These fertility checklists for men and women will help answer your “why can’t I get pregnant?” question. These are the most common reasons women don’t conceive quickly; they include male fertility issues related to sperm health. Conceiving a baby and staying pregnant for the full term is surprisingly difficult for many women!
It’s important to remember that there aren’t any quick or easy answers. Why is it taking so long for you to conceive? Why can’t you get pregnant quickly? Will a fertility checklist help you and your partner discover the key to conceiving a baby? Even a fertility doctor or pregnancy specialist can’t always tell you the reasons you aren’t getting pregnant.
You may be dealing with a type of male factor infertility, such as azoospermia (no sperm, which is the problem my husband and I had). Or you could be coping with female infertility issues, such as problems ovulating and/or irregular periods. The answers are hidden inside you and your partner. A good fertility checklist can help you discover why you can’t get pregnant, and make conception easier.
When my husband and I were trying to have a baby, I asked several fertility doctors the same question: Why can’t I get pregnant? It took about a year to find out that it was a male fertility issue. That’s why I included both male and female fertility checklists in this article — to help you remember that not getting pregnant isn’t necessarily a female health issue.
Try not to worry about getting pregnant (though I know it’s easier said than done). Did you know that it’s actually a miracle for a couple to conceive a baby? In a single menstrual cycle the chance of a perfectly normal and healthy couple achieving a successful pregnancy is only about 25% – even if intercourse happens every day. As human beings, our fertility potential is extremely low – and there are many normal reasons for this. Some eggs don’t fertilize, and some of those fertilized eggs don’t grow well in the early developmental stage because of a random genetic error. And it’s actually good that those eggs don’t get fertilized because they aren’t healthy and normal.
Getting pregnant is part of your journey
Even if you’ve been wondering why you can’t get pregnant for a few months – or years – try to accept this part of your journey. You will get pregnant when the time is right. You won’t always be searching the internet for “why can’t I get pregnant?” One day you’ll be searching for “parenting tips for triplets” 🙂
Getting pregnant is a game of odds, like the gambling game Russian roulette. It’s impossible to predict when you’ll get pregnant and how your pregnancy will unfold. According to one fertility clinic’s website, in a given year the chance of a healthy couple conceiving a baby is between 80 and 90%. According to those fertility specialists, seven out of eight couples will be announcing “I’m pregnant!” within one year. Remember, though, that those are the couples who didn’t have time to wonder “why can’t I get pregnant?” They conceived quickly and easily.
Other couples can’t get pregnant and have to face the possibility that they’re coping with infertility. Being “infertile” as a couple is a medical textbook definition; infertility means the inability to conceive even after trying to get pregnant for one year.
Tracking your ovulation is part of getting pregnant
Do you track your ovulation? The Clearblue Fertility Monitor is the most advanced way of tracking your fertility. It’s a non-invasive way to detect both LH and estrogen hormones, and it gives you comprehensive, personal information about your cycle to help you map out your fertility calendar.
This fertility monitor identifies the prime fertility days to help women who are trying to conceive maximize their chances of getting pregnant. A non-invasive and easy-to-use device, it consists of a handheld monitor that, along with the use of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor Test Sticks, identifies changes in fertility hormones. While most over-the-counter ovulation tests monitor the luteinizing hormone on its own, the Clearblue Fertility Monitor tracks both luteinizing and estrogen hormones to typically identify up to six fertile days (two days of Peak Fertility and one to five days of High Fertility).
Find Out Why You Can’t Get Pregnant
If you can’t get pregnant, your first step is to talk about your lifestyle with your family doctor, gynecologist or even a fertility specialist. You and your partner may have to make certain lifestyle changes. This is important because your lifestyle (eating habits, fitness or exercise routine, drug and alcohol use, emotional and mental health, stress level) is one of the few things you have control over. Most couples who seek help from fertility clinics — and who have been diagnosed with unexplained fertility — are advised to make lifestyle changes. This is one of the first things a fertility doctor will suggest when you ask her “Why can’t I get pregnant?”
