When you should start seeking fertility help?

With so much media coverage of celebrities seeking fertility treatment and documenting their IVF journeys, the anxiety around trying to conceive when nothing is happening can become amplified for women and couples.

If you and your partner have made the decision to have a baby, it’s good to know when you should and when you shouldn’t become concerned if that blue line is not appearing.

When not to be concerned

If you are younger than 35, have regular periods, no family history of fertility issues or early menopause, and no underlying issues such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or endometriosis, then there is no need to worry if you have been trying for less than six months. I would always recommend when someone is trying to conceive, that they keep a menstrual diary to track their cycle, so you have a good understanding of your pattern and know when you are ovulating.

If you find yourself anxious even if everything appears normal, then to alleviate stress I would suggest you (and your partner) avail of a simple and cost-effective fertility assessment. This will either reassure you that all is well, or inform you of an underlying issue, which you can take steps to correct. At our clinics we offer a self-referral fertility assessment service, My Fertility Check, which is a quick and straightforward test.

When to know it’s time to seek fertility help

If you are under 35 and have been trying without success for 12 months and there is no history of early menopause or known fertility issues with you or your partner, then it may be a good time to consider seeking help.

If you are over 35 and unsuccessful after six months, you should take action and make an appointment with a fertility specialist. Age is the single greatest factor affecting a woman’s fertility, which goes into decline at a faster rate after the age of 35.

It is more difficult for women over this age to become pregnant, even with assisted reproductive technology. The earlier an issue is identified, the sooner we can address it with you. Remember, one in six couples will struggle when trying for a pregnancy, so you are not alone.

 Don’t forget the male factor

Of course, fertility issues also affect men. In fact in 30% of cases, a male factor is the reason why a couple has been unable to conceive, while in a further 10% of cases it is a combination of both male and female difficulties. So, if your partner has undescended testicles, had mumps when he was younger, or had any injuries to his testicular area, it would be a good idea to have an early assessment to ensure all is well, and if not, treatment is available to help you achieve your goal.

Advances in reproductive technology for men now mean that there are simple, effective and non-invasive procedures which can be very successful in overcoming some problems.