5 Variables That Might Be Hurting Your Chances Of Pregnancy
You and your partner are ready to have a baby…months pass by, and you still find yourself not getting pregnant. If you have been trying for over six months, it may be best to see a doctor.
Not getting pregnant can be an emotionally draining and stressful experience for you and your partner. Fortunately, there are ways to boost fertility and improve the chances of conceiving if properly informed.
Whatever the reason may be, this article will help you identify the five reasons why you are not getting pregnant and offer actionable steps you can take to overcome them. Finally, remember that it will take your hormones a minimum of three months to balance out, so be patient, and read on.
Not Tracking Ovulation
Tracking ovulation is going to be imperative. Ovulation typically occurs at the mid-way point in your cycle when your ovary releases an egg. While most eggs are released one at a time, there is a higher chance of more than one egg being released at once the older you get. This is why the prospect of twins is higher in older mothers.
Women are often given a “fertility window” of up to 5-7 days per cycle in which eggs can be released together or on separate days. It is therefore going to be crucial to track your ovulation, so you know when eggs are released. Not tracking your ovulation means you have a good chance of missing your ovulation window as it is common to ovulate either prematurely or late in the cycle.
Not Timing Sex
If you are in your twenties or early thirties, you are likely releasing one egg at a time. This means you should be having sex every other day beginning four days prior to ovulation up until two days after ovulation has occurred. Having sex every other day will give the man a chance to increase his sperm count, and a higher sperm count means a better chance of pregnancy.
If you are in your mid-thirties or older, you want to increase your chances of pregnancy on the three days that follow your first expected ovulation. This is because you may be releasing two eggs at some point during your cycles. In a 28-day cycle, let’s say you are expected to ovulate on days 14, 15, or 16. You would want to have sex on days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18.
Being overly stressed can lead to hormone imbalance that prevents ovulation from occurring during your period. Stress, along with hereditary hormonal imbalances, is the number one reason why hormone imbalances can take place that can lead to the production of fewer sex hormones.
When stress hormones begin to replace sex hormones, the hormones signal to the body that it isn’t a good time to get pregnant—a mechanism that has always been part of our evolution. This is because stress hormones tell the body that it is incapable of supporting pregnancy and providing the baby with the proper nutrients.
There are some ways to reduce stress in today’s modern world:
• Going to bed earlier and getting better sleep
• Protecting yourself from blue light exposure. Electromagnetic waves that are emitted from screens prohibit melatonin, your main sleep hormone, from being produced.
• Learn to say no: stress can easily build up from overly exerting yourself. Take time for yourself and learn to say no a little, especially if you are trying to get pregnant.
Not Eating Enough of the Right Fats and Protein
The production of sex hormones that help keep you fertile depends on your consumption of fats such as omega-3s and certain saturated fats. Here is a brief list of foods that have the fats you need:
• Raw nuts
• Olive oil
• Grass-fed butter
• Wild-caught fish (avoid those high in mercury such as tuna)
• Krill oil supplements
• Coconut oil
Protein consumption is going to be vital, for it helps determine the quality of eggs. One study revealed that those eating a moderate dose of protein (more than 25% of their daily calories) had twice the pregnancy rates of those eating less than 25% of protein along with more embryos to transfer. It has also been shown that reducing carbs also increases fertility. Women with the highest pregnancy rate (80%) were shown to diet with less than 40% of carbs along with 25% or more protein.
Your Thyroid is Out of Whack
Make sure to check your thyroid levels if you are not getting pregnant. The thyroid is responsible for producing the hormones that regulate most of your bodily systems, including your mood and menstrual cycle.
You can check on your thyroid levels by asking your doctor for a full thyroid panel. Make sure you get tests on the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3, and T4. It is common for physicians to only test for TSH as these overlook the production of thyroid hormones. However, opting to test for multiple thyroid levels will give you a more holistic understanding of the thyroid’s role in affecting your pregnancy.
What to Do Next
Recall that even if you follow the steps above, it takes around 2 to 3 months for your hormones to rebalance themselves. If you find that you are still not pregnant following a four-month period, it is time for you to order a full hormonal panel.
Make sure you work with your fertility doctor who will help monitor your results. At the bare minimum, you are going to want to get your estrogen, progesterone, LH, FSH, vitamin D levels, testosterone, DHEA, CRP, homocysteine, ferritin, iron, and iodine levels checked. This seems like a lot but doing so will give you the full picture of your situation and allow you to identify the reason you are not getting pregnant. If your dream is to have a family, this is what you must do.