Reasons Why It Is Difficult To Get Pregnant—Sleep, Stress, Other Lifestyle Factors

Riya Thomas

Created by Riya Thomas
Updated on Jun 07, 2022

Reasons Why It Is Difficult To Get PregnantSleep Stress Other Lifestyle Factors

Getting pregnant might have seemed as simple as having unprotected sex. As it turns out, getting pregnant isn't as easy as it seems once you're ready for it. It can take months for couples without fertility issues to conceive, and years for those who suffer from infertility. Many reasons can contribute to infertility, including irregular ovulation, structural issues with the reproductive system, low sperm counts, and underlying medical problems. But why, exactly, is it so difficult to get pregnant even if you don't have any underlying health issues? 

What could be preventing you from getting pregnant?

It's impossible to know for sure why you can't get pregnant without a medical exam. Many factors can contribute to difficulty conceiving. If you are struggling to conceive, it does not mean that you (or your partner) are suffering from a serious medical condition. A number of factors, including your lifestyle and environment, can influence your ability to conceive. Essentially, there are 3 reasons for difficulties to get pregnant: Environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and medical factors.

Environmental factors

Fertility is influenced by our environment. Toxin exposure (from food, water, and air) is linked to fertility issues. 

Lifestyle Factors Making It Hard to Get Pregnant



Stress does not directly cause infertility, but it does decrease the chances of conception. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in women, which may inhibit the reproductive system. Also, stress contributes to inflammation, which results in delayed ovulation or other problems that impact the ability to conceive normally. 


Fluctuations in body weight

Before getting pregnant, it's important to determine and achieve your ideal weight, as excessive weight gain or loss may negatively affect your ability to conceive. Both your ovaries and your adipose (fat) tissue produce estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that controls the menstrual cycle and ovulation. If you have excess fat, you may have estrogen dominance, which makes it harder to get pregnant. Similarly, if you are underweight, there may be a lack of estrogen, inhibiting ovulation.


Lack of sleep

Sleep is essential to your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Sleep is vital for maintaining hormonal balance. Menstrual cycles, cognitive functioning, and emotional intelligence can all be affected by a lack of sleep. This can contribute to difficulty conceiving. 


Eating habits

Having a lot of junk and unhealthy food can interfere with conception. Diet plays a vital role in your overall health and fertility. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, a pre-pregnancy diet facilitates regular ovulation and hormonal balance. Your body may not be able to support a healthy pregnancy if you are not getting enough folic acid, fiber, iron, and calcium. You may be able to conceive easier if you cut out junk food and add lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce to your diet.



The number and quality of eggs in your ovaries decrease as you age. After 30 and especially after 35, the ability to conceive naturally starts to decline.  The use of assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF using donor eggs, may help those struggling to get pregnant due to their age. If you are over 40, there is an increased risk of birth defects such as Down Syndrome and miscarriages.


Strenuous physical activities

A male's sperm count is known to decrease when he works hard physically and takes multiple medications. Overexercising is known to affect women's fertility and ovulation.

Obstacles to Pregnancy Due to Medical Factors

A blocked fallopian tube

A blocked fallopian tube can also make getting pregnant difficult. Both one or two fallopian tubes can get blocked due to various reasons. Blockages are usually caused by endometriosis or scar tissue from previous surgeries or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A blocked fallopian tube prevents the egg from traveling from the ovary to be fertilized, thereby reducing fertility. Getting pregnant may be possible if only one fallopian tube is blocked, but if both are blocked, you will need surgery to remove the blockage. 


Unexplained Infertility

If you cannot conceive after trying for one year, it is considered infertility. Medical conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS, anovulation, etc. can interfere with conception. However, nearly a third of couples experiencing infertility have unexplained infertility. This means that there is no known medical cause for their infertility. A diagnosis of infertility without explanation may be hard to accept.



Endometriosis is a reproductive disorder in which tissue similar to that of the uterine lining, or endometrium, grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis that affects the ovaries or fallopian tubes could prevent you from conceiving naturally.


Partner’s Medical Issues

Even a woman who is perfectly healthy may have difficulty conceiving. The couple should consult a fertility specialist in this case since men can also suffer from medical issues that can impair their ability to conceive. Male infertility can be caused by a variety of issues, but most involve sperm or ejaculation.


When you desperately want a family, you may feel like you've been trying to conceive for a long time. How many of you know that 80% of couples take six months to conceive? About 90% of couples have their first baby only after a year of trying. That is if you have well-timed intercourse every month. By addressing the underlying medical issues or by tweaking their routine, individuals can increase their chances of getting pregnant faster. 


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| Jun 08, 2022

If you or your spouse are having difficulty conceiving a child, this does not always indicate that one of you is dealing with a play tic tac toe major health issue. Your ability to conceive may be affected by a variety of circumstances, including your lifestyle and the environment in which you live.

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