If you are struggling to get pregnant then you should not automatically assume that you are infertile. There are many factors that contribute to successful conception, and fertility is not as straightforward as you might imagine. Many factors of fertility have been identified, and it is worth understanding what could improve your chances, and what can diminish them. Here are 5 surprising reasons why you might be struggling to conceive:
1. Blood Type
A recent study at Yale University suggested that women with blood type O may be more likely to display a hormone profile that effectively caused their ovaries to act older than their age, keeping a lower egg reserve. In the study female fertility patients with O type blood were twice as likely to have this problem.
There is nothing you can do about your blood type, and therefore there is nothing to worry about. Forty-percent of people have O type blood, and it is not an indicator of infertility. It could, however, be useful to know that it may take you longer to conceive. Changes to your health and lifestyle will help.
2. Too Much Stress
Stress is widely known to effect health in many ways, and recent research has suggested that it could be damaging for your chances of pregnancy. Researchers studied 510 couples with no known medial problems, and found that women with high levels of the hormone alpha-amylase, which is linked to stress, were twice as unlikely to conceive within a year.
Stress, unlike blood type, is something that you do have control over. You should try to reduce your level of stress by taking plenty of relaxation time. Try activities such as Yoga to calm down your body and mind. Also, do not add stress to conception; enjoy the sexy time without adding too much pressure.
3. Sperm DNA Damage
Initial fertility tests for men look at sperm concentration, count, volume, mortality, and morphology, but not for DNA damage. In a recent study researchers found that sperm DNA damage accounted for 80 percent of cases of idiopathic fertility, an alarmingly high rate which suggests that men could have problems conceiving even after they are tested positively fertile.
There are sperm DNA tests available, such as the comet assay. These tests are young and experimental, but if you have your doubts then it is worth finding out.
4. Nasty Chemical Pollutants
Certain chemical could have a huge effect on your fertility, and you could be absorbing a lot more than you think even if you live a relatively healthy and natural lifestyle. Take the plastic softening estrogen mimicking chemical BPA, which can be found in water bottles, cans, and unfortunately your sex toys. Levels fluctuate throughout the day with exposure, and your body does a pretty god job of flushing BPA, but high levels have been shown massively reduce fertility. Women with high levels produced less eggs, and the eggs were less likely to be fertile.
Other chemicals to avoid include the hormone altering chemical PCB, which is found nearly everywhere, but is particularly concentrated in animal fat. You should cut off fat when cooking, and avoid consuming a lot of animal products in general.
Okay so this is the least surprising reason you might be struggling to conceive, but it could not go unmentioned. Health drastically effects fertility, and so while trying to conceive you should pay even more attention to your well-being, and your partner’s. A healthy diet will assist you during pregnancy, but will also help you to conceive, so make sure you take in plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Exercise improves fertility, while negative health behaviors like smoking and drinking drastically lower your chances. Live healthily and your chances of conception improve dramatically.
If you are still struggling to conceive, and have controlled all of the factors that can be controlled, then it doesn’t not mean you cannot get pregnant, or have a child. Jenny, in vitro fertilization expert at IVI Fertility, explains that there is a great source of information on their website. She also says that “95% of couples conceive within the first 2 years of trying. 30% of couples take more than 6 months. If you are struggling, and at the end of your tether as a couple, then maybe it’s time to try and find out what is wrong, and whether a little help may be the way forward.”