What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant

Get the real reasons why you can’t get pregnant

Trying to get pregnant?

Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to get pregnant it seems like everyone around you is popping out babies?If you are struggling with infertility, you know how much of an emotional roller coaster it can be, because it was for me.

I went through months without getting pregnant, failed after failed fertility treatments and a miscarriage before I became pregnant with my twins. 

I don’t want you to feel discouraged about this process.

There are about a million different reasons as to why you might be struggling to get pregnant.

In this post we go over what you can do when you can’t get pregnant naturally and some options you have.

What You Need to Know About Infertility

Know that you are not alone in your fertility struggles. There are over 6 million women who struggle with the ability to get pregnant.

While it might feel like the responsibility of getting pregnant solely relies on the woman, in about 40% of the cases of infertility, it is the male who is the primary factor in the inability to get pregnant.

The good news is that there is a high percentage of cases of infertility (85-90%) that can be treated with medication or surgery (more on that in a bit…).

There are many different things that your doctor can do to test your and your partner’s fertility, natural ways you can increase your fertility, and also options for those women who just aren’t able to conceive without outside assistance.

How To Check Your Fertility

If you are having problems conceiving naturally, you should be checking your fertility with your doctor to get a feel for what the issue might be.

But how do you know when you should be consulting with your doctor about fertility issues?

The rule of thumb is if you have been having intercourse on a regular basis without birth control for 12 months if you are under the age of 35 and 6 months if you are over the age of 35.

If you fall into one of these categories and still haven’t been able to conceive naturally, then you should consult with your doctor. 

If you haven’t been doing so already, you should be tracking your ovulation and the associated symptoms so that you can try baby making during your peak fertility times. This is also information that your doctor is going to ask about when you go to see them for fertility testing, so you might as well start tracking that info as soon as possible.

Things Your Doctor Will Need to Know

First of all, it is best for you and your partner to get tested for fertility at the same time. This can help to eliminate potential issues sooner.

Be prepared to air out all of your dirty laundry when you go to meet with your doctor.

Trying to get pregnant and getting fertility testing is a marathon of sorts and you can’t leave any info swept under the rug that might prevent you from reaching your goal of becoming parents.

The doctor will need to take a deep dive into your and your partner’s medical history, family histories, prescription and recreational medications, your habits for smoking, drinking, caffeine, and any other drug use.

The doctor will also take a deep dive into your sex life. Fair warning, there are going to be uncomfortable questions that include:

  • How often the two of you are having sex.
  • Your ovulation and period schedule (so be sure to track that!)
  • Your history of birth control use and any side effects that you’ve had.
  • If either of you have or have had any sextually transmitted diseases.
  • Any problems with intercourse (pain, ect).
  • Whether there has been sex outside of the relationship.
  • If you have been pregnant before or if you have a history of miscarriages.
  • Every question you could possibly think of about your period.

Remember, your doctor is here to diagnose and treat any infertility issues, so you need to be sure that you are explaining IN DETAIL to them and being 100% honest in regards to these questions.

How to Test for Infertility

Unfortunately, there is no one test that the doctor can administer to determine why you are experiencing infertility.

Man, wouldn’t that be convenient!

This can be a quick diagnosis or a rather long and drawn out process of testing, testing, and testing some more to determine what the cause might be.

Some of the testing that your doctor might recommend include:

  • A Pap smear to detect cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and other issues with your cervix.
  • Ovulation testing to ensure that you are releasing eggs each month.
  • A urine test for detecting the luteinizing hormone which increases and causes the ovaries to release eggs.
  • A blood test for progesterone which also increases during ovulation.
  • Testing your thyroid to ensure there aren’t any hormonal problems.

If everything checks out there, then the doctor also needs to check that your reproductive organs are physically able to work and carry a pregnancy full term. Some of these tests include:

  • Transvaginal ultrasound to check your ovaries and uterus.
  • A hysterosalpingogram to x-ray your fallopian tubes and uterus.
  • Laparoscopy surgery to correct pelvic problems.
  • Hysteroscopy to collect tissue samples and check the cervix and uterus.

