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Top 10 Fertility Questions

1. What is infertility?

Infertility is when a couple doesn't conceive despite having regular unprotected sexual intercourse.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) define infertility as: a woman of reproductive age who has not conceived after 1 year of unprotected vaginal sexual intercourse. NICE recommends that under these circumstances a couple should make an appointment to see their doctor.

It is also a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor if:

• The woman is 36 or over and you have been trying for a baby for 6 months without success
• Either of you has any current or previous medical problems
• You are taking any regular medication

Deciding to see a doctor may feel daunting but this is a positive step in the right direction. Talk to your partner before your appointment and remember you have each other for support.

This questionnaire will help you both to prepare for the initial consultation and ensure you don’t forget to mention any important information.

Please click here to download the questionnaire

 

2. How common is infertility?

Don’t worry you are not alone. It is estimated that infertility affects 1 in 7 heterosexual couples in the UK.

 

3. Is infertility becoming more common?

A common misconception is that infertility is becoming more prevalent. In fact, the infertility rate has held relatively stable over the years. Instead, infertility services are becoming more accessible, women are deferring childbearing until later in life and the stigma of treatments has eased, encouraging more couples to seek help.

 

4. Is infertility a male or female problem?

Historically, infertility was thought to be a female problem. However, male infertility is now known to be a problem.

 

5. What can cause infertility in women and men?

The main causes of infertility in the UK and the prevalence are stated by NICE as a percentage:

• No identified cause in either the male or female (25%)
• Problems with ovulation (25%)
• Damage to the fallopian tube(s) (20%)
• Male factors that cause infertility (30%)
• Peritoneal or uterine problems (10%)

Other factors that could affect your fertility are gamete or embryo defects and conditions such as endometriosis. In 40% of infertility cases problems are found in both male and female partners.

 

6. What factors can increase my risk of infertility?

Many factors can increase your risk of infertility some of these including:

• Stress
• Drinking alcohol
• Smoking
• Being overweight
• Medical conditions
• Taking certain medication

 

7. How often should we be trying for a baby?

Increasing the frequency of intercourse after your period is a relaxed way to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Scheduling intercourse is not always fun and can increase a couples stress levels.

Having sexual intercourse regularly (every 1 to 2 days) during your fertile window will give you the best chance of getting pregnant. However, if this is not possible, 2 to 3 times per week should be adequate.

 

8. How can we maximise our chances of getting pregnant?

There are many things that a couple can do to maximise their chances of getting pregnant:

Step 1: Prepare your bodies for getting pregnant

Step 2: Identify the best time to get pregnant

Step 3: Use our helpful fertility tools

Step 4: Maximise your chances of getting pregnant with fertility products

 

9. I am struggling to get pregnant but I already have a child. Surely I can’t have fertility problems second time round?

Unfortunately, this is possible because you or your partner may have experienced changes to your lifestyle or body since your first pregnancy. In this case we would recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor.

 

10. I feel like trying for a baby has taken over our lives and I’m worried about the strain it is having on our relationship. What can I do?

Fertility problems can be very stressful for a couple and can put a lot of strain on even the strongest relationships. It is very important to remember that you have each other for support, work as a team and remember communication is the key. Make sure that you are spending enough time together. Fun and relaxing activities such as going for a walk or to the cinema can help you both to enjoy the relationship and distract you from your fertility problems.

1. Balasch, Juan, Gratacós, Eduard, Delayed childbearing: effects on fertility and the outcome of pregnancy. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology.2012; 24(3): (187-193)

2. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Fertility, Assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems, February 2013, NICE clinical guideline 156, guidance.nice.org.uk

3. Optimizing Natural Fertility. Fertil Steril 2008;90:S1-6