What Causes Infertility In Women
Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.
Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome . PCOS is a hormone imbalance problem which can interfere with normal ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. Primary ovarian insufficiency is another cause of ovulation problems. POI occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40. POI is not the same as early menopause.
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
- Blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy
- Physical problems with the uterus
- Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous clumps of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of pregnancy. Being overweight reduces your chances of getting pregnant because it may interfere with ovulation.
Being underweight can also hurt fertility body fat levels that are too low interfere with cyclical hormonal changes. So if youre thinking about how to get pregnant quickly and naturally within two months, you might want to start a healthy exercise regimen that meets your weight goals and activity preferences.
What Are Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant Every Month
Generally, a woman whos trying to get pregnant has between a 15% and 25% chance of doing so each month. Despite those odds, most couples conceive within the first year of trying.
Whether you will conceive depends on several factors such as your overall health, age, your and your partners fertility, and having sex at the right time during your cycle.
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Reach And Maintain A Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for many serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers .1 People who are underweight are also at risk for serious health problems.2
The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isnt about short-term dietary changes. Its about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.
If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk with your doctor about ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
Aim For A Healthy Weight
According to the Mayo Clinic, attaining a healthy weight before conception can help set you up for success, both improving your odds of getting pregnant fast and reducing your risk of certain complications. Obesity is associated with irregular ovulation, so it may take longer to conceive if your body mass index is 30 or higher.
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Learn When Ovulation Happens
Its a good idea to understand the basics of how ovulation works so you can monitor your body for signs and symptoms. Its a common misconception that ovulation always occurs on the 14th day after your period starts, but that only happens if your menstrual cycle is consistent and 28 days long. Every womans cycle is different. The average cycle is anywhere from 24 to 35 days, and it doesnt vary by more than three to four days on any given month, Levens says. Depending on how long your cycle is, ovulation can actually happen between 11 to 21 days after the first day of your last period . But while the timing of ovulation depends on the womans unique cycle, all healthy women will get their periods 12 to 14 days after ovulation.
Stop Smoking Alcohol And Drugs Limit Caffeine
If you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, you should stop before you get pregnant. They can:
- Make it harder for you to get pregnant
- Increase the chance of miscarriage
If you need help quitting smoking, alcohol, or drugs, talk to your doctor or midwife.
Alcohol can harm a growing fetus , even in small amounts. Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause long-term problems for your baby, such as intellectual disability, behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and facial and heart defects.
Smoking is bad for unborn babies and puts your child at greater risk of health problems later in life.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a lower birth weight.
- Smoking also makes it harder for you to recover from your pregnancy.
Drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor can be dangerous for you to take at any point in your life.
You should also cut down on caffeine when you are trying to get pregnant. Women who daily consume more than 2 cups of coffee or 5 cans of soda that contains caffeine may have a harder time getting pregnant and a greater chance of miscarriage.
Limit unnecessary medicines or supplements. Discuss with your provider about both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and supplements you take before you try to conceive. Most medicines have some risks, but many have unknown risks and have not been thoroughly studied for safety. If medicines or supplements are not absolutely necessary, do not take them.
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How To Get A Woman Pregnant
This article was co-authored by Joshua U. Klein, MD, FACOG and by wikiHow staff writer, Amy Bobinger. Dr. Joshua U. Klein is a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist, an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the Co-Founder of Extend Fertility. He specializes in IVF, egg freezing, infertility, fertility preservation, artificial insemination, and treating polycystic ovarian syndrome . Dr. Klein has been published in numerous peer-reviewed academic journals such as Science, Fertility and Sterility, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. He holds a BA in English from Yeshiva University and an MD from Harvard Medical School.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 17 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,676,442 times.
If you and your partner want to get pregnant, you might be wondering what you can do to help. While most methods of improving fertility tend to focus on tracking a cisgender woman’s cycle, as a cisgender man, you can take steps that may improve your sperm count. There’s no way to guarantee that you and your partner will conceive, but there are things you can do to increase the odds!
