Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are the normal reasons for not being able to get pregnant?"
Me and my partner have been trying to get pregnant for over 6 months, and we haven't been able to yet. What is the most likely cause of this? Is it more likely because of me or him? Should I see a doctor?
Having trouble getting pregnant can be very distressing. From a physicians point of view, you need to try to get pregnant for at least a year unsuccessfully before there is a need to look into the issue. On average, about 1/3 of cases of couple infertility is a male issue and 2/3 is a female issue. In terms of male infertility (assuming there is normal sexual function), a low sperm count is the main cause. There are multiple causes of female infertility. An infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia, or endometriosis can scar the fallopian tubes preventing the egg from getting to the uterus. A syndrome called polycystic ovarian syndrome prevents ovulation. There are many other possible causes which would be too extensive to discuss here. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. He or she can review your medical history and determine if there is an obvious cause that could be preventing you from getting pregnant (ie: history of an STD, pelvic pain, or irregular periods), then one of those causes can be investigated. If you do not have any obvious reason that you would not be able to get pregnant, then your doctor may opt to wait until you have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months unsuccessfully before initiating an infertility work up of you and your partner.
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