If you are one of these women, know that you are not alone. “Why is it taking so long?” “Why am I not getting pregnant?” “Why cant I get pregnant again?” – These are not unusual questions, particularly nowadays that many women are working on establishing careers before having children.
It seems as if some women only have to glance at a male specimen, and boom – bun in the oven! For others, getting pregnant seems to be a long and futile process, marked by disappointment and emotional stress.
One study on the odds of getting pregnant presented the following results:
- Within the first month of trying to get pregnant, couples have a conception rate of 25%.
- Within 6 months, couples have a 60% chance of getting pregnant.
- After trying for 9 months, couples have a75% conception rate.
- Couples who try for 18 months have a 90% chance of falling pregnant.
These results show that many couples have to try for up to 18 months or longer to guarantee getting pregnant, but for some, this wait is even longer.
There are a number of factors that may be affecting both your and your partner’s fertility – don’t forget that he is half of the equation!
Some reasons that may answer the question: Why am I not getting pregnant?
- Drug or alcohol use
Using illicit drugs and drinking heavily (including your partners use of these substances) will hinder your efforts to conceive. Many drugs and other substances have a negative effect on hormone production and are harmful to the body and reproductive system.
Research has shown that smokers are 60% more likely to be infertile than non-smokers. Smoking causes both sperm damage and egg depletion.
- Poor diet
Getting pregnant requires the efficient functioning of many different body organs as part of your reproductive health and hormonal balance. Getting enough fruit, vegetables and water is the most basic way to keep your body and reproductive system healthy. Eating lots of whole grains, green leafy vegetables, raw nuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) is a simple way to manage your diet and improve your overall wellbeing.
- Lack of exercise
Get moving! Keeping fit and whittling down your waist line could help the size if your waist increase dramatically in 9 months… if you know what I mean! Try to exercise for at least 20-30 minutes 3 times a week. Find something you enjoy and stick with it. Poor diet and lack of exercise lead to the next inhibitor…
- Being overweight or obese
This outs a strain on your body and has a negative effect on fertility. If you have a BMI over 25 you are considered overweight; a BMI over 30 means that you are obese. Focus on incorporating exercise and a healthy diet into your life. Eat smaller portions and avoid all junk food.
- A stressful lifestyle
Many people today find it difficult to manage the pressures of work, family, and other commitments. Stress affects both fertility and overall wellbeing.
To reduce stress levels, consider changing jobs or responsibilities, try to meditate and relax at least once a day, practice deep breathing or go for a walk. Getting out into a natural, green environment has also been proven to reduce stress.
- Caffeine intake
Your daily java may wake you up in the morning, buy may be affecting your fertility. Look out for caffeine not only in coffee, but also in tea, soda and chocolates
- Poor timing of intercourse
A woman is most likely to fall pregnant during the ovulation stage of her menstrual cycle, so this is the best time to try conceive.
To work out the timing, you need to work out your ovulation date and be sure to engage in intercourse during this time. This is especially crucial for couple in the “advanced ages” category – men and women in their late 30s and 40s.
- Advanced Age
The reality is that if you are 35 and over, you are considered to be at an “advanced age” when trying to conceive.
Those within this age designation (whether you like it or not) need to be even more vigilant in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits. Both men and women can be affected with decreased fertility after the age of 35.
Making lifestyle changes and seeking treatment for these inhibiting factors may be your first step in overcoming the hardships of falling pregnant.
If you are still experiencing difficulties after 18 months of making these changes, it may be advisable to seek the help of a fertility specialist. Many people have physical issues that inhibit fertility.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can help heal some of these conditions, but medical intervention may be necessary.