• Getting pregnant happens in different time frames for each couple. Some may conceive within weeks of going off birth control, while for others it may take years of expensive treatments. The real question really is why you, as a couple, are having trouble conceiving.

    Who's "at fault"?

    Many men may feel it is their "fault" if their wife or partner doesn't get pregnant quickly. Infertility problems, however, occur in both men and women, and no one is to blame. Mayo Clinic doctors say many things must go exactly right for pregnancy to occur, and, in 30 to 40 percent of infertility cases, the causes involve both the man and the woman.

    Reasons for infertility

    Doctors say fertility problems often are hard to specify. Reproductive endocrinologist Staci Pollack, MD, of the Montefiore Medical Center's Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Health, called such problems "subclinical - meaning we know something is wrong, it's just not showing up on the radar."


    If you have been trying to conceive for a year, see a doctor, recommends the Mayo Clinic. You should see one earlier, if, for instance, you are a woman with a history of painful or irregular menstrual cycles or a man with a history of testicular or prostate problems.


    Male infertility has numerous causes, according to the Mayo Clinic, including low sperm count, "impaired shape and movement of sperm," a varicose vein in the scrotum, testosterone deficiency or infection. In women, causes include blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, ovulation disorders, benign tumors in the uterus or early menopause.

    Other reasons

    Other reasons for infertility include environmental factors, stress, age, alcohol dependency and obesity.


    To boost fertility, say WebMD doctors, couples can try eating healthily, getting to or staying at a healthy weight, reducing stress, and tracking ovulation. If you have been trying for a year and nothing is working, it may be time to consider other measures, such as insemination or in vitro fertilization.


    Mayo Clinic: Infertility Getting Pregnant: Easy Ways to Encourage Fertility

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