Common Issues that Might Delay Conception

The causes of infertility are many, and there is a multitude of reasons why conception might be delayed for you and your partner. Figuring out which one (or more) applies to you can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but the more you know about your body and why you may be having a hard time conceiving, the better you’ll feel about potential solutions and what you would need to do to handle this in the future.

Here we have compiled a list of some of the most common problems that delay conception. It is quite possible that something on this list might be causing you problems, and by learning a little about each of these, you may be better able to pinpoint your issue even before meeting with a fertility specialist.

Consider some of these concerns and how they relate to infertility.

  1. Your age – While it might seem offensive to call a pregnancy “geriatric” when the mother is over 35 years of age, the fact remains that getting pregnant at all gets harder after that point  Your egg supply decreases significantly as you age, and older eggs are more likely to have chromosomal problems, raising the risk of miscarriage as well as birth defects. So, if you are older and trying for the first time to conceive, this might be the issue.
  2. Uterine fibroids – Fibroids can develop on the inside, outside, or surface of the uterus, and though they do not interfere with ovulation, they could make it difficult to get and stay pregnant. This is because fibroids likely divert blood flow from the endometrium (uterine lining), potentially preventing it from thickening, and thus halting the implantation of a fertilized egg or the development of an embryo.
  3. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – With PCOS, women may not ovulate each month due to overproduction by the ovaries of both male hormones and estrogen. Women with infrequent ovulation may need fertility medications to aid in ovulation and, as such, in conception.
  4. Endometriosis –About half of all women with endometriosis who are trying to get pregnant have difficulties with conception. Endometriosis happens when the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of the womb. Multiple causes of infertility can be involved when a woman has endometriosis, including ovarian cysts, the formation of adhesions, and poor egg quality.
  5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)– More than 1 million women in the U.S. each year are diagnosed with this disorder, which can not only make conception difficult but may also cause serious complications during pregnancy. Because scar tissue forms in the fallopian tubes of women with this disorder, it becomes harder for egg and sperm to meet. PID also increases the chances of developing an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially dangerous condition where the pregnancy implants outside of the uterine cavity.
  6. Irregular periods – An irregular menstrual cycle can happen for a myriad of reasons, from stress to being seriously underweight. It will be necessary to find the underlying reason for your irregular periods before you can address how they are impacting conception.
  7. Thyroid imbalance – Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can impact ovulation. When a thyroid disorder is not regulated, implantation of the embryo in the lining of the uterus is more difficult and, in addition, early miscarriages are more common.
  8. Pelvic/abdominal surgery –A history of pelvic or abdominal surgery is important to note because pelvic adhesions and scarring from such surgeries are the primary “mechanical” (non-hormonal) cause of infertility.
  9. Low sperm count – If your partner has a low sperm count, pregnancy is not necessarily impossible, it just becomes harder to conceive. As long as the sperm is healthy and moving well, conception might take more attempts to succeed. Often, lifestyle changes for the male, like losing weight or stopping tobacco use, can make a difference in the sperm count.
  10. Male Infertility –There are a number of reasons why a male might be considered infertile. Erectile dysfunction, use of certain medications, poor sperm motility, and a list of other factors may mean that a man’s reproductive system is not working correctly. It should never be automatically assumed that the woman is the problem when conception isn’t happening. A good fertility doctor will check for male infertility as well.

Though this is by no means a complete list of common issues that might delay conception, it is a good starting point for women who may be confused and frustrated about their inability to conceive.

Obviously, a proactive next step is to visit a specialist who can narrow down the causes of your fertility issues. At Advanced Reproductive Medicine, we are eager to help you realize your dream of having children and can help you figure out why conception isn’t happening.

Just a quick call to our office will set you up with a meeting with one of our fertility experts. For more information or schedule a consultation, call us at 732-339-9300.

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