Fertility varies between different people and at different times in our lives. While most couples manage to conceive without experiencing any problems, some of us (approximately one in six couples) will have some difficulty.
Most couples assume that they are fertile and that when they decide they want to conceive, they will. But, conception is not always immediate - in fact for couples not using contraception, only approximately 25% of women will conceive within the first month of trying! About one in 10 couples will take more than a year to conceive and one in 20 will take more than two years.
Infertility should be approached as a couple and determining whether or not a couple is infertile is not always a straightforward exercise. Many couples who think they could be infertile may simply need some assistance to successfully conceive.
If your partner is over 35 and you have both been trying to conceive for over a year, or are concerned about your fertility for other reasons, you should make an appointment to see your doctor.
Before a couple is considered to be infertile and referred to a fertility clinic, a GP will need to conduct a thorough investigation of the couples circumstances. This may include questions about:
- sex life
- how long you have been trying to conceive
- any medications you take
- whether you smoke or drink alcohol
- if you have had any serious illnesses or surgery
- if you have conceived before or have had other children with a previous partner.
The path of testing to uncover why you have not yet conceived, can often be fraught with intense anguish and can place a great deal of burden on relationships. It is important for couples to communicate and support one another throughout this process.
The causes of conception difficulties can be quite complex. If you have been diagnosed as having any infertility problem, it is important that you ask as many questions as necessary to get an understanding of the condition and possible treatments.
And most importantly, talk to others who are having similar problems or read about couples who have successfully conceived after battling fertility problems.
Chat about conception with other EB members.