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You Asked: Why Aren't I Getting Pregnant?

You Asked: Why Aren't I Getting Pregnant?

Dear Sugar,

I have been with the same guy for five years and never once got pregnant and we have unprotected sex all the time. Why have I not gotten pregnant? I'm worried that I can't have kids, and if not, what do I do? I really want to be a mom.

—Not Prego Patty

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Not Prego Patty,

I totally understand your concern, and there could be several reasons why you haven't gotten pregnant. I assume that you weren't on any kind of hormonal birth control for those five years, but if you were on something like Depo-Provera beforehand, sometimes it can take a while for your body to get back into its normal cycle. If you were not using anything like that, it could be that you haven't had sex on your fertile days. An egg needs to be present in order for you to get pregnant, so if you had sex way before or after ovulation, his sperm wouldn't have an egg with which to unite.

Age and health matter too. If you or your boyfriend has a chronic illness, or if you are over 35, you may have a more difficult time conceiving. There's also a possibility that there's a problem with either your fertility or your guy's sperm. Before jumping to any conclusions, the best plan of action is for both of you to see a doctor. They can ask questions and do tests to help you figure out what may be preventing you from having a baby. They'll also be able to guide you in what the necessary steps would be once you figure out what's going on, and if you do figure out you can't get pregnant, please remember adoption is always an option. I hope this helps. Good luck Patty.


