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Trying to get pregnant is probably one of the most frustrating times for a woman. If it’s taking longer than she perceived, that is. A year or few months of negative pregnancy tests could even take away pleasure from the act of trying itself. The frustration, self-doubt, and fear are a separate story altogether.

Worry not though. Seriously, that’s one of the worst things you can do when trying to conceive. Many couples conceive naturally after numerous medical procedures have failed. The main thing is not to lose hope and do your research. Additionally, there might be some things you haven’t considered yet. Read on to find out some little-known reasons for unexplained infertility:

19. Healthy fats in nuts, yogurt, and oats are good for you. The same, however, cannot be said of trans fats. These are the kinds of fats you would find in junk food, baked goods, and fast food.

If you insist on consuming these quick but unhealthy foods, you can put yourself at great risk. Other than the weight and health factors, your fertility could become seriously impaired. An ovulatory disorder would have a 73% more chance of rearing its ugly head.

So the next time you crave pizza, fries, nuggets or something similar, go for the healthy stuff. Stock up on bananas, almonds, walnuts, yogurt, and the like. Simply do not give yourself the option of indulging in something harmful.

18. A proper exercise routine can actually increase your chances of conceiving. Some, however, tend to go overboard. Since exercise is said to be addictive, this is not really surprising. If you push yourself too hard, your body may not have the energy to reproduce. Hence, you need moderation in your workout as well as in your eating.

17. You may be exercising to keep your weight off. This is commendable, but be sure to check your BMI. If it’s too low, there may be your answer to why you’re not getting pregnant. Even if you do get pregnant with a low BMI, you put yourself at high risk of preterm birth.

A low BMI may also indicate anorexia, bulimia, or any other eating disorder. This means that you are not getting the nutrients you need for healthy menstruation or fertility. You can gain control over your BMI by asking an expert or downloading an app.

16. You may be stressed out over not conceiving, but what about him? Your partner may be facing a lot of stress from work, friends, and family. If this is the case, his sperm may be adversely affected.

If this is the case, consider involving him in some relaxation techniques. If all else fails, see if the two of you can plan a nice vacation together. Who knows, you may even come back refreshed and pregnant!

15. Using lube can prevent a lot of pain for those with physical problems. However, the lubricant you’re using can actually decrease the quality of the sperm. If the line contains irritating chemicals, it may even harm your body and the reproductive system altogether.

On the upside, there are lubes that can enhance sperm quality. They may even have calcium and magnesium in them, which is a good sign. If you can’t get your hands on any of those, use baby oil rather than normal lubes.

14. There are now many period-tracking apps that claim to predict your ovulation and fertility window. Clue and Flo are two of the best free apps out there. Once you do conceive, these apps could help you to track your pregnancy.

However, ovulation isn’t set in stone, even if you have regular periods. The safest option is hence to invest in a basal body thermometer. When your temperature rises a little bit (but not enough for a fever), you would be assured of ovulation.

13. As many as 44% of people have an O blood type. There’s no cause for alarm if you fall in this group, although it may mean you have to start a bit earlier than others. However, most people in this blood type conceive quite easily. As time goes by, though, this blood type could have a higher chance of aging ovaries.

Moreover, the O blood groups show a higher level of follicle-stimulating hormone. This is indicative of a lower number of eggs in general. Still, it in no way means that you’re at risk for infertility. All it indicates is that you may need to look at your family history and your general habits. You may have to talk to your doctor about fertility sooner if you smoke or have a family background of early menopause.

12. On the first general test, your partner’s sperm may not show any problems. However, the sperm count, motility, morphology, concentration, and volume are just one side of the picture. These tests do not account for DNA damage within the sperm. If both of you have clear reports and are still unable to conceive for a year, consider a comet assay.

The comet assay is an experimental way of measuring sperm by testing it for DNA damage. If more than a quarter of the DNA turns out abnormal, you may have to select the sperm. A procedure would then inject only the healthy sperm into the egg.

11. People located near the Arctic Circle rarely get enough sun. Hence, their Vitamin D levels are extremely low. Research is still early on this factor, but low levels of this nutrient can slow down your chances of conceiving. In fact, even those who live in warm areas could have a Vitamin D deficiency.

In experiments conducted on rats, low levels of Vitamin D led to high FSH, longer time in conceiving, and more miscarriages. This may sound scary, but there are several ways to increase your sunshine hormone levels. Even if you have to opt for IVF, a proper Vitamin D level could make your success four times as likely!

So even though the research is a bit new, get your Vitamin D checked out. In case it’s low, you have several supplement and food options to choose from. If you live in a sunny area, try to catch as many early-morning rays as possible. It’s probably best not to take too high a dose, though. Too much of Vitamin D could end up stalling your conceiving chances.

