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15 Potential Medical And Non-Medical Reasons Why You Are Not Getting Pregnant

Several reasons can lower your chances of getting pregnant; be it both medical or non-medical reasons, they must be treated for a successful pregnancy.

If you are wondering why you are not getting pregnant, here are some of the reasons which you need to look into and consult a medical expert for possible advice or treatment.

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Possible Reasons You Can't Conceive

1. Lowered sex drive

Low sex drive means decreased interest in sexual activity. There are several reasons that may cause one or both of the partners to lose interest in sex, thus defining one of the reasons for not getting pregnant. Low sex drive or low libido may cause you to miss your fertility window and thus, lower your chances of getting pregnant.

2. Obesity

Many studies say that obese and overweight women are at high risk of infertility, subfecundity and miscarriage rates. Even if a woman is ovulating timely, obesity can decrease their chances of getting pregnant, probably due to excessive fat accumulation and hormonal problems that impact their reproductive health. [1] Obesity in men is also the main cause for their poor sperm quality, low testosterone levels and reduced fertility, thus reducing chances of pregnancy. [2]

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3. Confusion with ovulation timing

A misconception or lack of knowledge about ovulation timing could be one of the reasons for not getting pregnant. Women are not fertile the entire month, but during 12-14 days after the periods. Therefore, missing penetration sex during the fertile period could cause a lack of pregnancy. Experts advise on keeping track of your ovulation period every month. [3]

4. Irregular periods

An irregular period could be a sign of infertility, but not always. If you are planning pregnancy, you need to connect to a medical expert and understand the exact cause behind it. This is because certain causes like PCOS and thyroid dysfunction can not only cause irregularities in periods but may also affect fertility for longer and cause delays in conception. These should be treated immediately. [4]

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5. Male infertility problems

A study has shown that male partners are solely responsible for 20-40 per cent of all infertility cases. Factors that could affect male fertility include medications, environmental toxins, surgical history and genetic problems that could affect the quality of their sperm, testosterone levels and overall fertility. Therefore, it is necessary for both partners to consult a medical expert and examine their respective problems. [5]

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6. Vaginal douching after intercourse

Douching is the process of cleaning the vagina, usually with water or market-based fluids. Though douching helps clean the vagina, a study has shown that women who douched, especially after intercourse, are 30 per cent less likely to get pregnant than non-douchers. Also, the reduction in fertility is more in young women who douche compared to older women. [6]

7. Age

Fertility in both men and women declines with age. According to a study, women's fertility starts declining especially after mid 30's and may cause delay in conception.[7] In men, the sperm quality starts declining after 40 and semen motility and ejaculate volume reduce after 43-45 respectively. Therefore, if any of the partners is on the verge or above their fertility age, consult a medical expert for guidance. [8]

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8. Birth control pills

Women who are on contraceptives such as birth control pills, intrauterine devices or any hormonal methods for a longer period may face difficulties in resumption of fertility after discontinuing them on the purpose of conception. Some women may attain pregnancy in a shorter time, some may have to wait longer than a year or more. Though contraceptive uses do not have a negative effect on conception or delay fertility after their termination, it could be one of the causes. [9]

9. Uterine fibroids

Fibroids are referred to abnormal growths (typically noncancerous tumours) that develop in or on a uterus and cause heavy bleeding. It affects around 20-70 per cent of women of reproductive age and may negatively affect their fertility causing problems in conception. When fibroids grow larger, surgery is suggested which may help increase the chances of conception. [10]

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10. Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can affect the fertility of both men and women in many ways. A study says that lack of sleep or quality sleep can cause many problems such as hypertension, depression and anxiety disorders. In women, these factors can affect reproductive health and capacity and cause problems throughout fertility, conception, implantation, gestation and delivery. In men, sleep deprivation can lower the sperm count and its quality. [11]

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11. Smoking, drinking or drug use

Smoking, alcoholism and drug addiction affects the fertility of both men and women and may delay their chances of starting a family. In males, these factors may affect the gonadal function and sperm quality and mobility [12], while in women, they may cause irregular menstrual cycle, dysfunction of the oviduct and poor implantation in the uterus. [13]

12. Other female fertility problems

Apart from PCOS and fibroids, there are other fertility problems like endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes that may lower their chances of conception. A study says that around 25-50 per cent of infertile women have endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of your uterus. [14] Another study says that around 30 per cent of infertile women have blocked fallopian tubes probably due to causes like infections, endometriosis or surgery complications. [15]

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13. Technology

Several studies found a connection between sperm damage and technology. A study has shown that holding the mobile phone in pants' pockets for longer can affect reproductive organs due to the radiation it gives out. Also, placing the laptop on the lap may cause the same effect. [16]

14. Chronic illness

The reproductive health in both males and females can be affected if they are suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, oral disease, hypothyroidism or untreated celiac disease. Also, in most cases, it's not the diseases but the medication and treatment methods that affect fertility negatively. [17]

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15. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI)

Having a history or recurrent or ongoing STI can negatively affect the fertility of women. According to a study, untreated STI can spread to the reproductive tract and organs and cause inflammation, infections, scarring or damage, thus leading to fertility problems that may cause a delay in getting pregnant. [18]

To Conclude

There could be several reasons which may be causing a delay in conceiving a baby. Medical experts advise to keep on trying, at least for a year, and not stress throughout the journey as stress can negatively affect ovulation and fertility. Also, consult a medical expert if you have any of the aforementioned medical reasons for proper guidance and early treatment.