While some women get pregnant with exceptional ease, it can be quite an uphill task for some. Maybe you’re one of the latter right now, doing everything possible, yet it seems nothing is working. “You find yourself wondering, “Why can’t I conceive?”
There’s a reason behind everything, and probably one or two why it’s been challenging for you to conceive.
This blog post discusses some common reasons why getting pregnant can be difficult.
Your partner isn’t fertile
It takes two to conceive. If you’ve done everything possible and you’re perfectly healthy, it could be that your male partner has an infertility problem. In short, up to 30% of infertility issues are because of the man alone. There could also be a fertility problem in both partners.
Male infertility is hardly ever obvious and requires semen analysis to diagnose. If the doctor has verified your health, it may be time for your partner to check in with their physician.
Age isn’t on your side
In women over age 35, it can take longer to conceive. Age affects egg quality and quantity, even though you’re still seeing your regular periods. Men over 40 may also find it difficult to fertilize an egg.
You’re on medication
Thyroid medication, anti-epileptic drugs, diclofenac, and several other prescription medicines can impair a woman’s fertility. People battling depression and using antidepressants also have a slightly reduced pregnancy rate.
However, you shouldn’t stop your medication because you’re trying to get pregnant, as that chronic condition also impacts your wellbeing. Ensure you discuss with your doctor if you believe whatever medication you’re on is interfering with your fertility.
Hormonal imbalance is one of the leading causes of infertility. A hormonal imbalance can prevent you from getting pregnant by disrupting ovulation, impeding the thickening of the uterine lining, or preventing fertilization.
Of course, almost everything about the woman and her menstrual cycle revolves around hormones. So it’s advisable to seek advanced female hormone test to determine if your hormones are responsible for your inability to get pregnant.
Once identified, a hormonal imbalance can be addressed via medication and lifestyle choices.
You’re not ovulating
If you’re not ovulating, then it’s entirely impossible to get pregnant as there’s no egg to fertilize.
Anovulation — the absence of ovulation — is a symptom of certain conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Being overweight and underweight are also culprits, as well as thyroid dysfunction and over-exercising.
Interestingly, it’s possible to menstruate regularly even when you have ovulation problems going undetected. However, most people experiencing ovulation challenges will have irregular periods.
If you’re experiencing irregular periods, it could be the reason getting pregnant is difficult. See your doctor as soon as possible.
Endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. When this happens, it becomes difficult for the uterus to hold fertilized eggs. About 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis will have difficulty conceiving.
Endometriosis sometimes comes with noticeable symptoms like painful periods and pelvic pain. Unfortunately, some women will not know they’ve been living with endometriosis until they go for a fertility check. Sadly, up to 15% of women have endometriosis. However, the good news is you can still get pregnant even with endometriosis.
Your fallopian tube is blocked
During ovulation, the ovary releases an egg into the Fallopian tube. It waits there for about 12-24 hours until sperm arrives to fertilize it. The problem is, that will never happen if the Fallopian tube is blocked, as it becomes impossible for sperm cells to reach the egg. The fallopian tube is where conception takes place.
Some people experience pelvic pain as a symptom of blocked fallopian tubes, but it goes undetected in other cases. Only fertility testing can discover it.
You haven’t tried long enough
How long have you been trying? Sometimes nature plays dice with us. Getting pregnant can be like a game of chance.
Even when there’s nothing wrong, not every woman will get pregnant in their first month of trying. In short, about 80% of heterosexual couples will conceive after six months, and about 90% will get pregnant only after 12 months of trying. That’s still not 100%.
It’s worth considering that you may be one of the unlucky 10%, but that doesn’t mean you will never get pregnant. It’s simply an assurance that there’s nothing wrong with you.
It’s worth noting that some lifestyle choices like tobacco, illicit drugs, and excessive alcohol use are never beneficial and may impact your fertility. Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can also contribute. So if you’re currently living with some health challenges and unhealthy lifestyle choices, addressing them may be all you need to increase your chances of holding your own beautiful baby.