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Which of these 5 reasons are coming in the way of your pregnancy

Problem in conceiving? Know the probable causes that's causing the hurdle

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : March 30, 2015 11:50 AM IST

If you are planning to conceive, try and garner all the patience that you have to help you wade through the time till your home pregnancy test turns positive. This is because conception is process that calls for more trials and errors before you succeed. You should know that just having sex, even on the most fertile days don t make you pregnant as and when you wish for it. It could be extremely frustrating if you fail to achieve success despite your best efforts.

It is estimated that globally around 60 to 80 million couples suffer from infertility annually, of which probably between 15 to 20 million are in India alone according to an ICMR Bulletin. It is disappointing to stare at a negative pregnancy test result every month especially when you have baby on your mind.

When everything else fails and you think that the in vitro fertilization or IVF may be the only option for you to opt, know some of these common causes of infertility first which can help you make an informed choice and look in the right direction for help.

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Here are the probable hurdles that can hinder your chances of conception:

Decline in the number of healthy eggs:

You are born with a fixed number of eggs. But the number declines and so does the health of those eggs as you age. According to The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, even a healthy and fertile 30-year-old woman's chances of getting pregnant reduces by 20% with each passing month. The ugly truth is that consumption of fertility drugs, without any consultation with an expert, further decreases the numbers and aren t of much help. In case you want to delay pregnancy and want to keep your eggs in good health till conception, you should probably try freezing your eggs for future use.

What you can do: Optimize the health of your eggs. To do so help yourself stay healthy, maintain a good optimal weight and give up your vices. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake while planning for a baby, says Dr Shobha Gupta, IVF Consultant at Mother's Lap IVF Centre. Never take drugs for egg formation unless you are undergoing an IVF treatment. Get in touch with a good fertility centre if you need help, and try to complete your family before 35 years of age without delaying the process to avoid future complications, advises Dr Gupta. Know about the other causes that results in infertility in women.

Your partner s health status:

Remember your partner s health plays a significant role in conception after yours. Both maternal and paternal health is responsible for the health of the fertilized egg and eventually that of the fetus. So don t hold yourself responsible for the problem. Male infertility is responsible for up to one-third of infertility cases. If your partner is overweight, an alcoholic or a smoker, it could be affecting your chances of getting pregnant. An infection or inflammation of the prostate glands might also stand to be a probable cause, says Dr Shobha Gupta.

What you can do: Talk to your partner and do it in a gentle but firm manner. Persuade him for a check-up or consultation, a physical examination and semen analysis might be necessary to check on your partner s health status. Medications, intrauterine insemination IUI or IVF might be suggested depending on the problem. At home, encourage him to have lot of citrus fruits and anti-oxidant rich foods to boast fertility, says Dr Gupta. Know more about the other treatment options to treat male infertility.

Reduced ovulation:

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause irregular menstrual cycles and an increase in male hormones, affects about 5 to 10 percent of women and is one of the most common reasons for women not to ovulate. If you have infrequent menstrual periods, increased growth of hair on face, chest and stomach, these are likely symptoms of PCOS. Add to it the perils of being overweight, alcoholic or having a thyroid imbalance, it is bound to affect ovulation. Even being underweight with the above mentioned signs and conditions wouldn t spare you from the clutches of ovulation retardation.

What you can do: Strive and maintain a healthy body weight, this is one of the best ways to improve your fertility. If you know you don't ovulate get in touch with an infertility specialist for it. Get screened for PCOD to rule out other medical conditions before you opt for a treatment, informs Dr Gupta. Read to know about more facts on PCOD.

An underlying medical condition:

Endometriosis, a medical condition can come in the way of your conception. Endometriosis is a medical problem or a common disorder that has emotional consequences for women. This disorder is currently affecting about 89 million young women in the reproductive age group worldwide, out of which 25 million are Indian women. It causes the lining of the uterine cavity to appear in the abdominal cavity, which can cause painful periods, heavy bleeding, and infertility in 30 to 50 percent of women. You can say that it is the main reason for stomach pain and inability to conceive in women between 25 to 30 years of age, said Dr Gupta. Read to learn about endometriosis and its consequences.

What you can do: Getting pregnant is a challenge when you are suffering from endometriosis, so seek treatment as soon as you plan to get pregnant, says Dr Gupta. Young women with endometriosis who want to conceive may require specialized treatments like IUI or IVF.

Blocked fallopian tubes:

When the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, tubal factor, which accounts for about 35 percent of infertility, occurs. Tubal factor infertility can be caused by a previous surgery, endometriosis or an STD. Sexually transmitted diseases, especially Chlamydia, years later will contribute to tubal factor infertility, said Dr Gupta.

What you can do: Make sure that the tubes are open, otherwise there s no way for sperm and egg to communicate, said Dr Gupta. Your doctor can screen for tubal factor with an x-ray and if the tubes are blocked, IVF is the best treatment.

A timely IVF treatment and a detailed consultation with your healthcare provider can help you deal with the issues of conception and help you sail smoothly through your pregnancy.

Image source: Getty Images

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