Why am I Not Getting Pregnant When Everything is Normal?

pregnancy test

May 04, 2022

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Antonia Kim, M.D.
Ann Pagano, M.D.

Another negative pregnancy test? If you and your partner are young and healthy, it can be confusing and disappointing trying to conceive with no success. 

If you and your partner know that each of your reproductive systems is healthy, Antonia Francis Kim, M.D., maternal and fetal medicine specialist at Hackensack University Medical Center and Palisades Medical Center, and Ann Pagano, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist at Ocean University Medical Center, provide some possible reasons why you haven’t been successful just yet.

Timing Just Hasn’t Been Right

Doctors recommend that couples who are trying to conceive have sex every day or every other day during a woman’s most fertile window, as this is the only time a woman can get pregnant. “However, more than once a day can start to deplete sperm count,” Dr. Kim says. “Tracking your cycle or using ovulation tests can help you know when the time may be right.”

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

When you and your partner are trying to conceive, it’s important that you both make healthy lifestyle choices. This includes eating a well-balanced diet, exercising daily and managing stress. You may also want to consider taking a break from drinking and smoking (both cigarettes and marijuana, which can affect sperm count).

High Stress and Anxiety Levels

Stress, anxiety and depression impact menstrual cycles and fertility. Try implementing relaxing activities into your routine, like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to get pregnant right away.

Lubricants Getting in the Way

Lubricants are not a spermicide, but sperm’s motility and quality can be negatively impacted by the kind that you’re using. Instead, try sperm-friendly lubricants that are hydroxyethyl cellulose based, as this ingredient is most similar to natural vaginal mucus and will not impact sperm’s motility.

Just Stopped Taking Hormonal Birth Control

For some women, it can take up to six months for their cycle to become regular again after taking hormonal birth control. You aren’t likely to ovulate until you start having regular cycles. If your cycles aren’t regular after six months, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

“It can be difficult—and seemingly impossible on some days—but try to maintain your stress level and be as patient as you can,” Dr. Pagano says. “Conceiving can take a long time, so don’t get frustrated with yourself. For healthy women under the age of 35, it’s normal for it to take up to a year to get pregnant.”

Next Steps & Resources:


The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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