6 Problems That Prevent Pregnancy

Not getting pregnant is a top priority for some women, and figuring out the problems that prevent pregnancy is extremely important to others. Here are six reasons you’re not getting pregnant, ranging from environmental toxins to blocked fallopian tubes.

problems prevent getting pregnant
Ovulation Test Kit for Getting Pregnant

The Easy@Home 50 Ovulation (LH) and 20 Pregnancy (HCG) Tests will help you overcome the usual problems preventing pregnancy. The ovulation tests gives you a better chance of predicting your most fertile days, even if you don’t get your period regularly. The pregnancy tests will help you find out if you’re pregnant faster than a missed period. This is a good pregnancy kit that can help you conceive your baby.

One of the problems preventing pregnancy is environmental toxins. “The ability to conceive may be affected by exposure to various toxins or chemicals in the workplace or the surrounding environment,” say the folks at Stanford University. “Substances that can cause mutations, birth defects, abortions, infertility or sterility are called reproductive toxins. Disorders of infertility, reproduction, spontaneous abortion, and teratogenesis are among the top ten work-related diseases and injuries in the U.S. today.” Reproductive toxins may be one of the reasons women can’t get pregnant – but so far, it’s not the main reason. One way to reduce the effects of environmental toxins is to eat as many antioxidants as possible.

Fallopian tubes – adhesions and tubal blockage stop zygotes from forming, which also prevents pregnancy. Here’s some helpful information from Stanford University in “What Causes Female Infertility?”, which I summarized: “Tubal disease affects approximately 25% of infertile couples and varies widely, ranging from mild adhesions to complete tubal blockage.  Treatment for tubal disease is most commonly surgery and, owing to the advances in microsurgery and lasers, success rates (defined as the number of women who become pregnant within one year of surgery) are as high as 30% overall, with certain procedures having success rates up to 65%.”

Fallopian tubes can be damaged by infection (bacteria and viruses transmitted sexually, causing inflammation and scarring, abdominal diseases (appendicitis and colitis),  previous surgeries (alters the tubes so eggs can’t travel through), ectopic pregnancy, and congenital defects (rarely, some women are born with tubal abnormalities).

Male fertility factors prevent pregnancy. It’s important to remember that if you’re having trouble conceiving, you may not have be dealing with female fertility problems. Your ovaries and eggs may be fine…and it could be the sperm that’s the problem. Female infertility is a reason for not conceiving only 33% of the time. Male infertility is a problem that prevents pregnancy the other 33% of the time, and unknown reasons for not getting pregnant (unexplained infertility) makes up the final 33%. Often, we assume it’s a “female problem” that is preventing pregnancy. We forget or don’t know that men are equally responsible for women getting pregnant.

Age. After age 30, a woman’s chances of having problems getting pregnant increase by 95% each year, and after age 40, the rate is even faster. Yikes. I’m sorry to be a downer – I know exactly how scary it is, wanting to conceive when you’re having problems preventing pregnancy  But remember that women over 40 get pregnant all the time – a friend of mine is 41, and just gave birth to her second son. It’s harder and riskier, but it’s possible.

Your age isn’t the only reason you can’t get pregnant. As your male partner ages, his sperm gets old, too. “If your male partner is also middle-aged, his sperm is less robust and plentiful than when he was younger,” writes Dr Nieca Goldberg in The Complete Guide to Women’s Health. This directly affects your chances of getting pregnant, my friend.

Lack of ovulation – a common problem preventing pregnancy for women. Hormonal problems, scarred ovaries, premature menopause, and follicle problems all cause ovulatory disorders. They interfere with a woman’s normal ovulation cycle, and can even stop ovulation altogether. And if you’re not ovulating, you’re not releasing eggs…and if you’re not releasing eggs, bingo! That’s the reason you can’t get pregnant. Female fertility is affected by ovulation (or lack thereof). If you have low levels of estrogen, then you may not be getting pregnant because of lowered FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) in your body. Both of those hormones are essential for conception.

If you don’t know much about ovulation, read How to Know When You’re Ovulating.

Irregular menstrual cycles. Periods or menstrual cycles that don’t fall within the normal 28 day range (give or take) may indicate a problem with ovulation and pregnancy. Plus, irregular cycles make it more difficult to predict ovulation, which causes problems get pregnant. If you don’t have a regular cycle, talk to your doctor. Also, read my articles on regulating your period – because if you have a regular menstrual cycle, you’ll have fewer problems with pregnancy.

Low sperm counts. 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. 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!

how to prevent pregnancy
“Problems Preventing Pregnancy” image by AnoukvanMarsbergen, via Pixabay CC License

Fallopian tube damage or blockage. “Fallopian tube damage usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis),” write the medical experts at the Mayo Clinic. “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.

You may not know if your problem getting pregnant is listed here unless you see your doctor. Blood work, abdominal ultrasounds, and gynecological checkups will help uncover the possible problem. And don’t forget to get your partner to check his sperm.

“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.”

I welcome your thoughts on these problems preventing pregnancy below. I can’t offer medical advice, but sometimes it helps to write your thoughts and experiences.

Plan to overcome your problems that prevent pregnancy! Read 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy From a Nurse Midwife.

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