Why Can't I Get Pregnant
It can be make worse by your anxiety about it
How Do We Define Infertility?
When considering the subject of Why Can't I Get Pregnant one of the first difficulties to arise is that of definition. The definition of infertility varies according to the age of the couple and their geographical position in the world. For example:
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines infertility as the inability to conceive after two years of contraception free intercourse and where there is no other obvious hindrance to conception.
- The US definition of Infertility. In America infertility in defined according to the woman’s age. If under the age of 35 a woman is considered to be infertile if after a period of one year of “trying” she fails to conceive. In a woman over the age of 35 if she fails to conceive after six months she qualifies for the definition of infertile.
Defining it like this, the definition of infertility is tied into the time left to become pregnant in older women and therefore the need to start investigation and, where appropriate, treatments sooner. This actually makes a lot of sense.
Causes of Infertility:
- 30% of infertility is caused by a male factor.
- 30% is caused by a female factor.
- 30% is unexplained
- 10% by a combination of any of the above.
Male problems causing infertility:
- Reduced sperm motility.
- Reduced sperm count.
- Sexual dysfunction such as untreated erectile dysfunction, severe premature ejaculation and ejaculatory incompetence (Not able to ejaculate inter-vaginally).
Female problems causing infertility:
- Ovarian causes -- ovarian cyst, polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Tubal causes – infections like chlamydia, adhesion, external damage -- endometriosis.
- Age related anovular cycles.
- Uterine causes, retroverted uterus.
- Sexual dysfunctions – vaginismus, imperforate hymen, dyspareunia.
Some observations and advice:
- People often “panic” if a pregnancy does not happen within a few months of trying asking "Why can't I get pregnant?", this is a mistake. Relax and take your time. If under 35 give it at least a year to happen.
- Semen analysis should always be the first investigation undertaken. It is inexpensive and non-invasive and may throw up the cause of infertility in 30% of cases.
- Forget about the so-called fertile period of the menstrual cycle. In reality it does not exist and confining yourselves to this so-called window adds further pressure to both you and your partner and is not conducive to conceiving.