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Why am I not getting pregnant?

pregnancy test

If you're finding yourself searching questions like "why am I not getting pregnant?" or "what's the reason for not getting pregnant when everything is normal?" you're likely frustrated, disheartened, and disappointed. It's hard when you're doing everything you can to get pregnant and nothing seems to be working.

Here, we'll take a look at some different factors that can play a role in making it difficult to get pregnant.

You're Not Trying Long Enough

Most health experts recommend that couples try to get pregnant for six months to a year before entertaining the idea that something could be hindering the process. It's important to understand when a woman can not get pregnant and when a woman can get pregnant, and the exact window of the menstrual cycle during which a pregnancy can begin differs from woman to woman.

If you've been trying to get pregnant for a few months to no avail, try not to stress. Take your time and enjoy the process, and reach out to your doctor if you're over 35 and more than six months pass without you getting pregnant, or if you're under 35 and more than 12 months pass without you getting pregnant.

Infertility

Many health conditions can cause infertility in both men and women. In men, infertility problems occur when sperm is not produced in large quantities or when sperm have poor mobility. In women, infertility is often caused by problems with ovulation, the time in a woman's cycle when an egg is released from the ovary.

Sometimes, infertility is related to something specific, such as a past illness or medical treatment. Other times, the root cause of infertility is harder to find. Thyroid issues, age, endometriosis, and hormonal issues can all contribute to infertility.

Thankfully, many medications and treatments can make pregnancy more likely for couples who are dealing with infertility. If you've been trying to become pregnant without success, talk with your doctor about whether it's time to explore fertility treatments. Your doctor may have new ideas for you to try, or they may refer you to an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in hormonal and fertility issues. An endocrinologist can also help couples who have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss.

 

Age-Related Infertility

The answer to when can a woman not get pregnant is complicated, as age-related fertility decline happens differently from woman to woman. Most women experience peak fertility between their late teens and late twenties.

Many researchers believe that women are born with a finite number of eggs in their ovaries. Over time, fewer eggs remain. The quality of eggs also decreases over time, and eggs that remain later in life are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities than eggs that are released earlier.

Around age 30, most women experience a decline in fertility. This decline speeds up around age 35. Many women around this age experience regular periods but not getting pregnant, which can be frustrating when you're trying to conceive. As mentioned above, women who want to get pregnant at age 35 or later and do not conceive within six months should talk to their doctor about fertility treatments.

Other Medical Conditions

Many health conditions can make it difficult to conceive. Some of these conditions go unnoticed until a woman seeks help with her fertility because she is getting regular periods but not getting pregnant.

Medical conditions that can result in fertility problems include:

  • Menopause: In most women, menopause occurs around age 50. Some women experience an early onset of menopause, which can cause infertility. Signs of early menopause include sleep disturbances, sweating, changes in the menstrual cycle, urinary changes, and mood changes.
  • Hypothalamus and/or pituitary gland problems: The hypothalamus and pituitary gland work together to produce the hormones that help the ovaries function normally. Problems with the hypothalamus and/or the pituitary gland can cause problems with ovarian function, which can lead to difficulty getting pregnant.

ovulation diary

You're Not Ovulating

If you've tracked your cycle, you likely know the safe days for not getting pregnant as well as the days to have sex if you want to conceive. It's important that you have sex before, during, and/or after you're ovulating to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Typically, women ovulate between days 11 and 21 of their cycle.

There are a few different options to track your ovulation. You can use a calendar or an app on your phone to track your cycle, providing insights into likely ovulation. You can also track your basal body temperature, as it will steadily increase as you're ovulating.

If you prefer a more concrete way to know whether you're ovulating, you may want to try ovulation test strips. Much like a pregnancy test, an ovulation test tells you whether you're about to ovulate by detecting hormone levels in your urine.

Having Too Much Sex Or Not Enough

If you're trying to get pregnant, it's important that you're having plenty of time with your partner in the bedroom. Not having sex often enough—or having sex too often—can both interfere with your ability to get pregnant.

Most experts suggest aiming for having sex every day or every other day when you're ovulating. Too much sex can leave you tired and burned out, which can affect your ability to get pregnant as well. Talk with your partner about how often you feel comfortable having sex and be sure to pay close attention to your ovulation window to increase your chances of conception.

stressed over pregnancy

Stress

Wondering what are the reasons for not getting pregnant? Unfortunately, stress—an unavoidable part of life—can have devastating effects on fertility. Everyone's stress tolerance level is different. The way your body responds to stress, as well as the ways you manage your stress, can affect your fertility.

Stress can cause changes to ovulation or can stop the body from ovulating at all. If you're under high levels of stress and wondering why am I not getting pregnant yet, it's a smart idea to consider incorporating some stress management techniques into your routine. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, eliminating alcohol, and practicing mindfulness (such as meditation or yoga) can help decrease your stress levels and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

What To Do?

If you're living with infertility, you're not alone. Thankfully, you have options that can help you and your partner conceive a baby.

Here, we'll take a look at some of the options you have if you decide to move forward with getting help with your fertility.

Book An Appointment With Your OB/GYN

In most cases, reaching out to your OB/GYN directly is the first step in learning more about why you and your partner are struggling to conceive. Your doctor will likely ask you some questions to learn more about why you might be struggling with infertility.

Your OB/GYN may give you some new ideas to try, or they may refer you (and/or your partner) to a specialist for further testing and treatment.

Take Infertility Test

Together, you and your OB/GYN may decide to move forward with learning more about why you're struggling to get pregnant. Your doctor may recommend an infertility test with a specialist.

There are several types of infertility tests to help your treatment team learn more about why you've been unable to conceive. Your fertility specialist may recommend some tests for your partner, including semen analysis, genetic testing, and hormone testing. Your specialist may recommend certain tests for you as well, including ovulation testing, hysterosalpingography (a test that tells your specialist more about the condition of the fallopian tubes and uterus), and hormone testing.

FAQ

My wife is not getting pregnant. Why?

Many factors can make it hard to get pregnant, including infertility (on one or both sides), stress, having sex too often or not enough, and hormonal issues. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive, it's smart to see a specialist to get more information and treatment (if necessary).

Why am I not pregnant yet?

When you're trying to get pregnant, you may feel frustrated with each month that passes without a positive test. 90% of women get pregnant within a year and a half of starting to try for a baby. If you've just started trying, do your best to be patient and keep your stress levels low.

Why is getting pregnant so difficult?

It can be difficult to hear about others getting pregnant or to see that you're struggling to get pregnant even when you're doing everything right. With so many factors that can interfere with conception, it's important to keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel: the positive test.

Can I Increase My Chances Of Getting Pregnant?

Having sex while you're ovulating, lowering your stress levels, and working with a fertility specialist can all increase your chances of getting pregnant.

How Can I Know If I'm Infertile?

It's hard to know if you're infertile on your own. Working with your OB/GYN and/or a fertility specialist can give you more information on whether you'll likely be able to conceive on your own.

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