If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant, you may be wondering, “Why can’t I get pregnant?” You may worry that you will never do so. However, there are many possible reasons why you are not conceiving and many possible solutions.
You may have irregular ovulation, structural problems in the reproductive system, low sperm count, or an underlying medical problem. Or you simply haven’t tried long enough.
While infertility can have symptoms like irregular periods or severe menstrual pain, most causes of infertility are silent. For example, male infertility rarely has symptoms. Here are 11 possible reasons why you haven’t conceived.
Not trying long enough
The first thing to consider is how long you’ve been trying. You may feel like you’ve been trying forever – and you probably have – but it’s important to know that many couples don’t conceive right away.
About 80% of same-sex, opposite-sex couples conceive after six months of trying. About 90% will get pregnant after 12 months of trying to get pregnant. This rate assumes you have intercourse at the right time each month.
When to call the doctor?
See your fertility health care provider if
- You are 35 or older and have been trying for at least six months
- You are 35 years younger and have been trying for at least a year
If either of these are relevant to your experience, seek medical advice, even if you have no symptoms of fertility problems.
Human conception requires eggs and sperm. If you don’t ovulate, you won’t be able to get pregnant. Ovulation is a common cause of female infertility and it can be triggered by many conditions.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the possible causes of ovulation. Other possible causes include being overweight or underweight, primary ovarian insufficiency, thyroid dysfunction, hyperprolactinemia, and excessive exercise.
Most people who are having problems ovulating have irregular periods. However, a regular menstrual cycle does not guarantee that ovulation will occur normally. If you have irregular periods, talk to your doctor, even if you haven’t tried for a year.
Unless you are using medical interventions such as sperm or egg donation. need both partners to conceive. Fertility problems don’t just happen to someone trying to get pregnant. In 20% to 30% of infertile male-female couples, the male partner has fertility problems. Another 40% of couples have infertility in both partners.
Male infertility rarely has symptoms that can be observed without a semen analysis, which is a test to measure the health of semen and sperm. Make sure both partners’ doctors know you’re trying to get pregnant and that you’re both check for fertility problems.
For women after age 35, it can take longer to get pregnant. Many people assume that if they still have regular periods their fertility is fine, but this is not necessarily true. Age affects eggs quality as well as quantity. Men after the age of 40 can also have problems conceiving.
Blocked fallopian tubes
Ovulation problems account for about 25% of female infertility cases. In other cases, women may have blocked fallopian tubes, uterine abnormalities, or Endometrial optimism.
The fallopian tubes are the passage between the ovaries and the uterus. When the egg is released from the ovary, the hairs released from the fallopian tube will attract the egg inside.
Sperm must swim up from the cervix, through the uterus, and into the fallopian tubes. Conception takes place inside the fallopian tube, where the sperm and egg finally meet.
If anything is preventing the fallopian tubes from working properly or if scarring prevents sperm or eggs from meeting, you won’t be able to get pregnant.
There are many possible causes of blocked fallopian tubes. While some people with blocked fallopian tubes experience pelvic pain, many others have no symptoms. Only a fertility test can determine if your fallopian tubes are open. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a specialized X-ray method used to determine if the fallopian tubes are open. Your gynecologist may order this test (you don’t need a fertility specialist).
Endometriosis is when endometrial-like tissue (which is the tissue lining the inside of the uterus) grows outside the uterus. It is estimated that up to 50% of people with endometriosis will have difficulty getting pregnant.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis include painful menstruation and pelvic pain outside of menstruation. However, not everyone with endometriosis has these symptoms. Some people only find out they have endometriosis as part of their infertility treatment.
About 10% to 15% of women have endometriosis, but it is often misdiagnosed or simply missed. Endometriosis cannot be diagnosed with blood tests or ultrasound. It requires Diagnostic laparoscopic surgery. Therefore, a proper diagnosis can take 4 to 11 years from the onset of symptoms.
Basic medical problems
Underlying medical conditions can lead to male and female infertility. For example, a thyroid imbalance or undiagnosed diabetes can cause infertility. Some autoimmune diseases, like lupus, can also cause infertility. Although poorly understood, mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression have also been linked to infertility.
In addition, undiagnosed sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause infertility. Note that you may not have any symptoms of an STI but still have them.
Some prescription drugs can affect fertility. For example, research has shown that taking certain antidepressants makes it harder for you to get pregnant. In a 2016 study, researchers concluded: “Our data suggest that antidepressants may reduce the probability of spontaneous conception in a woman with a history of depression.”
However, never stop taking your medication without first talking to your doctor. If you are concerned that a medication you have been prescribed may interfere with pregnancy, consult a healthcare provider. They may have to prescribe you a different medicine, ask you to try a different type of treatment, or reassure you that the medicine is not the problem.
Cannabis, whether used recreationally or for medical purposes, can also decrease fertility. Likewise, studies show that smoking, excessive alcohol use, and illicit drug use, such as cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, and amphetamines, can contribute to problems. on fertility.
In addition, living with extreme or chronic stress, experiencing trauma or insomnia, and other sleep problems can reduce fertility.
Being significantly overweight or underweight is also known to disrupt fertility. Exercising too much or not exercising can also cause problems getting pregnant. Following a program to achieve a healthier weight and physical activity level often increases the odds of conception.
Infertility of unknown cause
Between 10% and 30% of infertile couples never find out why they can’t get pregnant. This is called unexplained infertility, or more accurately, lack of a good diagnosis. Many doctors make the point that there really is no such thing as can’t explain infertile but only undiscovered or undiagnosed problems.
However, the fact remains that some couples do not receive an answer. However, just because you don’t have an answer doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment. You can still be treated for infertility even if your diagnosis is unknown.
Do not seek fertility treatment
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, know there’s help. The best way you can tell if you have a fertility problem is to consult an obstetrician-gynecologist. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant for the first time, you’re hoping to conceive after a miscarriage, or you’ve been pregnant but are now having trouble conceiving. Your doctor can evaluate you for fertility problems and treatment.
Many couples put off testing and treatment, thinking they should just “try it for a while.” This is a mistake. Many causes of infertility are silent and get worse over time. The sooner you get help, the more fertility treatments work for you.
Another reason couples sometimes delay getting tested is that they feel and appear to be in perfect health. But many people with infertility problems don’t have the outward signs or symptoms of a fertility problem. You can have a textbook 28-day cycle, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed quick and smooth results when trying to get pregnant, nor does it mean you can be without problems. fertility issues.
A very good word
While most people conceive naturally if they keep trying for 6 to 12 months, some have more difficulty getting pregnant. There are many causes of fertility problems — and the reasons for infertility are not always observable. If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year (or six months if you’re 35 or older), please get help. Do not wait.
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