Problems Getting Pregnant

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You’ve planned. You’ve waited for the right time. Now, you’re ready to have a baby. When women and their partners reach this stage, it’s exciting and hopeful. But if months stretch on with no pregnancy, excitement turns to doubt, and hope can turn to fear. How do you know if you’re just having some bad timing or if there really is a problem? And if there is a problem, what can you do about it?

If you track your ovulation, have sex at “optimum” times, and still haven’t had a positive pregnancy test, don’t panic. Even under the best of circumstances, it can take several months to conceive. But some lifestyle factors can affect ovulation, making it difficult to conceive…such as obesity, some medical conditions and medications, aging, and even stress.

One of the biggest factors to improve your fertility is to maintain ideal body weight—body mass index (BMI) between 18 and 25.

Nutrition and Fertility

Most women know that hormones can affect fertility, but many women—and even many doctors—overlook a common hormone that can affect fertility…insulin. High insulin levels are usually the result of a carbohydrate-dominant diet—one full of the sugar and starch so common in many American diets. In addition to contributing to obesity and diabetes, high insulin levels interfere with ovulation.

The key to having a diet that supports ovulation and pregnancy is balance—not letting any one food group dominate your diet. Try to avoid white food—white sugar, white bread, white potatoes. Try not to let any meal be “carb dominant,” avoid sugary drinks like regular soda, and use moderation when you splurge. Exercise also helps lower insulin. If you follow these tips, you’ll not only improve your chances of getting pregnant—you’ll improve your own health as well!

Women First providers can help you determine why you’re having problems conceiving, and what options you have to resolve these issues.

If you’ve tried to get pregnant for a year or more, it’s time to consult a physician to see what’s up. If you’re 35 or older, don’t wait longer than six months; or if you’ve had health issues that may affect your chances of conceiving, it may make sense to consult a physician earlier. Conception is complicated, and several factors are involved in getting pregnant, including:

  • The availability of a healthy sperm and egg
  • Unblocked fallopian tubes
  • The sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg
  • The egg’s ability to implant in the uterus
  • The uterine and hormonal environment necessary to support a pregnancy
  • The health of the embryo

If any of these factors aren’t working in your favor, you could be facing infertility. Your Women First provider can try to investigate the reasons for your problems getting pregnant and recommend possible solutions or refer you to an infertility specialist (Reproductive Endocrinologist—REI).

Infertility can be due to problems with either the male partner or the female partner, or due to unexplained causes. It is just as common for infertility to be due to issues with your partner’s sperm as it is to be due to you. That’s why it’s often necessary for both potential parents to undergo diagnostic testing. In men, this usually involves semen analysis. For women, diagnostic testing can include:

  • Blood Work: often at a specific time of your cycle
  • X-Rays: (HSG) x-ray dye test
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound: of the uterus and ovaries
  • Hysteroscopy: a lighted telescoping instrument (hysteroscope) is placed through the cervix to view the inside of the uterus for abnormalities
  • Laparoscopy: a laparoscope is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen to evaluate the pelvic cavity for abnormalities

Depending on the cause of your problems getting pregnant, a variety of treatment options may be available. These could involve identifying ovulation for optimum chances of success, medical treatments such as fertility drugs, or even surgery. If these treatments fail to produce a pregnancy, or aren’t good options for you, we refer to Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists (REI).

Is it Time to Schedule Your Annual Wellness Exam?

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Is it Time to Schedule Your Annual Wellness Exam?

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What People Are Saying

Toni G
I've been seeing Dr. Price for many years and have always had a great experience with her. Dr. Price has always listened to me and addressed all of my questions and concerns. My only complaint is with a former nurse I saw for medical issues who didn't further investigate them and it got progressively worse. Luckily the current nurse practitioner diagnosed me correctly and have received the correct treatment.
Morgan Miller
When I was looking for a gyno, Jeanette and Dr. Booth came highly recommended from family that see them and rightly so! Jeanette has the best bedside manner and takes the time to be thorough and understand the patient. When I had an issue outside of office hours, I was able to submit a question on the Follow My Health app and got a phone call in less than 30 minutes from the care team. They’re the best and I tell everyone about them!
Jennifer Stephens
I’ve been a patient at Women 1st for 16 years and cannot say enough about this practice. Every staff member is caring, friendly, and very good at what they do. The physicians & nurses are some of the best in the state of Kentucky, which is why I currently live in Georgetown and drive to Louisville to continue my care. Highly recommend Dr. Warren or Dr. Price!
Kailee Kaiser
Jeannette Jaggers, APRN is GREAT! I drive a hour and a half just to see her! Makes you feel comfortable and truly cares about YOU! Very happy to have her as my OB/GYN.