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You have been trying to get pregnant for a while perhaps for six months, a year, or even longer. Now, you are getting worried about infertility. You may be wondering whether you are just unlucky, or may have had intercourse at the wrong times, or if you or your partner have fertility problems. How can you tell the difference? When are you considered infertile?

According to the World Health Organization, infertility can be diagnosed if a couple has been having unprotected sex for longer than two years, and had not conceived. Generally, you will be taken seriously by a doctor if you have been trying to conceive for longer than two years if you are under 35, and for a year if you are older. Of course, the "infertility" label is only appropriate for couples who have been having regular sex, without any birth control. When can you be sure that you need to see a doctor?

Some common lifestyle factors can lower male and female fertility. Those include a junk food diet, smoking (a lot of) cigarettes, drinking (lots of) alcohol, or being extremely athletic. Couples who are generally healthy should look for problems in analyzing the woman's menstrual cycle first it is quite possible that your only problem is that you have been having sexual intercourse on the wrong days of the month. So, let's throw in some bullet points to look at possible reasons you are not getting pregnant that don't involve medical infertility:

Problem You could be suffering from nutritional deficiencies that are preventing you from conceiving. Solution Start eating a healthier diet, and take a multivitamin supplement. Problem Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is extremely low, or extremely high. Solution Developing a strategy to reach a healthy weight with your doctor or dietitian will boost your fertility. Problem You are smoking, drinking, or using recreational drugs. Solution Stop, if need be with professional help. Problem Men who wear tight, synthetic underwear, cycle a lot, or have hot baths, may be interfering with sperm production. Solution Wearing loose clothes made of organic fibers such as cotton, read up about bicycle saddles that are not sperm's enemy, and stop having hot baths. Problem Women who are not aware of their ovulation date may be having sex at the wrong time. Solution Don't assume that you have a typical cycle in which you ovulate 14 days before your next period. Sign up for an ovulation calendar and do ovulation tests to find out when (and even if) you are ovulating.

Couples who have excluded the possibility that any of these common reasons they are not getting pregnant apply to them should make an appointment with their family doctor or OBGYN, who can refer them to start the process of fertility testing to determine what the cause of their infertility may be. Have you been trying to get pregnant for a while, with no success? Come and chat about it on the Trying To Conceive forums!

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