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2023 07 10 fertility alarm bells title

Fertility alarm bells

Very often women are unaware that they have fertility problems until they decide to have a baby and have difficulty conceiving.

There are warning signals that your body uses as alarm bells to indicate potential problems. If you don't have your cycle trackst or are generally very body- and health-conscious, these signals can easily be overlooked. What's more, women's menstrual health is unfortunately still a topic that is rarely talked about in public. Therefore, it's easy to understand why so many women don't realise that they might have a problem with their fertility until they are ready to start a family.

The good news is that many fertility problems can be treated with the right medication, but also with lifestyle and dietary changes. The first step is to become more aware of your fertility by monitor your menstrual cycle and know which warning signs to look out for. This way, you can take timely measures to improve your health and increase your fertility. And perhaps even before fertility problems get in the way of your dream baby. Would you like to monitor your cycle or get to know it better? Then try the femSense app. You can use it as a normal cycle tracker or in combination with the femSense patch for ovulation detection.

Signs for
possible
Fertility
problems

Irregular periods

The first day of your period is the first day of your Menstrual cyclewhich should always be approximately the same length. Your cycle can vary from month to month and is influenced by your lifestyle, travelling, stress, illness, weight (too high or too low) etc.. However, the variation should not be more than a few days. A cycle length between 20 and 38 days is considered regular. A woman's period is considered irregular if her menstrual cycle is shorter or longer than this average or if the cycle length varies considerably from month to month. Irregular periods can be a warning sign of PCOS, pelvic inflammatory disease or thyroid problems.

Very heavy or long periods

Your menstrual bleeding is as individual as your menstrual cycle itself - there is no such thing as "normal". Some women only have light bleeding for a few days. Others struggle with cramps, back pain and heavy bleeding for a week. A period is considered heavy if you lose more than 80ml during each period and/or your period lasts longer than 7 days. But how much is too much? If you have to change your pads every one to two hours, shed blood clots more than 2.5 cm in size, bleed through your clothes or bedding or have to use two types of menstrual products at the same time (e.g. tampons and pads) - then your period is considered very heavy. If you regularly have heavy periods, you should see your doctor. This could be a sign of hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can be caused by PCOS, thyroid problems, fibroids, endometriosis, hypothyroidism or diabetes.

Missing periods

Stress, illness or extreme sport can occasionally cause you to miss your period. However, if you haven't had a period for months, you should see your doctor to get to the bottom of it.

Extremely painful periods

Many women suffer from cramps and pain on the first or second day of their period. Sometimes they occur in the form of severe cramps, sometimes they are dull but more regular. They usually occur in the abdomen, but can also spread to the back, pelvis or thighs. The pain is usually at its worst when the bleeding is at its heaviest. Normal menstrual pain that has no other cause can often be treated at home with painkillers, a warm bath or a hot water bottle. Severe menstrual pain or pain that lasts longer than usual can be an indication of a condition such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or fibroids.

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Hormonal imbalance

The hormones in our body are the body's own messenger system for various systems and processes, including the menstrual cycle. Hormone levels fluctuate constantly during the menstrual cycle and not only trigger the Ovulation and menstruation, but also affects us physically and emotionally. A hormone imbalance can therefore not only affect your period and fertility, but also your skin, weight, mood and hair growth, Sex drive and much more. Symptoms of hormone imbalance include irregular periods, mood swings, fatigue and bloating. Other signs of a possible hormone imbalance include skin changes and acne, weight gain and hair growth on the face and chest.

Pain during sex

Discomfort or vaginal pain during sex can be caused by vaginal dryness, vaginal infections or allergies and irritation. These can be alleviated by using lubricants, treating infections and avoiding products that cause irritation. However, pelvic pain during sex can also be a symptom of a condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids or endometriosis and should be investigated by a doctor.

The most common problems

FibroidsMyomas, also known as fibroids, are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus. The growths consist of muscle and fibrous tissue and vary in size. Many women are unaware that they have fibroids because they are often asymptomatic.

Endometriosis is very difficult to diagnose as the symptoms often vary greatly. While some women suffer from severe pain and endometriosis severely affects their lives, others only notice mild symptoms. It is a condition in which cells that normally grow inside the uterus grow outside the uterus. These cells form the lining of the uterus, which thickens and sheds with each menstrual cycle. If this condition reaches a moderate or severe stage, it can affect your fertility, your hormone balance and even the lining of your uterus.

The Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive system, which includes the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Symptoms include pain in the pelvic area during sex, pain when urinating, bleeding between periods and after sex, and very heavy and painful periods.

Conclusion

Cycles are just as unique as snowflakes. Cycles of a single person are never the same and cycles of different people are never the same. But many things can be deduced from the cycle, its length and variation as well as the menstruation itself. To notice even slight changes, it is a good idea to track your cycle. There are countless apps that can help you with this. With femSense you also receive confirmation of whether ovulation has taken place or not.

If you know and monitor your cycle, you can easily recognise changes and discuss them with your doctor. An annual check-up of the reproductive organs is therefore important for all genders. The earlier a disease is recognised, the better the chances of recovery.

Sources:

Fibroids (2023)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (2023)

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