The following male and female fertility checklists will help you identify lifestyle changes you need to make if you want to conceive a baby. Each of the four “Fit for Fertility” checklists are made up of checklists for men and women, separated into egg/ovulation, sperm, conception, and general male and female fertility problems.
Female Fertility Checklist #1: Your Eggs and Menstrual Cycle
Below are the basic questions that a doctor will generally ask women who can’t get pregnant. If you decide to see a doctor to determine why you’re having trouble conceiving a baby, he or she will take a more detailed medical history from you and your partner. The doctor may perform a physical examination for both of you, to determine if there are any quick ways to figure out why you can’t get pregnant. The doctor will also ask about your sexual intercourse habits as a couple today and any past history of sexually transmitted diseases, surgeries, or illnesses.
Answer yes or no to the following questions:
- Are you having irregular, short (less than 21 days) or long (greater than 34 days) periods?
- Do you bleed between your periods?
- Are you overweight (with a body mass index greater than 25)?
- Are you underweight (with a body mass index under 18.5)?
- Do you exercise excessively?
- Have you had treatment for cancer?
- Are you being treated for depression?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Have you ever had thyroid problems?
- Have you stopped having periods?
If you answer yes to three or more of those questions, the reason you can’t get pregnant may be more clear than you think. For example, if you don’t have periods or if you are excessively overweight or underweight, then it will be more difficult for your body to conceive a baby.
The chances of pregnancy for a couple in any given month will depend on many factors. The most important of these things are:
- The age of the woman. As your biological clock ticks on, the number of eggs and their quality starts decreasing. This makes it more difficult for you to conceive a baby, which is why you are here asking why can’t I get pregnant?
- Frequency of intercourse. While there is no “perfect” number of times to have sex, the optimal frequency of intercourse if you are trying to get pregnant is about three times a week in your fertile period. This is why getting an ovulation predictor kit is so important – you will be able to tell when your most fertile period is. The more intercourse you have during your fertile period, the more likely you will get pregnant.
- Time trying to conceive a baby. How long have you and your partner been trying to get pregnant? This is an important factor if you can’t get pregnant. The longer you been trying to conceive without success, the less your chances of getting pregnant without medical help.
- The presence of male and/or female infertility problems. If you been trying to get pregnant for over a year, then you’ve come to the right place! These fertility checklists will help you narrow down the possible reasons you’re not getting pregnant – including the possible presence of male and/or female fertility problems.
If your periods aren’t predictable, read 9 Things That Can Make Your Period Irregular.
Male Fertility Checklist #2: His Sperm and Urology
In the past, the reason a couple wasn’t conceiving a baby was automatically ascribed to the woman’s low fertility and general health. However, research studies today show that 40% of infertility or problems getting pregnant are because of a health issue with the man.
So, men, answer yes or no to the following questions:
- Have you had an operation on your testicles?
- Have you had a hernia repair?
- Is there blood in your ejaculate?
- Have you had mumps?
- Have you had an injury to your testicles?
- Do you have any family members with cystic fibrosis?
- Have you had a vasectomy?
- Are you overweight (with a body mass index greater than 25)?
- Are you taking medication for a peptic ulcer?
- Do you have diabetes?
All of the above factors can potentially cause problems conceiving a baby. If your man has answered yes to any of the questions above, then you and he – or just he – should consult a urologist or family doctor as soon as possible.
One of the most popular fertility clinics in India suggests that the man must always be tested for fertility problems before the woman. In other words, if a couple can’t get pregnant then the man should get a sperm test or semen analysis right away. Why? Because testing a woman’s fertility is far more complicated, invasive, and expensive. It’s much simpler to find out if the man has an infertility problem that is preventing pregnancy.
If you think you can’t get pregnant because of sperm problems, read How to Increase Male Fertility and Improve Sperm Count.
A Couples’ Fertility Checklist #3: Getting Pregnant
If you’ve been having intercourse two or three times a week at about the time of ovulation (your most fertile period) without any form of birth control for a year or more, you meet the definition of being infertile if you still can’t get pregnant. The following questions will help you assess whether or not your frequency of intercourse is contributing to the reason you can’t conceive a baby.
