5 Simple Reasons You Might Not Be Getting Pregnant
If you're having trouble conceiving, you may be wondering what on earth the problem is. If you've given it the “old-fashioned” way of waiting a year, but haven't received any official testing or diagnosis yet, you may be wondering what could possibly cause the hold-up to parenthood.
Although it might seem simple, there are actually a lot of reasons that you and your partner may be experiencing infertility. Getting pregnant might seem like the most “natural” thing in the world, but it's one of the most complex processes our bodies go through. When you think of everything that has to line up perfectly and just right to make a baby, it seems like a miracle humans even exist!
First of all, the Mayo Clinic explains that infertility can have a lot of different reasons, and in only one-third of cases is the reason just the female or just the male. In other cases, there might actually be some kind of issue with both partners, making the reason seem a bit like detective work.
Most commonly, doctors will start with looking for the most simple solutions and go from there. For example, some places to look first might include:
- Ovulation disorders. Many women, especially if they have been on birth control for a significant portion of their adult lives, may not recognize symptoms of ovulation or know when there is a problem with their ovulation until they are trying to conceive. Ovulation is a tricky process that involves a lot of precise hormones and some of the smallest things, like stress, weight loss or gain, or even diet can affect ovulation. One doctor explained it to me in a way that made a lot of sense–anytime you are very stressed, or anytime there is something going on that your body doesn't quite know how to handle, it may delay ovulation because your body can sense that it's not a good time to handle getting pregnant right now! Smart bodies us women have, right?
- Sperm disorders. Men might have a sperm disorder and never realize it either, until it's time to try to put that sperm to good use. A man might ejaculate normally, for example, but the actual sperm may not me mobile enough or there may not be enough healthy sperm to actually produce conception.
- Lifestyle factors. It might seem silly, but lifestyle factors can play a large role in a couple's ability to get pregnant. Some jobs, for example, might damage sperm count, as well as unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking or smoking.
- Structural issues. The body is a machine and just like any other machine, there can be defective parts. For example, if there is a problem in the body with the fallopian tubes or even the shape of the uterus, it could interfere with conception. Usually structural changes can be fixed with surgery.
- Age. As much as we hate to think about it, age can definitely affect fertility. But it doesn't have to be a factor to shame a woman or couple, but instead, being open about the risks of infertility as we age can help men and women get early intervention to help increase the chances of conception. Knowledge is power and in this case, knowledge could mean a baby!