Why Can’t I Get Pregnant? Factors Affecting Your Fertility

Many perfectly healthy women find themselves incapable of getting pregnant. They wonder what they’re doing wrong. They begin scouring the internet looking for reasons and answers for why they aren’t able to get pregnant.


Numerous factors affect the chances of conception, making it more difficult for couples to finally have a celebration about that positive pregnancy test.

A woman has a 20 to 30 percent chance of conception during each menstrual cycle. Stress, poor lifestyle and several other factors could be the reason for the inability to get pregnant and for an even lower chance of success.

In this post, I want to touch on a few common factors that can be preventing you from getting pregnant. After that, I’ll dive into some unique situations that some women might be facing.

Stress Factor

The results of a study on the subject were published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility. Researchers from a Boston health center examined the manner in which stress affected ladies that were pregnant or trying to conceive.

Stress results in the production of an enzyme called alpha-amylase. Women with high levels of the enzyme were 12 percent less likely to conceive than the other participants in the study. All of the ladies that participated in the study had no reproductive problems and previously diagnosed infertility.

It’s important to focus on your mental and emotional health when trying to conceive. Take some time for yourself. Try meditation, journaling or yoga. Go out with friends. Research shows that being social can bring down your stress levels.

Lifestyle Factor

This encompasses everything from what you put into your body to your exercise routine.

Make sure you’re kicking those bad habits like smoking and drinking. This goes for both you and your partner. Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women. Even further, female smokers are more likely than non-smokers to experience a miscarriage.

Analyze your weight. Are you at a healthy weight level? Make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet and if needed, begin eating less to shed some unneeded pounds. A healthy weight is vital for women who want to conceive. Being overweight is one of the most common factors in infertile women.

Begin exercising. It’s never a bad time to begin living a healthier lifestyle. Choosing to spend 15-30 minutes a day working out will kick your body into gear and can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Use your partner as your accountability buddy. Exercise together. This can create other ways of bonding with your partner. In the end, there are several benefits to exercising when trying to get pregnant.

Ovulation Factor

Without knowing when you ovulate, it will be difficult to get pregnant. Figuring out when you ovulate is the key to knowing when you can get pregnant. If you haven’t been able to conceive and aren’t tracking your cycles, it’s time to begin.

Begin by tracking the last day of your period. A cycle lasts from the first day of your period, to the last day before your next period starts. On average, a period lasts from 27-32 days. It can vary woman to woman, though.

Once you track the length of your cycle, you can get a rough estimate of when you ovulate by counting down two weeks before your period starts. So if your cycle lasts 30 days, you ovulate roughly on day 16.

Simply counting back the days doesn’t give you the most accurate representation of when you ovulate. It’s important to start monitoring your temperature with a basal body thermometer. Charting your temperatures gives you great insight into when you ovulate. It can tell you the day you ovulate once your temperature rises.

Another way to understand when you ovulate is by using test strips. These can detect hormones your body produces when it ovulates. You have a small window, roughly 12-24 hours in which to get pregnant after ovulation.

Medical Factor

Both you and your partner should see your doctor before trying to get pregnant. Your history of health or any family issues could affect your ability to get pregnant.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances are some of the most common causes of infertility in women. Your OBGYN should be able to inform you of any complications you might have when trying to conceive.

A low sperm count and low testosterone level feature as the most typical male fertility issues. Although these issues might not arise until after months of trying unsuccessfully, it’s important to note that these are important factors preventing pregnancy.

Now that I’ve touched on several factors that could be affecting your fertility, I’d like to move on to special cases. These situations are for women who can’t seem to get pregnant even after trying.

My period is like clockwork why can't I get pregnant?

If you’ve been doing everything perfectly, tracking ovulation, having sex on the right days and following the steps to conceive closely, it might be time to visit your doctor. They can do blood work and tell you if you’re ovulating or if there’s an underlying issue you aren’t aware of.

Other medical factors could be causing this infertility. Your partner may need to be tested for a low sperm count or other medical issues.

Why can't I get pregnant after stopping birth control?

Your body needs a chance to return to its normal rhythm. Once you stop taking birth control, it could take up to six months before your body returns to normal.

Many women believe that once they stop taking the pill, they’ll be fertile. For many women, this just isn’t the case. Your body needs to begin ovulating to be able to conceive and this could take several months. So be patient and monitor your temperatures and cycles!

Why can I get pregnant with PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause women to have irregular ovulation or stop ovulation all together.

The reason for this is due to an overproduction of a hormone called androgen. This hormone is normally high in men and low for women. An overproduction of this hormone is where issues can arise.

Without ovulating, you cannot get pregnant. If you are ovulating, but irregularly, you should still be able to get pregnant. You’ll need to monitor when you ovulate to give yourself the best chances of success.

Why can't I get pregnant on Clomid?

Clomid, a popular fertility drug, makes your body ovulate. Outside of that, it cannot increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

Even if you get everything perfect, from timing when you ovulate, having sex at the right time, there is still only a 20% - 25% chance that the egg will be successfully fertilized and implanted.

Make sure to talk with your doctor and ask what a good estimate is as to when you’d be able to get pregnant. If that time span has passed, your medication might not be working. It’s best to visit your doctor for answers.

Why can't I get pregnant with endometriosis?

There is some evidence that women with endometriosis are less fertile than women without this complication.

Endometriosis can trigger the immune system and can increase inflammation around your uterus. It can also affect your ability to produce healthy eggs. So even if you’re having sex on the right days and watching your ovulation, an unhealthy egg won’t be able to survive.

Make sure to talk to your doctor if you aren’t able to conceive and suffer from endometriosis.

Why can't I get pregnant a second time?

It might have been extremely easy to get pregnant your first time around. You delivered a healthy baby and now you're ready to give him or her a sibling.

If you’ve been trying for several months without success, know that the second time around can be different. It’s probably been a few years since you were pregnant with your first child.

Age plays a large role in the decline in fertility. The older you become, the older your eggs are and the less likely they can get fertilized and produce a healthy baby.

There might also be damage to your uterus from your first child. You might be completely unaware of it until you try to conceive again. If you’ve been trying for 6 months without success, try visiting your OBGYN to shed some insight on this.