Here are the most common reasons for not getting pregnant, or infertility symptoms, plus a definition of infertility. The sooner you figure out why you’re not getting pregnant – and whether you should seek infertility treatments – the better!
“I wish I’d chosen to seen an infertility specialist much sooner than I did and had been more of an advocate for myself,” says Elizabeth in 6 Steps to Increased Infertility — she was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. “I’d strongly recommend that other infertile women take time to think through their medical decisions despite their desire to become pregnant as soon as possible.”
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for about a year, you may want to start thinking about infertility treatments – especially if you’re experiencing the following signs of infertility. Reading books like Six Steps to Increased Fertility: An Integrated Medical and Mind/Body Program to Promote Conception is also helpful. Pregnancy and infertility books can give you an idea of what to expect.
And here are a few infertility symptoms, which may offer clues as to why you’re not getting pregnant…
What is infertility? Infertility is the diminished ability or the inability to get pregnant and have a baby. Infertility is also defined as the failure to conceive after one year (12 months) of regular intercourse without contraception or protection. Irreversible infertility is referred to as sterility.
What causes infertility? The causes of infertility can be broken down roughly into fourths: a little over one-fourth is due to ovulation disorders or decreased supply of eggs. Another fourth is due to low sperm counts. A little less than one-fourth is the result of tubal dysfunction or blockage. The last fourth is due to other causes, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, genetics, or other problems that can’t be explained (Unexplained Infertility – 6 Steps When You’re Not Conceiving a Baby).
Reasons for Not Getting Pregnant – Infertility Symptoms
Irregular menstrual cycles could be a sign of infertility. Cycles that don’t fall within the normal 28 day range (give or take) may indicate a problem with ovulation. Plus, irregular cycles make it more difficult to predict ovulation and get pregnant. If you don’t have a regular cycle, talk to your doctor. And, read I Want Regular Periods! Tips for Regulating Your Menstrual Cycle
Low sperm counts could be a sign of infertility in men. Don’t wait until you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year before getting a semen analysis test done! “Performing sperm tests right away can save time and help reduce apprehension and anxiety,” writes . “Adequate sperm testing can take almost as long as developing an ovulation profile.” Many infertility doctors recommend getting at least three sperm tests done, to provide a baseline picture of sperm health. This symptom of infertility can be easily tested – especially in comparison to the infertility tests for women!
Fallopian tube damage or blockage can be a sign of infertility. “Fallopian tube damage usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis),” write the medical experts at the Mayo Clinic (Causes of Infertility). “Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, is the most frequent cause. Tubal inflammation may go unnoticed or may cause pain and fever. Tubal damage may result in a pregnancy in which the fertilized egg is unable to make its way through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus (ectopic pregnancy). One episode of tubal infection may cause fertility difficulties. The risk of ectopic pregnancy increases with each occurrence of tubal infection.
Age can be an infertility symptom for both men and women. Women over 35 have a decreased chance of getting pregnant, and a higher chance of infertility. At age 30, the average woman’s chance of getting pregnant is about 20%. By age 40, that chance drops to 5%. And, men over age 40 may be less fertile than younger men.