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9 Health Problems That Prevent Pregnancy

Here are the most common health or medical problems that stop pregnancy, plus tips on how to conceive a baby without having to see a fertility doctor.

This information is from The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean Twenge – it’s the newest, most comprehensive guidebook for pregnancy.

“Trying to get pregnant is very emotional and stressful because ultimately it’s out of our control,” writes Twenge in The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant. “In an age of reliable birth control, we can now consciously decide to try to get pregnant. This gives us the illusion that getting pregnant is controllable.”

She says getting pregnant is partly luck, partly internal body mechanisms, and partly other uncontrollable factors. In , you’ll learn how to control what you can control to get pregnant, and how to cope with the common health problems that prevent pregnancy.

Here, I share one very small part of Twenge’s book: her tips for overcoming the most common health problems that stop women from getting pregnant. If you can’t wait to have your baby, read The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant. It’ll help you figure out what foods, vitamins, and “tools” you need to get pregnant quick and easy.

9 Health Problems That Prevent Pregnancy

“Not all of us have perfect cycles, youth on our side, or an easy time getting pregnant,” writes Twenge. “[Here] are some solutions to common health problems you might encounter.” If you feel depressed just thinking about the possible reasons you can’t conceive, read Hope for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant.

Difficulty tracking your ovulation cycle

If you don’t know when you ovulate – or if your ovulation is irregular and unpredictable – you need to make sure you have a sensitive thermometer. Also, take your temperature at the same time each morning, to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples (or eggs to eggs, as it were).

Health Problems That Prevent Pregnancy“Also, use a fertility monitr such as the Clearblue Fertility Monitor Test or an ovulation predictor kit to see if you’re making lutenizing hormone, which usually triggers ovulation,” writes Twenge. “If you have very long cycles and think you might not be ovulating, see your doctor, who will likely prescribe Clomid.” This is a common problem preventing pregnancy that can be fairly easily remedied.

Ovulation, but your cycles are long

Twenge recommends following the fertility diet she describes in Chapter 2 of The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant. She also suggests charting your periods and using a fertility monitor to time sex for three cycles or so. If you haven’t gotten pregnant in three or so months, talk to your doctor about Clomid. You may also need to be tested for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). PCOS is definitely a health problem that prevents pregnancy.

Short luteal phase

The luteal phase, also referred to as “days past ovulation” or “DPO”, is the part of the cycle that starts at ovulation and ends the day before your next period. It usually lasts about 14 days and does not vary by more than a day in each person. If your luteal phase is short and you’ve been having problems getting pregnant for more than six months, Twenge recommends talking to your doctor to get a prescription for supplemental progesterone. She also suggests getting the other usual fertility tests to rule out other reasons you can’t get pregnant.

“Old” age – over 35 years old

“Unless you’re over 42, odds are on your side that you’ll be able to get pregnant on your own within six months to a year,” writes Twenge in The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant. “Consider doing some fertility tests, particularly the semen analysis, before you start trying [to get pregnant].” Twenge also suggests getting a fertility monitor to make sure your timing doesn’t pose a problem or prevent pregnancy. If age is one of the things stopping you from getting pregnant, see your doctor for fertility tests – especially if you’ve been tracking your ovulation for six months.

If you’re over 35 and you’re worried about health problems that prevent or affect pregnancy, read 15 Things You Need to Know About Pregnancy After 40.

No cervical mucus

Here’s a great step-by-step guide to checking your cervical mucus, from Fertile Cervical Mucus:

    impatient woman's guide to getting pregnant

    What is preventing you from getting pregnant? (image by Torsten Mangner, flickr)

  1. Wash and dry your hands well.
  2. Find a comfortable position, either by sitting on the toilet, squatting, or standing up and putting one leg up on the bathtub edge or toilet seat.
  3. Reach one finger inside your vagina; your index or middle finger is probably best. (Be careful not to scratch yourself.) Depending on how much cervical mucus you’re producing, you may not need to reach so far, but getting a sample from near your cervix is ideal.
  4. Observe the consistency of whatever mucus you find. Do this by both looking at the mucus and rolling what you find between two fingers (usually your thumb and index finger). Also, try pressing your fingers together and then slowly moving them apart.

