Why am I not getting pregnant?

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Although I get my period every month, I have not been able to conceive after four years of marriage. We have gone for tests together with my husband and all is well. Does a barren woman menstruate? Dina

Dear Dina,

A woman may fail to get pregnant despite regular unprotected sex because she has a fertility problem herself. Other times, the failure may be because the man himself is not fertile or the couple despite both being tested and being found to have no usual problems that lead to infertility. The proof of fertility is in bearing children not just in normal laboratory results.

Having regular periods while a man was checked and found fertile means that you could be the one having a fertility problem, say blocked fallopian tubes. With blocked tubes, one may menstruate regularly and normally but sperm will not access the eggs to fertilise them, leading to pregnancy.

Every month, the inner lining of the womb builds up in preparation for pregnancy and if pregnancy does not occur, the lining is no longer required hence being shed as a period. This can happen whether a woman is fertile or not. Regular periods may at least indicate that one is ovulating and likely to get pregnant all factors being equal and irregular periods might indicate problems of ovulation that may interfere with getting pregnant.

Visit your gynaecologist to rule out blocked tubes or factors that may stop you from getting a baby.