Close Close
Mother and Baby

I’m not pregnant yet - when should I worry?

I’m not pregnant yet - when should I worry?

When should you worry that you’re not pregnant yet? The honest guide to trying for a baby (from a mum who's been there). Fi Star-Stone writes: 

A romantic dinner, a few drinks, and a little, ahem, ‘quality time’ with my husband, were exactly what I had in mind when it came to trying for a baby, but after 12 months of negative pregnancy tests, heartache and stress, my romantic notions came to an abrupt end.

Fertility investigations revealed it was unlikely we’d conceive without a little help, as I had endometriosis.

This condition results in small pieces of the womb lining, known as the endometrium, to start growing in other places, such as the ovaries.

At first I felt incredibly alone in my struggle to conceive until researching revealed I was far from alone. Around one in seven couples have difficulty conceiving, that’s an incredible 3.5 million people in the UK struggling to conceive.

How long does it take to get pregnant?

Unless you are super lucky and strike baby gold the first time trying, those baby making skills can often take a lot more effort than you think.

Some women can become pregnant pretty much right away, whereas others can take up to a year. As a general guide, most couples (about 84 out of every 100) will get pregnant within a year if they have regular sex and don’t use contraception.

When should I worry?

It’s pretty common to start obsessing after just a month or two of trying to conceive without success, but most doctors suggest you shouldn't really worry until after 12 months of regularly trying. With every movie suddenly appearing pregnancy related and every TV break filled with baby-related adverts, it’s hard not to become baby obsessed.

However, worrying won’t help the baby-making situation. In fact, stress can contribute to baby-making delays so try not to make conceiving your absolute every thought.

If you’ve been actively trying to conceive for 12 months or more with no luck, or if you have concerns about either you or your partner’s reproductive health during that time, then it’s worth going to your GP who will be able to run some tests and give you some advice.

Is it me or him?

I’m not going to lie: facing fertility problems can be an emotional rollercoaster and put a strain on even the strongest of relationships. So it’s important, before any investigations take place, to start as you mean to go on. You’re in this together.

Whatever the results may be, it is pointless blaming each other at a time when you need to support each other. So make a pact before any results come in that you will support each other fully.

Common causes of female infertility include:

Age: Over 35? Welcome to the geriatric mothers club.

With more women having babies later in life, more are finding it trickier to conceive. As women get older, the number and quality of egg cells that are produced by the ovaries declines.

The simple fact is, women generally become less fertile as they get older.

The word geriatric seems a little harsh at 35, but it’s the medical term used for women over this age who are trying to conceive or are pregnant.

Uterine Fibroids: Fibroids are non-cancerous growths made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and vary in size. They’re found in or around the womb and cause symptoms such as heavy or painful periods, abdominal pain, lower back pain, constipation and pain or discomfort during sex.

Some women can have fibroids with no symptoms at all and will only discover they have them after an ultrasound scan.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: PID is an infection of the female upper genital tract, including the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. There are no obvious symptoms but some women may have mild symptoms that may include one or more of the following:

  • Pain around the pelvis or lower abdomen (tummy)
  • Discomfort or pain during sex that's felt deep inside the pelvis
  • Pain during urination
  • Bleeding between periods and after sex
  • Heavy periods
  • Painful periods 
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, especially if it's yellow or green.

Endometriosis: A condition where small pieces of the womb lining, known as the endometrium, start growing in other places, such as the ovaries. Symptoms vary from person to person, and some women have no symptoms at all, but the most common symptoms include:

  • Painful periods or heavy periods
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain during and after sex
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or lower back.

Scar Tissue/Adhesions: Pelvic surgery can sometimes cause damage and scarring to the fallopian tubes making it difficult to conceive.

Ovarian Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that can sometimes grow on the ovaries which can prevent eggs from developing or being released.

Cervical mucus defect: When you are ovulating, the mucus in your cervix becomes thinner so that sperm can swim through it more easily. If there is a problem with your mucus it can sometimes make it harder to conceive.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: PCOS is a condition that effects how the ovaries work. Approximately 1 in 10 women have PCOS, and it's the most common cause of infertility. Symptoms can vary from person to person but include:

  • Irregular periods or no periods at all
  • Difficulty getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate
  • Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) 
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
  • Oily skin or acne.

Male infertility issues include:

The most common cause of male infertility is a sperm disorder, such as low sperm count (oligozoospermia,) slow sperm motility, or a deficiency in forward progression (the sperm's quality of movement). Sperm disorders are caused by various factors include:

  • Although sperm count may not decrease with age, it starts to lose motility around the age of 40.
  • Immune problems and illness can impact sperm motility and its ability to implant itself in the egg.
  • Sperm function can be effected due to weight issues, (both over or under weight issues.)
  • Untreated STDs can have an impact on sperm transportation, but his often improves dramatically with STD treatment.

