If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, you may have infertility.
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs one of the body’s most basic functions: the conception of children. Conception is a complicated process that depends upon many factors:
- On the production of healthy sperm by the man and healthy eggs by the woman;
- Unblocked fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg;
- The sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg when they meet;
- The ability of the fertilized egg (embryo) to become implanted in the woman’s uterus;
- And sufficient embryo quality.
- Finally, for the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman’s hormonal environment adequate for its development.
When just one of these factors is impaired, infertility can result.
If you’re trying to conceive on your own, a few factors may increase your chances of success.
- Find out when you ovulate by using ovulation predictor tests.
- Don’t use lubricant, unless it’s specially developed to be sperm-friendly.
- Both partners should cut back on caffeine and alcohol, and quit smoking altogether.
- Be sure your male partner avoids overheating his testicles in hot tubs, saunas or baths.
- If you’re overweight, shed pounds with a healthy diet and exercise.
- If you’re underweight, take in more calories while cutting back on exercise.