical hysterectomy (basically you take huge doses of medication that make your ovaries totally inactive) and it was very, very difficult for her. She had a two year old at the time and coming from a family of five kids she really wanted to have more. Five years later, she's actually HAPPY to just have one child, and although she COULD probably get pregnant again, she doesn't want to anymore.

So basically I would suggest going with the flow. You may THINK you know what you want now (a huge family of your own kids, perhaps?) but in ten or fifteen years you may decide that what you really want is to be childless, or to adopt kids. And that's assuming you can't have kids, which is very unlikely!

Enough rambing!
snowowl 22nd-Apr-2006 10:58 am (UTC)
They have disposable hormone tests at drug stores you can buy to see if you're ovulating. Just estimate fourteen days prior to your next period and take the tests for say, three months, and look at the results. The tests should be able to tell you if you're ovulating. I don't know how much the disposable tests are, unfourtunatley.

I use the Persona Monitor, which measures estrogen and luteinizing hormones to determine when I'm fertile each month. :o) That's a bit more expensive than the disposable tests, though, I'm pretty sure.
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