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Pre-Pregnancy | Falling Pregnant

Top reasons why women battle to conceive

Why can’t I fall pregnant?

For a woman, there are few things as soul-destroying as not being able to fall pregnant. After all, women are bombarded with images of motherhood on a daily basis – whether on television commercials, in movie scenes or during trips to the grocery store, reminders that women are meant to conceive and deliver healthy, happy babies come at us from every corner.

The internet should never be used as a diagnostic tool, but merely as a guide – so if you have been battling to conceive for some time now and suspect that there may be a problem, your first port of call is your nearest fertility clinic. Your inability to fall pregnant could be caused by an underlying medical condition that can affect your quality of life in other ways, so make an appointment as soon as possible. At this appointment, it is likely that your doctor will do a comprehensive set of diagnostic checks as well as a full blood workup, which will hopefully pinpoint the problem.

In the interim, read through our list of 16 common (and not so common) reasons for infertility:

1. Low sperm count

We’ll start with it possibly being his fault!

Some men have lower sperm-counts than others, and it’s possible that your partner may be the obstacle to your falling pregnant. Have him checked out – and meanwhile, ask him to ditch tight-fitting pants and briefs for loose ones, as this can sometimes be the cause of the problem.

2. Age

Whether we like it or not, time marches on… and it’s a fact that women’s fertility starts to nosedive after the age of 30. Men also experience plummeting fertility with advancing age, though this decline starts a little later than for their Missus.

3. Sex mistakes

You may be battling to falling pregnant simply because you’re not having enough intercourse, you’re having too much of it, or because you may be having sex at the wrong times in your cycle. Tracking your ovulation and menstrual cycle and aiming for focused action during your most fertile period may help.

An ovulation predictor kit is the best way to pinpoint your most fertile time of the month.

4. Stress

Everyone knows that stress can affect us in all spheres of our life, and conception of a child is one area where this holds very true. Women who experience high stress levels will find it very difficult to fall pregnant, so keep an eye on this.

5. Medicines & DRUGS

Studies show that several medications can affect fertility in both men and women. These include recreational drugs, steroids, antidepressants and some prescription medication. Even more reason to say no to drugs.

6. Bad Habits

Nobody is an angel, but your bad habits may be preventing you from having that bundle of joy that you’re so desperate for. Cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, lack of exercise and poor sleeping patterns have all shown to affect fertility, so now would be a good time to clean up your act.

7. Unhealthy Weight

Your body needs to be in optimum condition in order to conceive. If you are significantly overweight or underweight, your system is just not primed to enter into a pregnancy. Visit a dietician and a personal trainer to get you on the right track towards your goal weight.

8. Poor diet

Input equals output, and your body requires the correct fuel to be at its best. Make sure that you are eating enough fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats. And take a multi-vitamin and mineral complex for good measure.

9. Early menopause

One of the most common reasons that older women battle to conceive, early menopause is common amongst heavy smokers and those undergoing chemotherapy. You may need to have your hormone levels checked – talk to your gynaecologist about your options.

10. Tubal blockage

Often caused by tubal disease or tubal ligation, tubal blockage is a common cause of both infertility and tubal ectopic pregnancy. Speak to your doctor about tubal surgery as a possible remedy.

11. Hyperprolactinemia

Common in women who have had a child previously, hyperprolactinemia causes the production of the milk-producing hormone prolactin in women who are not breastfeeding. This disorder sometimes results in secondary infertility.

12. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that is characterised by the growth of endometrial cells on the ovaries, outer uterus or Fallopian tubes. Although benign, these cell implants can cause pain, discomfort and problems conceiving.

13. Thyroid problems

Often overlooked as a possible cause of infertility, hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) have both shown to affect a woman’s ability to fall pregnant. Fortunately, this condition is easily treated, so with luck and the right medication, you could be on your way to Lamaze classes in no time.

14. LPD

Caused by any number of factors, Luteal Phase Defect occurs when the endometrial lining does not respond to the stimulation of progesterone, which in turn affects fertility. LPD is treated with the appropriate hormones, to which the patient generally responds relatively quickly.

15. Anovulation

Anovulation is the body’s failure to ovulate – thereby rendering conception impossible. This condition is influenced by various factors and is often temporary. Your fertility care provider will be able to confirm or exclude this as a possible reason for your inability to fall pregnant.

16. PCOS

Commonly under-diagnosed, polycystic ovarian syndrome affects around 5% of all women in the 20-40 age group. Characterised by cysts on the ovaries, this condition can cause many symptoms, one of which is difficulty conceiving. Once diagnosed, PCOS is treated with ovarian drilling, which punctures the cyst. Unfortunately, the chance of a healthy pregnancy is still less than 50% following the procedure. Should you suspect PCOS, speak to your doctor as soon as possible, as early detection is always key to successful treatment.

2 Responses to “Top reasons why women battle to conceive”

  1. NADIA says:

    very good information on website

  2. alicia says:

    i am trying to fall pregnant

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