10 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Getting Pregnant

Rear view of a couple of pensive teenagers hugging and watching the sea sitting on the sand of the beach in a rainy day

You were ready for a baby, like, yesterday but so far you haven’t been able to score a positive pregnancy test. What gives? The truth is, getting pregnant can be tricky! Here are 10 reasons why it might not be happening for you.

1. Time

How long have you been at the pregnancy project? On average, it takes couples anywhere from three to six months to successfully conceive. Of course that means some get pregnant sooner, but some also take longer.

2. Lingering Birth Control

Sometimes that darn birth control is just too effective, even after you’ve stopped taking it or had it removed. Generally the hormones from birth control pills don’t linger, but some women do find it takes a few months for their cycle to normalize,  according to the Mayo Clinic. If you had been using Depo-Provera, it might be as long as 10 months before you ovulate again.

3. Not Trying Often Enough

Experts recommend consistently having sex at least two to three times a week when you’re trying to conceive, and every day when you are close to ovulating. If you’re not sure when you ovulate, try using an ovulation predictor kit; they’re easy to use and available at any drugstore.

4. Stress

When you’re trying to get pregnant, it can be all you think about. And worry about. And obsess about. And stress about. The problem here is that your body isn’t about to start growing a new life when your systems are on high alert. While we know it is easier said than done, do try to relax.

5. Your Weight

How’s your weight, mama? If it’s on the high side, that might be a reason you’re having trouble conceiving. Obesity, defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more, can inhibit ovulation. Not only that, but all that extra weight increases the risk of complications when you do get pregnant,  according to the Mayo Clinic.

6. Age

Sad but true: A woman’s fertility starts to slowly decline in her early thirties, and and then begins to diminish more rapidly after age 35, reports WebMD. And he’s not off the hook: sperm quality also declines with age.

7. Over-the-Counter Lubricants

While not effective as a stand-alone birth control, some common over-the-counter vaginal lubricants can decrease fertility, as can saliva,  according to the Mayo Clinic.
As an alternative, seek out lubricants designed to help with conceiving, like  Pre-Seed or Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive. Or use mineral oil.

8. Smoking and Drinking

Being in good health is essential to making and having a healthy baby. Your chances of getting pregnant may decrease if you’re a smoker; smoking ages your ovaries and causes premature aging in those precious eggs. And alcohol is believed to decrease fertility, according to the Mayo Clinic.

9. Medications and Drugs

Certain medications are known to negatively affect fertility; for example, pain medications containing opiates can lead to low testosterone and sperm issues in men, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Always speak to your doctor about any drugs—over-the-counter, prescription, and recreational—that you or your partner is taking.

10. Fertility Issues

Unfortunately, sometimes there is a fertility issue at play. Your guy might have few and/or slow swimmers, you might have egg or “plumbing” problems. Fertility issues can spring up at any time, even if you’ve already successfully made a baby or two. Speak to your doctor if you haven’t gotten pregnant after trying for a year (if you’re under 35), or six months (if you’re over 35). Best of luck, mama!

I’m a married mom of two living in Seattle, WA. I have a eight-year-old little boy, a second grader! He’s a fairly reserved kid and all about Legos and Minecraft. I also have a little girl who turned four at the end of February. She’s a tiny thing but a big ham; we call her our clown. They’re a lot of work but also a ton of fun. I love to eat, cook, and run (in that order). But at the end of the day, give me a spot on the couch and a little bit of TV or a good book, I’m done!