Are you trying to get pregnant? Have you looked over all the basics, like having intercourse at the right time in your cycle, not using any form of contraception, and making sure that both you and your partner are healthy? If so, then it’s very possible that there is an unaddressed reason why you can’t get pregnant.
Here are 10 hidden reasons why you can’t get pregnant.
1. You eat too much trans fat.
Trans fat is a type of fat that is found in partially hydrogenated oils. These oils are often used in processed foods and baked items, such as cakes and cookies. Trans fat contributes to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which can lead to infertility by affecting your menstrual cycle and your hormones.
2. You drink too much alcohol.
According to the CDC, more than 3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking, sexually active, and not using birth control. Alcohol can cause harm to your baby’s brain development during pregnancy or can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
3. Your weight is too low or too high.
Both low and high body weight can affect your hormones, which in turn impacts your menstrual cycle and fertility. Women who are underweight or severely overweight may have irregular or absent periods, making it harder to get pregnant.
4. You take too many painkillers.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is okay to take when you have a headache, but taking more than directed can cause liver damage and destroy healthy cells in your ovaries. Taking acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) regularly may also decrease your fertility because it changes the lining of the uterus.
5. You drink too much caffeine.
Caffeine has been shown to reduce fertility in women, especially if you are a heavy caffeine consumer. Drinking too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks can negatively affect your hormones, which is bad for your menstrual cycle and ovulation.
6. You don’t get enough sleep.
A lack of sleep can lead to health issues that may make it harder to conceive including a greater risk of obesity, lower libido, and hormonal changes. In addition to affecting your health, a lack of sleep can affect the quality of your eggs because it impacts hormone production.
7 . You don’t take enough folic acid.
Taking folic acid before pregnancy and during the early stages of pregnancy has been shown to decrease the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida. Taking 400 micrograms per day has been shown to be safe, so talk with your doctor about a supplement if you do not take one already.
8 . You have sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If left untreated, both chlamydia and gonorrhea may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, which may prevent your body from being able to hold a pregnancy. If you think that you might have an STI or that your partner does, talk to your doctor about getting tested and treated as soon as possible.
9 . You are stressed out.
Stress can affect your sex drive, your menstrual cycle, and make you more likely to get sick. Your body produces the stress hormone cortisol when you are under stress, which can impact ovulation if it is chronically high.
10 . You have endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
Both of these conditions may cause infertility by preventing pregnancy from implanting. Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus, which can lead to infertility because it prevents eggs from being able to attach to the lining. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors found in the muscle of the uterus and they can cause problems with implantation as well.