Trying To Get Pregnant
Pregnancy happens when sperm enters a vagina, travels through the cervix and womb to the fallopian tube and fertilises an egg.
Youre more likely to get pregnant around the time you are ovulating. This is when an egg becomes ready and you are at your most fertile.
If you are under 40 and have regular sex without using contraception, there is an 8 in 10 chance you will get pregnant within 1 year.
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Get Your Blood Pumping With Regular Exercise
“The rule is 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five to six days per week, both before and during pregnancy,” Dr. Chaudhari says. Some doctors suspect that super high-impact workouts might hinder conception, as very athletic people tend to have irregular periods. But if you’re at a healthy weight and have regular cycles, don’t feel you need to give up that intense Spin class you love.
What If You Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome , a hormonal disorder, is one of the most common reasons for female infertility. It affects between 6% and 12% of American women of reproductive age.
There is no single test to identify PCOS, but a doctor will determine if a woman fulfills two of the following three criteria,the CDC said :
- Irregular periods or no periods, caused from lack of ovulation
- Higher than normal levels of male hormones that may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne or thinning scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
It is not clear why some women develop this syndrome, although it is often diagnosed when they struggle to get pregnant.
There is a strong link between PCOS-related infertility and weight. About 40% to 60% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and healthy eating and exercise have been shown to improve reproductive problems in women with PCOS, according to a 2019 article in the journal Therapeutic Advcances in Reproductive Health . A number of prescribed medications may also induce ovulation and regulate insulin levels, such asletrozole and metformin. High levels of insulin push thepituitary gland to release large amounts of hormones thatdisrupt ovulation.
Doctors recommend in-vitro fertilization if other interventions have not worked, or as a primary treatment if monitoring, cost and accessibility are not issues.
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First Trimester Weeks 1
First trimester changes in the mother:
Pregnant people will experience a lot of symptoms during the first trimester as the body adjusts to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. In the early weeks, the pregnancy may not be showing much on the outside of her body, but inside many changes are taking place.
One of the first changes is the production of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, which shows up in the blood right after conception occurs. Levels of hCG can be detected in a pregnant person’s urine about a week after a missed period. Human chorionic gonadotropin is what’s detected in a positive home pregnancy test.
Rising levels of hCG and other hormones, such as estrogen, may be responsible for the waves of nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness that’s most common during the first few months of pregnancy. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur any time of day.
A pregnant person may also feel more tired than usual during the first trimester, a symptom that’s linked with rising levels of the hormone progesterone, which increases sleepiness.
Early in pregnancy, breasts may feel more tender and swollen, another side effect of rising levels of pregnancy hormones. The areolas, the skin around each nipple, will darken and enlarge.
Many parts of the body will work harder during pregnancy, including the heart. Heart rate will increase to pump more blood to the uterus, which will supply it to the fetus.
How Do I Get Pregnant If I Was On Birth Control
If youre on birth control and want to get pregnant, simply stop using your birth control method. With most methods , fertility usually comes back right after you stop using it often within the same month.
Birth control doesnt hurt your ability to get pregnant long-term, but a few types may temporarily affect your fertility for several months after you stop using it.
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Try To Maintain A Healthy Weight
Your BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The ideal BMI before conception is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Having a high BMI can reduce your fertility and increases the risk of complications in pregnancy. Being overweight can also contribute to fertility problems in men .
If you have a very high BMI you may feel like it is an impossible task to reach the healthy range and you may have been struggling with your weight your whole life. Try not to lose heart, bringing your BMI a few points down the scale can make a big difference.There is professional support available if you need it.
If your BMI is in the underweight range it may affect your fertility and cause health problems during pregnancy. It may help to put on weight gradually with a healthy diet. There are many reasons why a person may be underweight. You GP can give you help and advice.
Make Sure Youre Using A Fertility
The kind of lubricant you use during sex can actually make conception more difficult, so much so that the Food and Drug Administration now categorizes certain lubricants as fertility friendly.
