If you are struggling to have a baby then you are not alone, though it is often a lonely place to be. There are lots of people and couples going through this. In fact, 1 in 7 couples have trouble conceiving. None of this helps if it is happening to you and it can result in all sorts of feelings and issues.
We define infertility as when a couple have been having frequent (every 2-3 days) unprotected sex for more than twelve months without it resulting in pregnancy. The issue may be with either partner or in some cases is a combination of factors with each partner. At this stage we don’t know, and we will need to investigate possible causes. Fortunately, there are many positive outcomes and therapies that help couples achieve what they hope for.
The Symptoms of infertility is simply the inability to conceive and often there are no other symptoms. In some cases, there may be issues with periods or pains and issues in the pelvic or abdominal area for women. For men there may be indications of hormonal imbalances such as changes in hair growth or sexual function.
It’s common for things to take time and some couples have the idea that they will be able to have a baby as soon as they decide, but we will always say to give it a year before reaching out and seeking help.
The exceptions for women if they are;
- Age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer
- Have irregular or absent periods
- Have very painful periods
- Have known fertility problems
- Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Have had multiple miscarriages
- Have undergone treatment for cancer
Men should talk to a doctor if they have:
- Low sperm counts or other problems with sperm
- A history of testicular, prostate or sexual problems
- Undergone treatment for cancer
- Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum
- Others in your family with infertility problems
What happens next.
If you are looking for help, then the first step is to talk to us. Our clinic was created to help couples experiencing fertility issues, and whatever is happening it will be the first step on a journey with us. Its not discovering where the fault is but we consider it as a process of finding the right pathway for both of you.
You will book a consultation and the first step is just to discuss what has been happening. It will help to have as much information as you can about frequency of sex, menstrual patterns and any health concerns. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about this sort of thing with others but we are trained specialists in fertility and know how to approach it sensitively for both parties.
Possible causes of infertility
There are lots of causes of infertility the first thing to assess is if it is primary or secondary infertility:
Causes of infertility may be classified medically as primary or secondary. To you it is not important both cause distress.
- primary infertility is when someone who’s never conceived a child in the past has difficulty conceiving
- secondary infertility is when someone has had 1 or more pregnancies in the past, but is having difficulty conceiving again
In the UK, unexplained infertility accounts for around 1 in 4 cases of infertility. This is when no cause can be identified in either partner. We will work together to help you discover options if this is the case and help you to access the treatments available.
NHS Treatment options
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that women with unexplained infertility who have not conceived after 2 years of having regular unprotected sex should be offered IVF treatment.
The NICE guidance has more about unexplained infertility.