If you have tried unsuccessfully to get pregmant, you may be thinking, “why can’t I conceive?” You may be anxious that you never will get a child. However, there may be several probable causes and remedies for your inability to conceive.
You may have ovulation difficulties, reproductive system structural issues, low sperm count, or an underlying medical condition. Or you have just not tried hard enough.
Although infertility might manifest as symptoms such as severe menstrual cramps or irregular periods, most of its causes are silent. Signs of male infertility, for instance, are uncommon. Here are eleven potential reasons why most couples in Australia find it difficult to conceive.
Failing to Try Long Enough to get pregnant
The first aspect you should consider if your efforts to conceive aren’t fruitful is how long you have been attempting. It may seem like you’ve been trying forever, and you may have, but it’s vital to remember that many couples take time to conceive.
Eighty percent of heterosexual, cisgender couples conceive after six months of trying. After 12 months of attempting to get pregnant, around 90 percent of women will be pregnant. These rates presume that you engage in well-timed sexual activity every month.
When to See a Physician
Consult a physician about your fertility if:
- You are at least 35 years old and have tried for at least six months.
- You are under 35 years old and have been trying for at least a year.
Even if you have no indications of a reproductive issue, you should seek medical counsel if any of these conditions apply to you.
Not Ovulating while trying to get pregnant
To conceive, you will need a healthy sperm and egg. So, if you aren’t ovulating regularly, it will be difficult to get pregnant. Anovulation is one of the most common reasons for a woman’s inability to conceive, and it may be brought on by a wide range of conditions.
The presence of Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is thought to be a factor in some anovulation cases. Other possible causes include being overweight or undernourished, having primary ovarian insufficiency, having thyroid dysfunction, having hyperprolactinemia, or engaging in excessive physical exercise.
Most people with issues with ovulation also have irregular menstrual cycles. On the other hand, having regular periods does not always mean that ovulation is occurring normally. Even if you haven’t tried to conceive in a year, you should discuss the issue with your primary care physician if you have irregular periods.
Male Fertility Problems
Unless medical procedures like sperm or egg donation are used, two spouses are required to conceive. Fertility troubles do not just affect the woman who carries the pregnancy. Twenty to thirty percent of infertile male-female couples have a male spouse with a reproductive issue. Another 40% of marriages have both spouses affected by infertility issues.
Seldom do male infertility symptoms manifest without a semen analysis, a test that analyzes the health of the semen and sperm. Ensure both spouses’ physicians know that you are attempting to conceive and that you are both get a check-up.
Pregnancy might take longer for women over the age of 35. Many individuals believe they are fertile if they still have regular periods, but this is not always the case. Age influences both the quality and number of eggs. Men over 40 may also have difficulty conceiving.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Ovulation issues account for around 25% of instances of female infertility Women may also encounter obstructed fallopian tubes, uterine problems, or endometriosis.
The fallopian tubes link the ovaries to the uterus. When an egg is discharged from the ovaries, the fallopian tube’s hair-like projections attract the egg. Sperm must ascend via the cervix, and uterus, to reach the fallopian tubes. It is in the fallopian tube where sperm and egg eventually meet so conception can occur. If the fallopian tubes do not function correctly or if scarring prevents the sperm and egg from meeting, you will not be able to conceive.
There are several potential explanations for obstructed fallopian tubes. While some individuals with blocked tubes have pelvic discomfort, most do not exhibit any symptoms. Fertility testing is the only way to detect whether your tubes are open. The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a specialist X-ray used to check the status of the fallopian tubes before seeking fertility treatment. An OB-GYN may order this test; you won’t need a fertility expert for the test.
Endometriosis and trying to get pregnant
Endometriosis occurs when endometrium-like tissue develops outside of the uterus. The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. It is estimated that up to fifty percent of endometriosis patients have problems conceiving.
Endometriosis comes with symptoms like painful periods and pelvic discomfort at times other than menstruation. However, not all endometriosis patients exhibit these symptoms. Some individuals find they have endometriosis only after an evaluation for infertility.
Ten to fifteen percent of women have endometriosis, yet there are many misdiagnosis today. Blood tests and ultrasounds cannot be used to detect endometriosis. It needs diagnostic laparoscopic surgery. Due to this, a correct diagnosis might take between 4 and 11 years from the onset of symptoms.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Infertility can occur due to underlying medical issues in both males and females. A thyroid imbalance or undetected diabetes, for instance, may lead to infertility. Some autoimmune illnesses, such as lupus, may also induce infertility. Mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are also connected with infertility. However, this association isn’t well understood.
Infertility may also occur because of undetected sexually transmitted infection (STI). Note that you may have an STI even if you have no symptoms.
Certain prescription drugs may have an effect on fertility. For instance, studies indicate that using some antidepressants makes it more difficult to conceive. In a 2016 study, researchers concluded: “Our findings imply that antidepressants may diminish the likelihood that a woman with a history of depression may naturally conceive.”
However, do not discontinue taking a drug without seeing your physician. Consult a healthcare physician if you are concerned that a medication may be interfering with your ability to get pregnant. They may need to prescribe you a new medicine, have you try a different therapy or confirm that the medication is harmless.
Whether used for recreational or medical reasons, marijuana may potentially affect fertility. Similarly, studies indicate that cigarette usage, excessive alcohol use, and the use of illegal drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamine, and amphetamines may all lead to reproductive problems.
In addition, living with intense or chronic stress, enduring trauma, and suffering from insomnia and other sleep problems might affect fertility.
Being excessively overweight or underweight might also hinder fertility. Exercising excessively or not at all might potentially interfere with conception. Following a program to achieve a healthy weight and level of physical exercise often enhances conception rates.
Between 10 and 30 percent of infertile couples never discover the cause of their inability to conceive. This is unexplained infertility, or more precisely, a lack of correct diagnosis. Numerous physicians argue that there is no such thing as unexplained infertility, simply unknown or undetected issues.
However, the truth remains that some couples do not get responses. However, not having answers does not mean you cannot get treatment. You may still obtain therapy for infertility despite an inexplicable diagnosis.
What are the chances of getting pregnant with unexplained infertility?
Failing to Seek Fertility Treatment
If you are experiencing problems conceiving, remember you can get help. Consultation with an OB-GYN is the best approach to determine if you have reproductive concerns. Whether you are attempting to conceive for the first time, hoping to conceive after a miscarriage, or have previously been pregnant but are having trouble conceiving now, physicians can help. Your physician can assess and treat reproductive difficulties.
Numerous couples delay testing and treatment because they believe they should “try a bit longer” first. This is an error. Many infertility reasons are silent and worsen over time. The sooner you seek assistance, the greater your chances of success with reproductive treatments.
Sometimes, couples postpone testing because they feel and seem to be in great health. However, many individuals with infertility concerns may not exhibit visible signs or symptoms. You may have a standard 28-day menstrual cycle, but it does not ensure quick and easy pregnancy outcomes nor rule out the possibility of a reproductive issue.
Although most individuals can conceive naturally if they attempt for 6 to 12 months, certain people have more difficulties conceiving. There are several causes of reproductive problems, and the reasons for infertility are not always visible to the untrained eye. Please seek assistance if you have been trying to conceive for one year (or six months if you are 35 or older). Do not delay.