This is because the ingredients in many lubricants, such as petroleum, silicone, parabens and glycerin, can harm sperm function. A lubricants pH can also have an effect.
Cut Back On Strenuous Workouts
Being physically active most days of the week can help a woman’s body prepare for the demands of pregnancy and labor, and has been associated with a reduced risk of fertility problems, scientists reported in the March 2020 issue of the journalHuman Reproduction . But getting too much exercise or doing frequent strenuous workouts could interfere with ovulation,Live Science reported.
Doctors see a lot of menstrual disturbances in women who exercise heavily, and a lot of times these women need to cut back on their workouts if they want to become pregnant, Pavone told Live Science.
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Things You Should Do When You’re Pregnant And 7 You Shouldn’t
When you discovered you were pregnant after seeing the positive pregnancy test, you may have been thrilled, worried, or surprised. Regardless of how you felt at first, it probably didn’t take long for you to start asking questions. What should you do? What should you avoid? How can you have a healthy pregnancy and birth? We went to the experts to find out. Here are seven things you should do when you’re pregnant, and seven you should avoid.
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Have Sex At The Right Time
Knowing when youre ovulating and therefore fertile is the first step. Having sex during that window of fertility is the second .
Having sex before your expected ovulation can help account for any variation in when you ovulate. Sperm can also live in the body for several days having some already in action can help increase your likelihood of conceiving.
Once you ovulate, there are only 12 to 24 hours for your egg to meet the sperm . If you know when youll be ovulating, you can have sex before ovulation. This can help ensure some of the slow-moving sperm will get to the egg on time.
If the sperm reach their final destination when you arent fertile, they wont hang around. Have sex after ovulation to increase the odds for some of those fast-moving sperm to meet up with your egg.
Dont forget to enjoy the process as you go along this wild ride. Stress doesnt help with fertility so avoid the robot sex if at all possible. Orgasms improve the likelihood that sperm will successfully journey to your egg .
Try Some Recommended Positions
When it comes to the best penis-in-vagina position to get pregnant, it can be hard to separate real advice from myths. But Dr. Williams says the following tips may be worth a try:
- Lie on your back after sex. “Because the vagina naturally slopes downward, resting on your back after sex allows sperm to pool there, which gives them an edge in swimming toward your egg,” says Dr. Williams. Should you keep your legs elevated, too? It can’t hurt, he says, but it probably doesn’t help any more than lying down does.
- Have sex before bed. Though some sources report that sperm count is highest in the morning, the truth is that there’s no optimal time of day to have sex in terms of sperm count. However, having sex before you hit the hay is an easy way to ensure you stay on your back afterward.
- Keep it vanilla. While there’s no single sex position that’s best for conceiving, try sticking to one where you’ll be on your back when it’s over.
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Position Can Help Too
Position can make a difference too! They say the missionary position is best with a shallow ejaculation.
This keeps the sperm as far away as possible from the cervix. The female sperm has more of a fighting chance since they live longer than their male counterparts.
The males may die off trying to reach the cervix while the female sperms remain more resilient. So staying low and shallow gives those girls a fighting chance.
Know When To Get Help
Infertility is defined as the inability of a sexually active couple who are not using birth control to get pregnant after one year of trying, according to The American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Robins said he tells couples that a woman who is under the age of 35 and her partner should try to become pregnant for one year without success before seeking an infertility evaluation. For women who are 35 or older, the time before seeing an infertility specialist shortens to 6 months in couples who are having sex regularly without using birth control, he noted.
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Healthy Body Healthy Pregnancy
Before trying to get pregnant, you should try to be as healthy as possible. In fact, most doctors will recommend that you make an appointment with your obstetrician before youre pregnant.
At this preconception visit, youll talk about existing health problems and get screened for genetic diseases. You can also address other health concerns you might have.
Your doctor might recommend that you make lifestyle changes before you get pregnant. These might include:
- getting to a healthy weight
- improving diet/exercise habits