Answer yes or no to the following questions:
- Do you have intercourse less than twice a week?
- Do you have a problem with intercourse?
- Do you have pain with intercourse?
- Does your partner have problems with erection?
- Does your partner have premature ejaculation?
- Have you had pelvic inflammatory disease?
- Have you had an operation on your abdomen (eg, a burst appendix)?
- Do you have discharge?
- Have you had an ectopic pregnancy?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you need to dig into that health issue in more detail. How do you do this? By talking to a gynecologist, urologist, or family doctor about the specific health issue that is affecting you. It’s important to ask a specialist why you can’t get pregnant.
Here’s an interesting fact about conceiving a baby: sometimes women will have undergone several painful and expensive female fertility tests – often repeatedly. But what about male fertility factors? The boyfriend or husband’s sperm test or semen analysis (where the problem actually lies) is often overlooked.
Make sure you have intercourse at the right time (when you’re ovulating in your fertile window). This is one of the best tips for getting pregnant without taking fertility drugs.
Fertility Checklist #4: Male and Female Infertility Problems
According to research, infertility levels for both men and women seems to have increased in modern times. This may be because women are waiting until they’re older to get married have children, and because there are more incidences of sexually transmitted diseases that damage the reproductive tracts in both men and women.
The following questions asses your and your partner’s general health levels. Answering yes to any of the following questions may help you figure out the exact reason why you’re wondering “why can’t I get pregnant?”
Answer yes or no:
- Do you have a nutritious and healthy diet?
- Do you smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol?
- Have you been exposed to environmental hazards?
- Have you tried to conceive before without success?
- Are you under significant stress?
- Do you spend a lot of time apart?
- Do you drink excessive amounts of caffeine?
- Do you take regular medications?
- Do you use recreational drugs?
- Do you have a history of a genetic problem?
Answering yes to any of those questions shows that you may have a general health issue that is stopping you from conceiving a baby. Your next step, then, is to talk to a doctor about why you can’t get pregnant.
When should you go to a fertility specialist if you can’t get pregnant?
If you haven’t been able to conceive a baby, there are certain conditions that warrant talking to a doctor as soon as possible:
- Periods at three week (or less) intervals
- No periods for longer than three months
- Irregular periods
- A history of pelvic infection
- Two or more miscarriages
- Women over the age of 35 – time is fleeting, so talk to a doctor ASAP!
- Men who have had prostate infections or sexually transmitted diseases
- Men whose testes are not felt in the scrotum
There is no right time to talk to a fertility specialist, gynecologist, or urologist – but if you are worried that you can’t get pregnant after a year of trying, then you should seek medical help. You might feel embarrassed and like you are the only ones in the world who can get pregnant, but you are not alone many couples experience infertility and many couples still end up having children – even though it might take a little longer. Make an appointment with your family doctor, and consider talking to a fertility specialist.
Help Getting Pregnant
According to the Malpani Infertility Clinic, decreasing sperm count in men is a worldwide phenomenon. Men’s sperm counts have been falling in the last few decades. It’s not clear whether this is due to environmental pollution, the stresses of modern daily life, or even a later age of trying to conceive a baby.
The Clearblue Fertility Monitor is the most advanced way of tracking your ovulation and predicting the best times to have intercourse – especially if you’re worried you can’t get pregnant.
This monitor gives you comprehensive, personal information about your menstrual and ovulation cycle to help you map out your fertile days on your calendar. It counts the days and tells you which days to test your fertility, and tells you when you’re having Low, High, and Peak fertility days.
The internet is a good source of tips about fertility checklists, getting pregnant, and infertility information, but it can’t give you personal or specific health advice. An article like this – even if it’s on a reputable health website or fertility doctor’s blog – can’t answer your “why can’t I get pregnant?” question. Only in-person testing can determine why you and your partner are having trouble conceiving (and, honestly, even medical tests don’t always reveal fertility problems). Still, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Get the most basic fertility tests done – and make sure your partner gets tested, too.
Are you trying to get pregnant? Fairhaven Health's Hormone Balance Bundle improves egg quality, encourages cycle regularity, and helps your body ovulate regularly.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!