I can’t get pregnant. What should I do?
You have decided it is time to grow your family so you start trying to conceive. The months go by but you haven’t gotten pregnant yet. So you think: I can’t get pregnant. What should I do?
It is true that some women manage to conceive relatively quickly, but this is not always the case as getting pregnant is not as easy as it may seem.
Humans are very inefficient from a reproductive point of view. During the first year of trying to conceive, the likelihood of falling pregnant is 20% per menstrual cycle, i.e. for each month you try. By the end of the first year, the odds fall to 3% and continue to fall year after year.
For this reason, infertility is defined as the inability to achieve a viable pregnancy after one year of trying to conceive. This definition changes if the woman is over the age of 37, and the amount of time is reduced to 6-8 months.
How can I find out if I’m infertile?
Infertility is a problem that is impacted by several different factors; it also affects both men and women, meaning it is an issue that is influenced by both male and female factors.
If a pregnancy has not been achieved within the time periods established above, it is important that you make an appointment with a specialised fertility clinic to consult with a specialist.
The doctor will carry out the necessary testing to try to reach a diagnosis and to propose the best therapeutic strategy, or to recommend treatment if necessary, in order to get pregnant.
It is essential to avoid postponing this consultation given that the clock is ticking and time can work against you.
Female-related fertility issues
When talking about the female factor, the most important prognostic factor is the age of the woman.
The likelihood of falling pregnant decreases considerably as a female ages.
- At the age of 20, the odds of getting pregnant are greater than 30% per menstrual cycle
- After the age of 37 the odds decrease substantially, and they proceed to fall drastically
- After the age of 40 when the possibility of achieving a viable pregnancy is less than 5%
- After the age of 44, achieving a viable pregnancy is almost a miracle.
But not all fertility issues are associated with age. A female can be infertile for many other reasons, such as: ovulatory disorders associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis which leads to problems in the ovaries and in the pelvic region, or uterine issues such as malformations, endometrial polyps and submucosal myomas, among others.
It is also important to have balanced or normal levels of microbiota in the vagina and uterus; microbiota are normal microorganisms that are naturally present in our body. Different studies have discovered issues in the endometrial microbiome of women with reproductive failure.
Male-related fertility issues
For infertile males, abnormalities in sperm quality, count, motility or morphology may be due to age, just as other anatomical or functional issues of the male reproductive system could also be attributable to age.
Environmental factors and lifestyle habits such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, etc., are also significantly responsible for the decline in a couple’s reproductive prognosis; similarly, a good diet plays a very important role when it comes to improving sperm quality.
Other infertility causes
When there are fertility issues, we can say that approximately 30% of infertility cases are associated with the female factor and another 30% with the male factor. The remainder are due to cases in which both members of the couple have an issue, and also to what we call ‘’unexplained infertility”: i.e. women or couples who do not seem to have any issues after having undergone fertility testing and medical investigations, but who cannot manage to achieve a viable pregnancy.
How can I improve my fertility?
Like we always say, diet plays a fundamental role in fertility. It is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and it’s essential to consume fruits and vegetables as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Breaking or cutting back on bad habits, such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption, will also be beneficial, as well as getting exercise. Getting enough physical activity will help to maintain a good state of health and to reduce the stress and anxiety that often appear when trying to conceive.
- In addition to maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, it is ideal to undergo a pre‑pregnancy gynaecological visit to assess your ovarian reserve, to find out if there are any issues in the uterus or the ovaries, and to carry out some analyses to rule out possible problems that may impact fertility.
- For males, it is important to undergo asperm analysis to rule out sperm abnormalities.
However, a reassuring fact is that the majority of couples dealing with fertility issues will finally achieve the long awaited pregnancy thanks to assisted reproduction treatment.
It is important to tackle any problems as soon as possible. As we previously pointed out: when it comes to fertility, time is of the essence.
Have you been trying to conceive for some time now but haven’t been successful?
Don’t wait any longer – get in touch with us and find out what we can do to help you.