Generally speaking, after getting some tests you should have some idea as to why you are having difficulty getting pregnant. However, there are no guarantees.

Options for Infertile Couples

After your doctor has poked and prodded you, if for some reason you find that you and your partner are not able to get pregnant naturally, you do have options!

If you aren’t able to conceive naturally, there are five main things you can do to have a child.

  • Take fertility drugs
  • Undergo medical procedures, such as IVF
  • Opt for sperm, egg, or embryo donation
  • Get a surrogate mother
  • Or adopt!

Fertility Drugs

Both men and women can take fertility drugs to help increase their chances of conception. Fertility drugs can be used in addition to medical procedures or on their own.

Some of the reasons they are commonly used include:

  • To help regulate or trigger ovulation
  • Hormone shots that can trigger growth of eggs in the ovaries
  • Suppress or control menstrual cycle
  • Boost testosterone production
  • Help stimulate the production of sperm

IVF and My Journey

For those of you reading this that don’t know my story, I am the mother of twins which were conceived through IVF.

After six months of trying to get pregnant the natural way, I knew something was wrong and opted to seek outside medical assistance.

We weren’t successful on the first try and had some difficulties keeping the pregnancy. You can read about my full experience but I will keep it short and sweet here.

We went through three rounds of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and one round of using a frozen embryo to conceive my twins.

It was a very long road filled with being poked and prodded, taking tons of different medications and supplements and more anxiety that I could have ever imagined, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Sperm, Egg or Embryo Donation

For those couples where one of the partners isn’t able to take part in the pregnancy, there is the option of sperm, egg, or embryo donation. 

With a sperm or egg donation, one of the parents still maintains that genetic link to the child. With an embryo donation, neither parents’ genetics are carried over to the child, but the couple is still able to experience the pregnancy and birthing process.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy involves another woman carrying your child. There are a few reasons where a couple can opt to use a surrogate mother:

If a pregnancy is too risky for the mother.

A pregnancy is musically impossible.

Or a male couple (or single male) wishes to have a baby.

There can be a combination of both the parents egg and sperm, donations of eggs and sperm, or a donated embryo.

Adoption

There are many different reasons why a couple might choose to adopt a child. There are many different options for adoption both domestically and internationally. In the U.S. alone, there are over 400,000 kids in the foster care system with 120,000 of them waiting to be adopted.

Or these 120,000 kids there are sibling groups, kids with special needs such as emotional, mental, and physical disabilities, medical conditions, and older children.

Adoption isn’t for everyone but ask anyone who has adopted a child and they will tell you how rewarding it has been.

Natural Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

If you have been trying to get pregnant for some time, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting a positive pregnancy test.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that you have your body right before trying to conceive.

This includes quitting all those bad habits and adopting healthy ones. In addition, there are many different ways to try and naturally increase your chances of getting pregnant.

From the very beginning you need to be sure that you are tracking your menstrual cycle and ovulation so that you have a better gauge of when you are most fertile.

You also need to do your best to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

This might include losing some weight or gaining some weight, depending on your situation.

While it’s great to get into an exercise routine, you don’t want to overdo it with workouts that are too strenuous.

You should also be sure that you are starting a good routine with taking your prenatal vitamins before you even think about getting pregnant.

You also want to avoid foods that might inhibit a healthy conception and pregnancy like fish and caffeine and consume healthier foods like dark leafy greens and full fat dairy.

Being able to get on track with all of these things will only help you out in your journey to becoming pregnant.

I hope this post gave you some hope and determination that you will be a mother one day! Your time will come!

Tell me in the comments if you found this post helpful in your journey to being a mom!

Elna is a mom to twins who blogs and writes for a living. She loves all things mom. While she's not blogging, you can find Elna meal planning, organizing and helping other moms in her Facebook group, Mom to Mompreneurs.

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