234 Infer tility
staying healthy, 149
eating for good
infection in the womb
2. Treat any health problems.
Both you and your partner
should have medical exams
and be checked and treated
for STIs, and other illnesses. If
either of you has an STI, both
of you must be treated. Be sure
to finish all the medicines you
3. Practice good health habits:
• Eat good, healthy food. If you do not have
regular monthly bleeding and you are very
thin or very fat, try to gain or lose weight.
• Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, using drugs,
or drinking alcohol.
• Avoid caffeine in drinks like coffee, black tea, and cola drinks.
• Get plenty of rest and regular exercise.
4. Try to see a health worker if you are not pregnant after
one year. There are some simple tests that do not cost much
that may be able to tell you what the problem is. For example,
the health worker may look at your partner’s sperm under a
microscope to see if they are healthy. She may give you a pelvic
exam to check your vagina, womb, and tubes for infection
or growths. Or she may teach you to tell if your ovaries are
releasing an egg by taking your temperature every morning.
It is important to remember that these tests only tell you what
the problem is—they will not solve it. Even the most expensive
medicines and operations often cannot cure infertility.
For many couples, the problem is not getting pregnant but staying
pregnant. Losing 1 or even 2 pregnancies is common. It can be the
body’s way of ending a pregnancy that is too weak to survive.
But if you have lost 3 or more pregnancies, there may be
another problem, such as:
• unhealthy eggs or sperm.
• a problem with the shape of the womb.
• growths (fibroids) in the womb.
• the wrong balance of hormones in your body.
• infection in the womb or vagina.
• an illness, such as malaria.
• toxic chemicals in your water, your community, or where
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012