A consistent negative result on your pregnancy tests is heart-breaking and exhausting. Try these tips to break the cycle…

As a teenager, you live in constant fear that pregnancy is just one kiss away. Fast forward to your adult years, and it turns out that falling pregnant is far harder than you had ever imagined.

Here are a few possible reasons for those negative pregnancy test results and how you can fix them:

1. Stress

Think about how you feel when you’re facing a major deadline or battling with an overwhelming personal issue – unable to sleep, exhausted, teary and emotional. Those are the physiological reactions that you’re aware of – what you’re not aware of, though, is that your body is awash in adrenalin and cortisol. That serves as a signal to all apparatus involved in baby-making to shut down.

What to do:

This is a hard one, because the more despondent you feel about your battle to conceive, the more your body will respond – and the more you’ll battle. The best solution is to take up meditation, yoga or therapy – anything that helps you reconnect with yourself and lower those stress levels.

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2. Sleep deprivation

You may love those all-night series marathons, but your body doesn’t. It interprets your tired state as stress, and puts on the brakes.

What to do:

If you struggle to fall asleep, try these adjustments: Move your workout session to earlier in the day so you have a chance to decompress before bedtime, set up a routine (like a bath and a book) that signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep, and shut down social media a few hours before you get into bed so the blue light doesn’t interfere with your brain patterns.

3. Weight issues

Again, your body is trying to be its own best friend. If you’re not carrying enough fat, or if you’re carrying too much, your body isn’t going to let you carry a baby.

What to do:

Consult a dietician to find out more about your ideal body weight and how to reach it.

4. You haven’t been trying long enough

It can take up to a year for a healthy couple to conceive, so there really could be nothing more to it than just needing a little more time.

What to do:

Keep going! It helps to understand your cycle so that you’re trying during your fertile window.

5. Medical issues

Often, a battle to fall pregnant isn’t caused by infertility, but by conditions that can be treated or managed. These include endometriosis, depression, thyroid malfunction, undiagnosed autoimmune disease (like lupus or coeliac disease), blocked Fallopian tubes or irregular ovulation.

What to do:

Ask your gynae for a thorough check-up. While you’re at it, organise for your partner to have a full medical, just in case the issue lies with him, rather than you.