Top 3 reasons why you might not be seeing a positive pregnancy test
You’re thinking about getting pregnant, and you’re ready to start preparing your body. But, you suddenly realize that there are many different ways to optimize fertility, and now you’re overwhelmed and can’t figure out what to do first.
As a Preconception Planning coach, this is one of the most common challenges I see with my clients when we start working together. Either they have already started trying without a positive test, or they’re keen on being proactive about motherhood and want to do everything they can right now to set themselves up for a successful conception and pregnancy.
Can you relate to this?
Ideally, I like to start working with clients at least 3-months before they want to start trying, but in reality, this is not always the case.
You are determined, slightly anxious and nervous, but also excited at the prospect of getting pregnant soon. So what can you do to improve your chances of seeing a positive test result when it’s time to pee on that pregnancy stick?
Here are my top 3 reasons as to why you might not be seeing a positive pregnancy test
1. Check Your Progesterone
Progesterone is an important hormone for fertility. It prepares the uterus for implantation by signaling the endometrium (mucous membrane inside the uterus), to start thickening. If ovulation has occurred, it continues to provide the uterine lining with what it needs to make a safe and suitable environment for a developing embryo.
Many women are low in progesterone. This can happen naturally, especially when women have a condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility in women. I often see clients with symptoms of low progesterone, and this alone will make it challenging to get pregnant, along with carrying a baby to term. So how do you know if your progesterone is low without getting a lab test? Some common symptoms include depression, mood swings, fatigue, irregular menstruation, low sex drive, lack of concentration, insomnia and vaginal dryness. Although low progesterone levels and PCOS are usually discovered when women seek help for infertility, some women can experience low progesterone and PCOS as early as adolescence.
The cause of low progesterone levels are not well known, but some specialists hint at the fact that poor nutrition, stress and lack of exercise might play a role.
Here are two essential vitamins that are particularly important in maintaining healthy progesterone levels.
Vitamin B6: your body requires adequate amounts of B6 to maintain optimal levels of progesterone. It is also necessary to break down estrogen in the liver. If estrogen is not broken down properly, it can create a hormone imbalance by offsetting the delicate ratio of estrogen to progesterone levels.
Boost your B6 levels by eating walnuts, lean red meat, bananas, spinach, potatoes and poultry.
Vitamin C: A study has shown that 750mg of Vitamin C taken every day for six months can considerably increase progesterone production which resulted in pregnancy in 25% of the women in the study (1). Those in the control group who did not receive vitamin C had a luteal phase defect. This is when the uterine lining does not become thick enough for implantation, which is triggered by progesterone.
Boost your Vitamin C levels by eating citrus fruits, leafy greens, red pepper, camu camu (one of the highest concentrations)
Make sure your digestion is in top shape so your body can actually absorb these vitamins. Check the status of your gut health in my blog post on How Your Gut Health Dictates Your Chances of Conceiving.
2. Balance your pH
Do you remember what pH is from highschool chemistry class? If not, don’t worry, I’ll give you a quick refresher. pH stands for potential hydrogen and refers to how acidic or alkaline your body chemistry is. In swimming pool terms, if a pool is too acidic, it rusts, if it's too alkaline, it will grow mold. And no one wants to swim in rusty or moldy pools, especially when it involves creating a new life, right!?
A woman’s body must be balanced if the sperm are to survive. Most North Americans are way too acidic due to a more processed diet and stressful lifestyle that routine pushes the stress hormones way out of whack, changing up the biochemistry in the human body.
Many MD’s don’t test for pH imbalances, because the pH of our blood doesn’t change. It always stays between 7.25 and 7.45, otherwise we would die. Alternatively, more accurate levels of pH can be checked by testing urine or saliva, which will allow you to see how hard your body may be working to maintain that very narrow range of blood pH levels. THIS IS CRUCIAL!
If you are overly acidic, your body will leach the minerals it needs out of your bones and donate it to the blood to keep your blood pH balanced and keep you functioning. This is not an ideal situation because a mineral deficiency will knock your thyroid out of balance and put the rest of your hormones into overdrive in order to compensate (more on thyroid in next section).
When this negative cascade ensues, it creates an inhospitable environment for conception and implantation, and conception becomes much tougher.
The good news is, it is very easy for you to test and balance your own pH to create a welcoming environment for the egg and sperm to have successful fertilization.
CLICK HERE to download my “pH Home Test” and use this guide to help you get it back to balance by using my recommendations on what foods to emphasize and avoid.
3. Check Your Thyroid
The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body. Located in the front of your neck, it is both a thermostat and furnace for the human body. When it is not functioning optimally, it can create havoc in your life because it is responsible for making energy, regulating metabolism to keep you at a healthy weight, keep your moods happy and balanced, allows you to enter deep sleep and have smooth flowing digestion. It also indicates how sensitive the body is to other hormones, so when the thyroid is off, the rest of your reproductive hormones become unbalanced.
The best way to check your thyroid (outside of a lab test), is to take your pulse and temperature. The thyroid is the temp regulator of the body and the body is supposed to maintain 98.6 degrees F to keep everything functioning well.
If your working temperature is cooler than 97.4 degrees F and your waking pulse is less than 70 beats per minute, than your thyroid is probably a bit low and you would have to figure out how to boost it.
How your temperature and pulse fluctuates after a meal also gives you an idea of how that meal worked for you (or didn't work for you). Remember, food can be our medicine or our slowest form of poison.
If your body temperature goes down after a meal, that’s a sign that the meal was not helpful to your metabolism or support for your thyroid. When your body temperature goes up significantly after a meal (more than 1.5-2 degrees F), that signifies an immune response and it is typically a sign that you have a food sensitivity or reaction to something you ate. Ideally, you want your body temperature to stay the same or go up by 0.5-1 degree F.
I also use a simple, at home thyroid test with my clients to get them to become more aware of how their lifestyle and food choices impact their chances of getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term.
CLICK HERE to book a free 30-minute discovery call with me to see how you can start improving your chances of conception today.