Phunkometry Phunkometry 10 years
Well, it took my parents 11 years of marriage, doctors visits, ovulation tests, and constantly trying to conceive before they actually did. In hindsight, adoption would have been a good deal for them (they'd have a kid, and a kid would have a family), but, well, I'm pretty happy that it happened this way. I'd say go to the doctor, and if nothing is wrong with either of you, and if you're definitely on the same page about having a baby, then just relax and keep trying. Hopefully you won't have to wait more than a decade to have a child.
looseseal looseseal 10 years
I also wonder if the BF knows you want to get pregnant? It's definitely a no-no to try to get pregnant when the other half of the couple have not given their consent. And as far as marriage goes, I think that's just the poster's way of saying the relationship should be really, really firm for the couple first, before even thinking about bringing a child into it. I do agree on that.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
Some of you make a really good point I just wanna say to those who are telling this girl she shouldn't be posting this question on Dear Sugar that the point is that we CAN post our questions and get advice and benefit from other people's opinions that's the beauty of this site! Why would you answer that way when someone is genuinely concerned about something?
facin8me facin8me 10 years
Maybe with all of the unprotected sex you've received an STD that's made you infertile... Most women who contract chlamydia and gonorrhea don't have symptoms.
lemuse20 lemuse20 10 years
Does HE know you want to have a baby? It may not even be you... it could be him. If you are both really serious about having a baby, you both should go see a doctor.
wingedkiare wingedkiare 10 years
Another thing to factor in is whether or not you're trying too hard to get pregnant. As silly as it sounds, if you've been trying for all this time (with charting and planning, etc), you might have just taken all the "fun" out of it. I've known plenty of couples who gave up and adopted - only to find that took the stress out of it, and they wound up getting pregnant. So there's something to be said for making getting pregnant too much of a chore. This of course, already assumes that you've been to your ob/gyn and have been charting and tracking your cycle. If you haven't gone to your gynecologist, talk with them about your problem. Either one of you could have fertility problems - and it's better to know what you're up against, than live with the frustration of trying and trying without getting anywhere.
KerryG KerryG 10 years
Hmm, I'd be curious to know exactly how "unprotected" the sex was. For the first four years we were married, my husband and I used the horrendously unreliable combination of rhythm and pull out with only one serious scare, despite the fact that it's quite possible to get pregnant from preejaculate, from sperm ejaculated near, but not in, your vagina, or from full-on unprotected sex during your period. I was starting to worry a little if something might be wrong with one of us, but after we stopped trying not to have a baby, I was pregnant within a couple months and now have a beautiful baby girl. So, if you're pulling out or similar as birth control, I wouldn't really worry too much, even though it's not a method I would ever recommend to anyone who wasn't ready and able to face the consequences if it failed. If you've been having five years of actual sperm-ejaculated-into-vagina unprotected sex, however, then I would recommend you both see a doctor. Even if you're not really TRYING for a baby now, the sooner you catch some infertility problems, like PCOS, the better chance you have of successfully managing them.
blingbling blingbling 10 years
I was in a similar situation with my now husband. Before we were married, we had unprotected sex, meaning that we didn't use a condom or the pill - he just "pulled out.' But I'd heard all those stories about how the pre-ejaculate could get you preggo, and found it hard to believe that after 4+ years of it, I'd never even had a scare. i'd even joke that I probably wouldn't be able to have kids. (BTW, we had discussed it, and were very much "if it happens then it's ok" if I'd gotten pregnant.) We knew we were going to get married, which we did, we just weren't in a hurry. So..FFWD a couple of years- now we're trying in earnest to get preggo. After 8 months, I start to get worried. I go to the gyno who tests me, refers me to a RE because I have some high FSH numbers. 3 years of infertility treatments and 3 miscarriages later, I have accepted that i will not have children of my own. So my point is - if you are concerned and think you want to have kids down the road, then absolutely go to your doctor to get things checked out. Don't accept "You're too young to worry about these things" because apparently my infertility issues started when I was in my mid 20s. Make them check out everything, do bloodwork, etc etc. I often wonder if I'd paid more attention if things would have turned out differently for me.
Eternity Eternity 10 years
sometimes pull and pray actually works really well. I have had unprotected sex with every boyfriend (after tests) and never got pregnant. Disclaimer**: This does not mean you girls should do this. One of the boundaries I set with men before getting involved is their experience and maturity where sex is concerned, and no matter how experienced or mature they are, pulling out is still risky. There are other factors also. Do you tend to get PMS right around ovulation (are you able to tell when you ovulate? usually you get a pain, ache, or your discharge gets thick) and not have sex? There is a small window of fertility in normal women.
KadBunny KadBunny 10 years
Then again I'm just assuming you WANT a baby? :\ I'm getting a disappointed vibe off you but hmm
KadBunny KadBunny 10 years
What karlotta said; you guys totally missed the point. If she's trying to have a child with this man then clearly they're committed, clearly they know each other well enough. That's not the issue at hand. I'm no doctor either but Dear is right, check in with a doctor first before anything. :) I wish you all the best
karlotta karlotta 10 years
What's up with everyone being so judgemental here suddenly? My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and have never had protected sex - we waited until we knew each other long enough not only to trust each other but also to get test results. Et voilà! What's the big deal!? If she was talking about trying to get pregnant from skanky one night stands in bar bathrooms, I'd understand what you're laying on her, but this is clearly not the case!!! My opinion is, if you've got to wrap someone in plastic before you make love to them, you really shouldn't be doing it in the first place. So let those two love each other without saran wrap! This said, I am no expert on fertility, and all I can do is wish you good luck, Patti. I'm sometimes afraid I won't be able to have children when the time comes for me, so I'm sure you must be full of anxiety and I sympathize. Go see a good fertility doctor, it's the best way to go! Many cheers!
minaminamina minaminamina 10 years
I agree - go to a gyno, get checked out, and aim for fertile days in the month. But ND - while I agree with your point that she be financially secure, and that this should be a mutual decision between her and her man, why are you pushing your own beliefs? You do not have to be married to make the decision to have a child. That's morally presumptuous of you.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 10 years
Seeing as I'm not your gyno, why don't you go ahead and make an appointment to see one? I think the latter would be able to enlighten you.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 10 years
Are you trying to get pregnant?
NdHebert NdHebert 10 years
First, PLEASE call this man your husband before all the baby talk. Next, UNTIL, this man is your husband and you are ready financially, BE SAFE. I cant believe you are talking about having unprotected sex with your boyfriend and wondering why you are not pregnant? Go to the doctor, not pop sugar if you want to know why you cant get pregnant. The doctor will probably said all that I said (and then give a medical explanation).
bellanatella bellanatella 10 years
That is rather odd. Good luck!
Matdredalia Matdredalia 10 years
I would suggest the poster look into the possibility that she has polycystic ovarian syndrome ( 1 in 10 women have it, and it's the #1 cause of infertility. While there are many reasons a woman may not conceive, it's still a possibility to check into.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
get a book on the mucas method )described here) personally i would not use this to prevent pregnancy, but we used it and i had 3 kids in 3 years so there you go.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
Agree with Rrnrios. Why all the unprotected sex? Anyhow, when you are actually TRYING you will find that there is a window of time each month that you are actually capable of getting pregnant. In all these years you just never had sex during the time when you were fertile. Study up on your cycle and know when you are fertile. OH - so long as this is a MUTUAL decision to have a child together. One last note, you sure he never had a vasectomy and isn't telling you?
rrnrios rrnrios 10 years
unprotected sex uh? according to your post, it does not sound like you were actually trying for a baby... so the first question that comes to mind is: why did you have unprotected sex at all? (and don't get me started on the STD etc, you should always protect yourself at the beginning of every relationship). Now, about the question at hand: I wouldn't worry too much until you start really trying for a baby. When you both want to go for it, you'll probably get more "organized": find out what's the best time, get serious about this etc... and then you'll find out if there is a problem or if you just were very lucky during the past five years. Now that I think about it... five years having a normal, unprotected, sexual relationship, odds are quite high that you'd fall pregnant...
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