You want to start a family and are not getting pregnant in spite of trying for over a year. You feel you and your partner are healthy and have no reason not to conceive. The waiting time with every passing month can be daunting and stressful. Here you should know that there may be number of factors probably not known to you that could be minimizing your chances of pregnancy and you may need help. Let’s know the conditions that can impact your ability to conceive a child:
Lesser the age, more are the chances to get pregnant. This is because with age both the number and quality of eggs decrease significantly with every passing year. Fertility is at its peak in your 20s while after 30 years of age, it gradually starts decreasing. In your 40s your pregnancy chances get reduced considerably and you may have to look at assisted reproductive techniques to become a parent.
Although uterine fibroids are common in women but not all fibroids are responsible for infertility. Their size and location determine if they are causing problem in getting pregnant. Generally, there are no visible symptoms but heavy periods do signal presence of fibroids.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) affects your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Pain in your pelvic area or unusual vaginal bleeding etc., may signal presence of PID. An untreated PID leads to blockages or adhesions in the fallopian tubes causing infertility. PID also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
The polycystic ovarian syndrome impacts your hormone levels, menstrual cycles, and thus the fertility. The ovarian cysts may result in enlarged ovaries and lower the number of eggs further affecting your chances of getting pregnant.
Thyroid problem has a direct effect on the woman’s fertility. Studies reveal abnormal thyroid functions create hormonal imbalance, increases miscarriage risk and can causes adverse pregnancy. Your doctor would initially investigate thyroid function, if you are having difficulty in conceiving.
Overweight or Underweight
Both being overweight or too thin reduces your chances of getting pregnant. In both the cases, you may have nutrient deficiency, hormonal imbalance, irregular menstrual cycle which will create difficulty in conceiving. If you are trying to get pregnant, it is important to maintain a healthy balanced diet and active routine for healthy body weight.
Endometriosis is a disease of the reproductive system which prevents the normal movement of egg and sperm through the fallopian tube. Severe endometriosis leads to fallopian tube blockage and damaged ovaries creating difficulty in becoming pregnant. Heavy and painful periods or mild to severe cramping in the pelvic area, signal the disease and should be checked with your gynecologist.
Infrequent or absences of periods with excessive or light bleeding also affects the release of a mature egg from an ovary, thus causing difficulty in conceiving.
Being anemic that is low in hemoglobin or iron deficiency may result in lack of ovulation (anovulation) and poor egg quality, thus preventing conception. Even if you are able to conceive, the fetus will not grow properly. So if you are anemic, increase the intake of iron-rich diet that includes beets, spinach, beans, meats, etc., along with iron supplements as advised by the doctor to increase your fertility.
All kinds of stress, mental or physical take a toll on your body. Stress leads to improper sleep, weakness, and hormonal imbalance. Studies show stress, anxiety, and depression diminishes your chances of getting pregnant. When planning to conceive do away with hectic lifestyle to improve your chances of pregnancy.
Smokers, alcoholics and drug addicts are more likely to have fertility issues like damaged reproductive organs, irregular ovulation, genetic issues, and miscarriage risks. Men smoking or drinking will have lower sperm count and poor sperm motility, which obstruct in conception. All those women addicted to smoking, alcohol or drugs can even experience early menopause reducing their chances of becoming parent.
Cancer of reproductive organs like uterus or testicles are known to affect the fertility, while other types of cancer do not cause infertility. It is the treatment of cancer like chemotherapy or radiation therapy rather than cancer itself that leads to infertility. For example, chemotherapy in women leads to early menopause. For cancer patients, assisted reproductive techniques like IVF with donor eggs / donor sperms or planned embryo cryopreservation before starting the cancer treatment is advised.
If you are facing any of the above problems, consult you gynecologist for timely remedies and treatment.
For any assistance on assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF, or infertility treatment in India, you can call our patient advisors for ‘free’ guidance.