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5 reasons why you might not be getting pregnant

5 reasons why you might not be getting pregnant

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When you’re not ready to start a family it can be easy to presume that getting pregnant is easy. You panic about failed contraception and know at least one person who conceived ‘by accident’.

However, all too often when people start trying to conceive, they realise that it isn’t always that simple. Even when having regular sex during ovulation, there is still only around a 20% chance that pregnancy will occur so it’s little wonder that some couples take months, if not longer, to conceive. But while that’s perfectly natural there are some factors that might be reducing your chances of a positive pregnancy test result.


Whether you’re fretting about work, family or the fact that you haven’t become pregnant yet, stress can have an adverse effect on fertility. Stress affects the part of your brain that deals with hormones and so it’s easy to see why suffering from stress or anxiety would decrease your chances of conceiving. Make time for things you enjoy, chill out with a long hot bath (not too hot for the men, who should be keeping their testicles cool) and don’t put pressure on yourself to conceive by a certain time. It’s much easier said than done but adopting a laid back attitude will help increase your fertility.


Being either underweight or overweight will hinder your chances of getting pregnant. Underweight women may not be ovulating regularly while overweight women will find their fertility decreases the heavier they get. A sensible diet and exercise regime will help balance out weight issues and get you closer to your ideal weight. Couples should get onto that healthy lifestyle together though as men who are underweight or overweight generally have worse sperm quality and so are less fertile than those at their ideal weight.


In order to get pregnant, a woman has to have ovulated. This means an egg will have been released from the ovaries. To ensure you’re ovulating regularly, it’s helpful to track how long your monthly cycle is. Once you know how many days your cycle is, count back two weeks from when your next period is due to arrive and you’ll have the time you are most likely to be ovulating. This is when women are at their most fertile. If your periods are irregular GP may be able to prescribe synthetic hormones so regulate your ovulation.

5 reasons why you might not be getting pregnant

Poor quality sperm

The quality of a man’s sperm affects the chances of his partner becoming pregnant. While there are many reasons that sperm may be poor quality, there are also some lifestyle factors that can be altered to improve sperm production. These include stopping smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol consumed and refraining from taking recreational drugs. Men should also try to keep their testicles cool and so it’s best to wear loose clothing and, as already mentioned, hot baths should be kept to a minimum.

Not having enough sex

It seems pretty obvious, but not having regular sex will affect your chances of getting pregnant. While conception does take place around the time of ovulation, tracking your cycle can add to the stress we’ve already advised you to avoid. The most effective way to conceive is by having sex every two or three days throughout the month. Take the stress of cycle tracking out of the equation and you’ll not only be more likely to conceive, you’ll also have more fun doing it!

Most couples will conceive within a year of trying if they have regular unprotected sex. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for one to two years without success then you should speak to your GP for advice.



About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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