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Infertility and treatment

Why am I not getting pregnant - 10 possible reasons why

Couple experience problems getting pregnant

As a couple trying to conceive, it can be heartbreaking if no sign of pregnancy or progress is experienced. After a while, it is normal to start asking yourself “Why am I not getting pregnant?”. In this blog post, we try to answer that question, by listing 10 possible reasons for you not getting pregnant.

There can be several reasons why you and your partner may have trouble conceiving. If you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, it is important to try and understand the potential causes and how to deal with them. Here are some of the common reasons for couples not getting pregnant:

1. Bad timing

When you are trying to conceive, timing is everything. Once the egg has been released from the ovaries, it moves down to the fallopian tubes, where it stays for 24 – 36 hours. Only during this period, the sperm cells can fertilize the egg and initiate a pregnancy. Therefore, it is very important to keep track of your ovulation to make sure that you and your partner have intercourse around the time of ovulation. Sperm can live inside the uterus for up to 5 days, which means that if you want to get pregnant, you should have intercourse in the days before or on the day of ovulation.

If you want to learn more about the female reproductive system, then follow the link to our blog post on the subject.

2. Impatience

Many couples become frustrated if they have been trying to become pregnant for a while. Feeling frustrated is understandable, but the time it takes for couples to get a positive pregnancy test depends on a lot of different factors and differs a lot from one couple to another. If you wonder when you should take a test, then follow the link to our blog post about how early you can take a pregnancy test.

According to WHO, you are infertile if you and your partner have been trying to conceive for 12 months without a confirmed pregnancy. After 12 months of trying, it is recommended that you book an appointment with a doctor to discuss the possibility of fertility treatment. 

Woman in pain because of endometriosis

3. Unsuitable lifestyle

Your lifestyle is an important part of your fertility and ability to conceive. Substances like cigarettes and alcohol are proven to have a negative impact on men’s sperm quality and women’s egg quality. Therefore, it is recommended that you eliminate your intake of alcohol and cigarettes when trying to get pregnant.

4. High-stress level

In addition to cigarettes and alcohol, stress and diet can also interfere with your fertility. For women, stress and obesity can disrupt the hormonal balance in the body, thus altering the menstrual cycle and making it harder to predict the time of ovulation. For men, the effects of stress and obesity are like the effect of cigarettes and alcohol, as they can cause low sperm count, low sperm motility, and alter sperm morphology.

5. Medications impacting your fertility

Certain types of medication are known to interfere with your ability to conceive. It is important to be aware of these potential impacts and to talk to a doctor about any potential impact on fertility from medications you might take. Some men may experience that their medications have a direct negative effect on their sperm quality, making it harder to conceive.

Women might experience that medication interferes with their menstrual cycle, making it harder to track their ovulation. Some medications are safe to use while trying to conceive, while others should be avoided. We recommend talking to your doctor if you are taking any medicine, to find out whether to avoid these.

6. Age-related issues

Age is one of the most defining factors in terms of fertility for both men and women. Once women are above the age of 35, their fertility decreases drastically, and it may be necessary to use fertility treatment to become pregnant. The decline does not happen as rapidly for men, but sperm quality decreases as men become older too.

Woman comforting man because of male infertility

7. Male fertility problems

Often, there is a misassumption that infertility is caused by problems related to the woman. In 1/3 of all infertility cases, however, the reason is found in the man’s sperm quality. Sperm quality consists of three factors; sperm motility, sperm morphology, and sperm count. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to optimize sperm quality. Men produce new sperm cells all the time, making it possible for most men to improve their sperm quality, making it possible to get pregnant with a low sperm count. Some of the lifestyle changes are:

  • Focussing on a healthy and balanced diet
  • More exercise to lower BMI
  • Eliminate substances like cigarettes and alcohol

If you suspect that male infertility could be the problem, we recommend getting a sperm analysis. In that way, you might relieve some of the stress (which is also bad for sperm quality) or get to know if there is a reason to seek help.

If you suffer from diseases like azoospermia (zero sperm count), where no sperm is found in the ejaculate, you can get help from a sperm donor to fulfil your dreams of a child. Before you start looking for a sperm donor, you can take some time to understand infertility and the grief that often comes along. By understanding the five stages of grief, you can learn to cope with infertility and thus prepare yourself to take the next step towards fulfilling your dream.

8. Blocked fallopian tubes

One of the most common causes of female infertility is blocked fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes are an important part of the female reproductive system, as they carry the egg to the uterus. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, the egg’s journey becomes difficult, and in some cases impossible. Blocked fallopian tubes are caused by different factors like inflammation, endometriosis, STDs, or pelvic surgery.

Depending on the blockage, different types of treatment are recommended. In some cases, blocked fallopian tubes can be treated with medication, while others may require surgery. If you think blocked fallopian tubes are hindering your pregnancy, we recommend you contact a doctor to have them checked. Your doctor can examine your fallopian tubes through various methods like a pelvic exam, an ultrasound, or a laparoscopy.

9. Endometriosis

Another common cause of female infertility is endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic condition that occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, grows outside the uterus. While endometriosis can affect fertility, many women are still able to become pregnant. Some women may need hormonal therapy or surgery to help treat their endometriosis and become pregnant, while others can succeed without any form of treatment.

If you suffer from endometriosis, we recommend that you talk to a doctor about the best treatment options for you.

10. Other underlying medical issues

Underlying medical problems like low sperm quality, PCOS, or pelvic inflammatory disease are invisible to the naked eye, but that does not mean they are not there. Because the problems are invisible, they often come as a surprise.

If you suspect underlying medical problems may be the cause of infertility, we recommend you book an appointment with a doctor.

Both men and women can inherit genetic diseases that cause their reproductive system to malfunction and lead to infertility. In some cases, the problem can be solved by surgery or fertility treatments like IVF or ICSI treatment. In other cases, you may need to consider adopting or using donor gametes.

If you are looking to get started with donor sperm or eggs, then follow the buttons below for our free Donor Searches.

Enter our Sperm Donor Search Enter our Egg Donor Search 

The feelings you have when dealing with infertility can be like how we feel when losing a person, we care about. Therefore, we recommend that you talk to family or friends if you suffer from infertility, so you do not carry these feelings all by yourself. You can also follow the link to our blog post where you can read tips on how to cope with infertility. If you have any questions related to infertility or fertility treatment with donor gametes, then click on the button to book a call with our Customer Care Team.

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