Why Can't I Get Pregnant? The Top 10 Factors That Impact Your Chances of Conception

Updated: Nov 3

conception and pregnancy

If you’ve been trying for a baby for a while with no success, you’ve probably asked yourself why can’t I get pregnant? For some people it all happens so easily, while others face month after month of continued disappointment. It’s important to know that you are not alone in your struggles. In fact, it’s estimated that sub-fertility affects a whopping 1 in 7 couples in the UK, with global fertility rates dropping by over a half in the last 50 years.

Infertility is considered when a couple has failed to conceive after 1 year of having regular unprotected sex. Unfortunately, causes aren’t always clear cut, it’s often multifactorial and can affect both partners. These factors can range from simple, fixable things such as missed ovulation windows or poor lifestyle choices, to more complicated issues such as structural damage or unexplained infertility.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 factors that could be causing problems:

1. Ovulatory disorders 

Ovulation is a crucial step in the process of conception. We need an egg to be released by the ovaries in order to get pregnant, therefore if there’s a problem within this process we will most definitely run into difficulties.  Ovulatory dysfunction counts for approximately 25% of all cases of infertility. It can be affected by a whole host of

things, including:

  • Stress

  • Extended time on birth control

  • Being under or overweight

  • An imbalance of hormones which can have a direct impact on your cycles

  • Conditions such as PCOS, hypothyroidism & hyperprolactinemia

  • Premature ovarian failure

  • Deterioration of egg quality and quantity – most commonly associated with age

Any of the above can result in sporadic ovulation or an absence of ovulation all together (anovulation). This manifests as irregular periods, no period at all or abnormal bleeding. With all this going on it can be extremely difficult to know when it’s the best time to have intercourse when trying for a baby. The key here is to address the underlying cause of your ovulatory disorder, which can range from anything from poor diet and lifestyle, genetic links and the environment you surround yourself in. This is where working with a nutritional therapist can become really

beneficial, as we work to uncover the root cause of your issues.

2. Tubal damage

Tubal damage counts for 20% of all cases of infertility. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), commonly contracted via sexually transmitted microorganisms such as chlamydia, is a leading cause of tubal infertility.

Endometriosis can be another factor. This is where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places such as fallopian tubes or the ovaries. Endometriosis affects more than 10%-15% of women who are of childbearing age. It causes pelvic adhesions, distorted anatomy and ovarian or tubal damage. This can also have a knock-on effect in the ovulatory process.