Coping with a fertility problem

If you receive the news that one of you has a fertility problem, it can be an enormous blow. Give yourself permission to cry and to feel angry. Don’t ignore your feelings or shut them away - this won’t help you or your partner in the long run.

It’s OK to be angry. Don’t feel guilty about negative or angry feeling when others announce their pregnancy news. You have every right to feel sad, so let it out (although maybe not at their baby shower).

Communication is key. Keep communicating with your partner. It is so important that you keep talking to your partner about how you feel or how you want to proceed after having your news. Remember that your partner may feel and cope differently than you and that’s OK. Everyone deals with things differently so don’t feel angry if they don’t seem as upset as you.

Keep a journal. Writing down your feelings can be really helpful. Keeping a journal of your hopes and your fears, your appointments, your tries and fails, will all help to keep a level head in the journey toward trying to become a parent.

Think about what you want. Talk about the next steps with your partner and look into the options available to you. Perhaps you want to take a break from trying, perhaps you want to look into fertility treatments or consider adoption? Whatever you decided to do, ensure you are both ready for the next step as it can often be a rollercoaster of emotions.

What treatments are available?

If you discover there is a problem, please don’t feel it is the end of the baby line. There are lots of options and help available for those struggling with infertility including:

  • Medical treatment for lack of regular ovulation
  • Surgical procedures – such as treatment for endometriosis
  • Assisted conception – which may be intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)

The treatment offered will depend on what is causing your fertility problems and what is available.

Private treatment is worth considering but can be very expensive and no guarantee it will be successful.

Try to stay positive

From a mum of two who went through three years of fertility worries and stress, please try to keep a positive head when you feel like your world is caving in around you.

As much as babies take up your head space, try to focus on other things so your whole world doesn't revolve around conceiving. Book a holiday, plan an event or join a group to learn a new skill. This will help you have a new perspective and often results in you becoming more relaxed and less stressed.

Have hope that in the majority of fertility problems there is a happy ending. After endless tests, stress and emotional battles, our first little miracle, Betsy, was conceived on our third round of the fertility drug Clomid.

Less than a year later (with no fertility help at all) her brother, Oscar was born.

Related content:


  • jenaedaigle81 - 25/04/2017 10:08

    An amazing testimony on a Native Iya Hindi root and herbs who help me to get pregnant, So me and my partner have been trying for a baby for the last 2 years now. I don’t have a regular cycle so it is hard for me to tell when I’m ovulating or not, but we always have sex at least 3 times a week, sometimes more. I know it can take up to a year to conceive but everyone i know who have had a baby have conceived within 2-3months of trying and it is really getting to me. my partner had a fertility test about a year ago and his sperm were fine. I’m thinking it could be a problem with me but I’ve never had any symptoms of any problems. My partner does smoke and have the occasional drink, and i used to smoke and also have the occasional drink. i know i’m slightly overweight but that shouldn’t affect our chances too much, one faithful day my friend told me to contact Native Iya Hindi that help her sister, then i contact the email.,He sent the Herbs to me and gave instruction on method after three weeks the doctor confirm that i am pregnant thank you Native Iya Hindi for helping me get a baby, I am thankful for all he had done. contact him via email:( .Or whats App number+19145295224), if you are trying to get a baby.

  • lisaupche3 - 30/04/2017 14:20

    Hello everyone my name is Lisa Upche.I want to tell the world how i was able to conceive. After a history of painful, heavy periods and having had an ovary ,I was diagnosed with endometriosis. Because that my remaining Fallopian tube was blocked, the only chance I and my husband had of conceiving was through IVF. The condition meant that fertility treatment was very painful in spite of the treatment it wasn't successful . "From the age of 19 or 20, I had very bad periods, but my GP seemed uninterested. At 22, I had emergency surgery for appendicitis and awoke to discover I had also had an ovary removed, due to a large cyst. Although I had a histology (examination with a microscope of tissue removed during surgery), endometriosis (a condition in which endometrial cells, which normally line the uterus, implant around the outside of the uterus and/or ovaries, causing internal bleeding, pain and reduced fertility) was not diagnosed until much later. With all these challenges, the possibility of getting pregnant was very difficult...I read an article of how Iya Hindi, that helped a woman to conceive with the use of the herbal treatment...I contacted the address ....I ordered for the herbs and it worked. I conceived through the use of the herbs as instructed also. Contact ( .Or whats App number+19145295224) for help.

Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Is it a boy or a girl? Tell our tool the month you concieved and how old you are and find out! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?