10. Unfortunately, many things we touch in the modern world are potentially harmful. For instance, even your water bottle may not be completely BPA-free. The same goes for canned tomatoes, supermarket receipts, and generally most plastics. BPA is a chemical that can soften plastic, but be very harmful when exposed to your eggs.

On the bright side, our bodies get rid of BPA in under a day. Unfortunately, we’re being constantly exposed to it if we’re not careful. So we recommend you toss those plastic bottles and opt for glass.

9. BPA may exit our systems soon enough, but PCBs are another story. Polychlorinated biphenyls and several other toxic chemicals are in most animal fat and even fish. Beef is especially harmful. When taken in high doses, PCB can significantly decrease anyone’s chances of conceiving. The difference can be as much as twenty percent.

One way of avoiding this scary pollutant is to trim off the fat from any animal meat you consume. Of course, this would mean more home-cooked meals. The more care you take, the faster you can get pregnant.

8. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are a cause for alarm. This is especially true when you’re trying to start a family or extend it. Periodontal disease can make it much harder for women to conceive, especially if they are not Caucasian.

If your gums aren’t healthy, they become a means of introducing bacteria to the body. This could then inflame certain essential areas which prevent implantation. If the gum disease is found in the male, it could negatively affect the quality of his sperm.

Hence, brushing and flossing are essential for when you’re trying to conceive. You should extend this routine to when you’re pregnant too. If gums get affected during pregnancy, it could jack up the chances of a miscarriage.

7. If your partner is constantly carrying his phone in his pocket, this could be the reason for your disappointment. Cell phones, especially when connected to the Wi-Fi, emit electromagnetic radiation. These rays could mess with the sperm, especially if a man holds a laptop on his lap.

Using technological devices too close to the privates could result in more immobile and damaged sperm. This obviously reduces the chances of implantation and a normal pregnancy.

6. Body shapers, corsets, and tight underwear, in general, may help a woman look good. However, these put a lot of pressure on her reproductive organs. This also goes for their male counterparts.

Hence, set your body free by wearing only well-fitting undergarments. Moreover, opt for cotton rather than silk or satin. These are important parts of the body, and they need to be let out of their cage. Otherwise, they wouldn’t act in the way they should. Cotton undergarments would also prevent infections and discomfort.

5. If you’re depriving yourself of sleep, you’re more prone to exhaustion and constant tiredness. This could wreak havoc on your immune system. Infections and inflammation would follow suit, and we all know what that means. If infections lead to fever, the sperm would be put at risk.

Additionally, women need their beauty sleep; otherwise, they get high levels of anxiety. This could adversely influence their fertility and menstrual cycle. Hence, it is best if you try to fall asleep using natural methods. This could mean using lavender oil or even meditation. If the problem is too severe, consult a doctor for some safe sleep medication or treatment.

4. The world isn’t as green as it used to be. The pollution everywhere could severely lessen your chances of conceiving soon. When we breathe in pesticides, chemicals, smoke, and smog, our bodies would generally react. Even the cosmetics we use could have dangerous toxins that could lower your fertility. The chances of conceiving in a polluted area could hence go down by about a third.

The answer to this problem is not easy. Not everyone can afford to leave their home and move to the open country. They can, however, stop consuming synthetic foods, packaging, and pesticides. Switching to organic products would clean up their lives and hopefully enhance their fertility

3. If you worry too much about conceiving, it’s going to make you suffer mentally and physically. You would feel more tired and overwhelmed all the time. This could directly lower your chances of getting pregnant. As you can see, this is a vicious cycle which would continue until you choose to break it.

Try meditation, exercise, and any stress-relieving technique to relax. Stress can adversely affect the pituitary gland, which can even mess up your periods. This may also cause thyroid, ovary, and adrenal problems. When you’re trying to conceive, you definitely don’t want this!

Yoga, support groups, and therapy are all ways you can try to de-stress yourself. Take a deep breath, and look forward to a stress-free life.

2. After you and your partner have done the deed, don’t go to wash up and shower right away. It’s good to have a habit of cleanliness, but you should lie down for a bit. This would help the sperm to get to the egg, if there is any.

If you immediately stand up and go to the bathroom, you are giving the sperm something to fight against: gravity. When you clean yourself, you also wash the rest of the sperm away. This could naturally prevent pregnancy. Good for those who aren’t trying to conceive, but not for you.

1. You may have heard that you need to lose weight or gain it to conceive. Having a proper weight is actually very important for conceiving. Sure, women of all weights have healthy pregnancies, but why take a chance? Many women have also found ease in conceiving after they shed or gained a few pounds.

If you are underweight, you may not be getting the necessary nutrients for conceiving. If you’re a bit heavy, your ovaries may not be able to perform normally. In both cases, you need to monitor your weight and get it to a proper number. Consult a nutritionist if possible, but try to deal with your weight as naturally as you can.