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10 Reasons for not getting pregnant

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Unable to get pregnant? This might be the reason!

The joys of parenthood are boundless, and many of us crave that experience. While some are lucky to conceive immediately after they start trying, it may take longer for others.

It is sad and hard to accept infertility when you have been  longing for a baby.  Although this is a very sensitive topic, we discuss here a few reasons why you are not becoming pregnant, with suggestions and recommendations on how to overcome these obstacles.

Dr. Richard Marr, America's Leading Infertility Expert, has authored a book titled Fertility Book’, which says that 40% of infertility problems are female-related and 40% are male-related, while the remaining 20% are either failure in coupling or unknown. We present the ten most common reasons why couples are unable to conceive.

1.  Irregular shape of the uterus

An irregular-shaped uterus that gives no space for the fertilized egg can be a barrier to conceiving. Sometimes abnormalities may be due to scar tissue from previous surgeries.

2. Presence of fibroids

Fibroids are one of the primary reasons for not conceiving. The presence of fibroid or any growths in the uterus may also affect the available space for the fertilized egg.

3. Ovulation disorders

Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affect normal ovulation. Irregular ovulation is also a problem. Being overweight can add to ovulation problems and reduce your chances of conceiving. Stress, very low body weight, and excessive exercise also impact ovulation.

PCOS can further be diagnosed with the aid of certain profile tests designed specifically for PCOS. This includes an array of tests to detect the levels of FSH, LH, Prolactin and other hormonal levels.

4. Fallopian tube obstruction

Obstruction in the fallopian tube creates a hurdle for the sperm to reach the egg. Pelvic infection, endometriosis, or some sexually transmitted diseases may cause such obstructions.

5. Male health

Low sperm count and abnormal sperm movement or shape may result in male infertility. Medical conditions such as diabetes, heavy drinking, and smoking may cause this infertility. Several studies have shown that diabetes and obesity in men affect their sexual function in many ways.

Certain hormonal tests measuring the testosterone and other hormonal levels are now available to diagnose Infertility in males.

6. Stress

Emotional stress plays a significant role while you try to get pregnant. Studies have shown that day-to-day stress in life also lowers the fertility of a woman. Stress impacts men more than women when it comes to conceiving. The very stress of trying to have a baby may increase anxiety levels so much that it may affect erection.

Additionally, pressure from family members, relatives, and friends indirectly results in frustration. Nevertheless, the advertisements on television like those portraying the happiness of other women while playing with their kids make it even more frustrating while you are trying, yet are not able, to conceive.

Stress very often may also be associated with certain lifestyle disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Hence, it is also recommended to keep a regular check on the blood glucose and lipid profile levels as these may also reduce the chances of conceiving.

7. Age

As the biological clock ticks on, your fertility window changes. As women age, the quantity and quality of eggs decrease. Therefore, the chances of conceiving in the mid to late 30s and beyond are much less than in the early ages between 21 to 30. The rate at which a woman’s body loses eggs becomes much faster around the age of 37. Therefore, it becomes hard to conceive beyond 37. In the case of men, fertility begins to decline after 40.

8. Hormones

The female sex hormones play a significant role in conception. A study shows that elevated secretion of cortisol and prolactin affects the menstrual cycle and the secretion of estradiol, which in turn reduces the chances of conception.

Various hormonal tests are also available for better diagnosis.

9. Time of intercourse

Ovulating, but not getting pregnant? Although the number of fertile days is of great importance in conception, it is difficult to exactly pin down the fertile days. The probability of conception after ovulation is less than that during the six days before ovulation. Hence, some couples are advised that the timing of their intercourse should be according to the ovulation to increase the chances of getting pregnant. You may do this by using a kit to detect the surge of specific hormones that indicate fertility.

10. Unhealthy lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices may contribute to your difficulty in conceiving:

  • Alcohol and recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana may temporarily affect the reproductive system.
  • Your diet may also affect your fertility. A study shows that replacing carbohydrates with animal protein increased the chances of ovulatory fertility. Moreover,plant proteins have been shown to lower ovulation infertility risks.
  • Being overweight or obese may be bad for fertility. While it has a close association with PCOS in women, in men it may result in erectile dysfunction.
  • Underweight men may also have a lower sperm count. It is advisable to maintain a normal body weight. Even in women, having a very low body weight affects ovulation.
  • Certain prescription drugs may also affect fertility. Antiandrogens, antibiotics, and steroids may affect the sperm count in males, while antihypertensive medications may affect erection.
  • Lack of sleep or other sleep issues reduces your chances of conceiving.
  • Environmental pollution and exposure to chemicals and radiation may affect fertility.

Take away

All the above factors affect your fertility in some way and ultimately, affect conception. Attempting pregnancy at the proper age and during the fertile periods may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Daily exercise, healthy eating, and a relaxed mind help reduce both physical and psychological stress. Keep in mind that excessive, strenuous exercise will again have negative effects on ovulation. So, do moderate exercise and try to maintain a healthy weight.

Hormonal problems may be solved with proper consultation with your gynaecologist. They can help you with novel medicines and techniques to improve fertility and increase your chances of  pregnancy.

Do not hesitate to consult your fertility specialist. Your doctor may advise you to get your progesterone levels checked if you are not able to conceive for a long time. A wide range of tests to detect the hormonal levels in males and females are available. These are included under the Infertility profile- male, Infertility profile- female as well as testing for individual hormones.

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