If what you find seems sticky, or findings are scant, you’re probably not ovulating yet. If it’s creamy, ovulation may be coming, but not just yet. If what you find is wet, watery, and slightly stretchy, ovulation is very likely close. Find time for some baby-making sex.

If it’s very wet, stretches between your fingers for an inch or more, and resembles raw egg white, your cervical mucus is very fertile. Ovulation is right around the corner, and it’s the ideal time for intercourse. Not having sex at the right time of the month could be one of the health problems preventing pregnancy.

Health Problems That Prevent PregnancyIf you’re concerned about your cervical mucus, Twenge suggests trying Preseed Personal Lubricant. A lack of cervical mucus is a health problem that could prevent pregnancy.

Abnormal semen analysis results

My most popular article is 5 Foods to Increase Sperm Count, Production, and Motility because problems getting pregnant are just as often a male health problem! We assume it’s women’s health problems that prevent pregnancy, but we’re wrong. If your partner’s sperm test shows abnormal results, talk to his doctor. You may have to consider IUI (intrauterine insemination) or even IVF (in vitro fertilization).

Twenge also briefly mentions blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, and hypothyroidism. If you have these health problems and think it’s preventing you from getting pregnant, please talk to your ob-gyn or fertility doctor in person.

Are you trying to get pregnant? Fairhaven Health's Hormone Balance Bundle improves egg quality, encourages cycle regularity, and helps your body ovulate regularly.

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What do you think of these health problems that prevent pregnancy? I can’t offer medical advice, but I welcome your comments.


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9 thoughts on “9 Health Problems That Prevent Pregnancy”

  1. If you want to get pregnant, I pray for peace, hope, and faith. Trying to conceive is such an exciting time, yet such a stressful part of life! If you have any health problems that are preventing pregnancy, I pray you identify what they are, and find ways to get pregnant that don’t involve too much effort or money. May you be blessed with a positive pregnancy test!

  2. An STI (sexually transmitted infection) is another health problem that can prevent pregnancy. I found this information on a website called My Fertility Choices:

    Question: Can STI’s stop me from getting pregnant?

    Answer: Although some STIs can affect fertility, having had an STI doesn’t necessarily mean that you are infertile. If an STI is detected and treated early, the risk of permanent damage to fertility is reduced. However, if left untreated for too long, common STIs like Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – a condition that can result in permanent damage to the fallopian tubes and uterus. Fallopian tubes may become blocked preventing eggs from moving into the uterus. This infection can be “silent” so you may not realize you have PID until you try to become pregnant.

    Men who have STIs more often experience noticeable symptoms and thus tend to get treatment before any permanent damage has been done to their fertility. Men who have had gonorrhea and Chlamydia and have not been treated may experience scarring and blockage in the sperm duct, a condition that can affect their fertility called epididymitis. Other STIs like genital herpes and syphilis can also negatively impact a man’s fertility.

    Infertility as a result of STIs can usually be prevented if treated early. Get tested and seek treatment if you think that you might have an infection or have been exposed to someone who does. If you think that your fertility may have been affected as a result of having had a STI, you may want to see a fertility specialist for a comprehensive assessment. A fertility specialist will be able to interpret the test results and discuss your options.

    If you’re worried that an STI is a health problem that could prevent pregnancy, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

  3. Vaginal discharge isn’t a common health problem that prevents pregnancy. It’s actually normal, and will help you conceive!

    What did your doctor say about your fertility?

  4. Thanks for sharing this detailed post on some health issues that may prevent women from getting pregnant. “The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant” looks like a very good source of information for couples out there who want to have a baby. I will definitely share your post. Thanks.