Why Aren't I Getting Pregnant?
Research shows that birth rates are falling all over Europe. There are a variety of reasons for this, including women putting off having children until their early 30's and lower fertility in men.
Is It Your Age?
Women's fertility drops with age. So if you leave getting pregnant until you are over 30, you will find it harder and harder to conceive. If you are 35 and above, and you find you are not pregnant after 6 cycles of optimally timed sex (see our articles on fertility awareness charting) don't delay, go see your G.P. and ask to be referred to a specialist.
Make sure that your partner has a semen analysis first to check for fertility and motility, before you have loads of tests done on yourself. This is because it's relatively easy to check a man's sperm, where as tests on a woman are more complicated and take longer to do.
Do You Smoke, Take Drugs Or Drink?
Smoking definitely reduces fertility in men and women, so in order to boost your chances of getting pregnant, both of you should give it up straight away. Many common drugs such as marijuana also interfere with fertility and conception, and you should cut them out as well as alcohol consumption, which is another no-no when trying to get pregnant. Beer especially gives men performance problems, so it isn't very helpful when you are trying to conceive! Not to mention that all drugs and alcohol are bad for your growing baby, once you are pregnant.
Even prescribed drugs such as anti-histamines, steroids and ulcer medications can interfere with getting pregnant, so tell your doctor you are trying to get pregnant and ask if your prescription is absolutely necessary.
Are You Under Stress?
Although stress itself won't necessarily stop you getting pregnant, it may mean that you have such a busy life you aren't having enough sex at the right time. Stressful events can also delay ovulation, so you may find that even though you had plenty of sex; it was too early that month. This is another reason for charting, so that at least you know when you are ovulating and can time sex accordingly.
If you don't eat properly it can affect your fertility. Being either underweight or overweight can make a significant difference in your chances of getting pregnant, so try for a normal weight for your height.
Caffeine can also prevent you conceiving, especially if you have had a miscarriage in the past. Even just two cups of coffee a day can make a difference, especially in the first 12 weeks, so stay away when you are planning a pregnancy.
Soya products have also been linked with lower sperm counts, so it's a good idea for your partner to give them a miss.
And don't forget if you are trying to conceive you should take a pre-pregnancy vitamin supplement combination that includes folic acid. These supplements are designed not only to maximize your chances of conceiving, but also to help you have a healthy baby.