Find out what steps you can take if you've been trying to conceive for a while and still aren't pregnant.
When you and your partner have decided you want to have a baby together, it's likely you'll want to conceive as soon as possible so you can start enjoying your pregnancy. But if months go by and you still haven't conceived, you may start to feel disappointed and wonder what's going on.
However it's important not to lose hope. It can take a while to get pregnant but many couples who have trouble conceiving in the first few months or even years go on to conceive naturally and have a healthy pregnancy. There are options out there, and steps you can take to find out why you might be having trouble conceiving.
I've been trying for several months
If you've been trying for a baby for less than a year and you're under the age of 35, there's no need to visit your doctor just yet. One in 10 couples take a year or more to conceive, so you may just have to wait a little longer.
It's worth remembering that conception is basically a matter of chance, and if you're aged between 20 and 25 you have a 25% chance of conceiving per cycle (the chances are 15% if you're between 30 and 35). It's possible that it will also take you longer to conceive if you've just come off the Pill
and started trying without waiting for your cycle to return to normal.
There's still nothing to stop you going to see your GP however, if only to discuss your hopes and concerns, and get some helpful advice. It's likely that your doctor will recommend that you continue as normal, making sure that you are eating healthily
, getting plenty of exercise
, and reducing stress
in your life as much as possible.
If you're over 35 and have been trying for 6 months or more, it may be a good idea to see your doctor at this point so that you can identify any issues that may make it harder for you to conceive and get them sorted right away.
I've been trying for over a year
If you're under 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more, it's best for you at this point to consult your GP to talk about your situation. Visiting your doctor will give you the chance to discuss your concerns and he or she will be able to give you advice for why it might take be taking you longer to conceive.
It's likely that if you've been trying for a year or more without success, your doctor will recommend that you take some tests to find out if there might be a possible problem. These may include smear tests, blood tests, urine tests, and possibly a sperm test for your other half. Your doctor is likely to ask about yours and your partner's medical histories, to determine if any illness you've had in the past might be affecting your fertility now.
Checking your blood will give your GP an idea of whether or not you are ovulating and if your hormones are at the right balance to conceive, among other factors that might affect your chances of getting pregnant. If after these tests everything comes back normal, it may just be that a little more patience is needed (as hard as it sounds!) and you'll hopefully conceive naturally in your own time by continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle.
What if there are problems with my tests?
If any of your tests come back with a result that might indicate possible fertility issues, your doctor will recommend that you see a fertility specialist. However daunting this might sound you shouldn't think that all hope is lost, as so many couples go on to conceive with or without fertility treatment. Seeing a fertility specialist could be just the help you need to finally conceive.
When you visit a fertility specialist you will probably have some more tests to determine if there is a problem. These may include more blood tests and ultrasound scans to check your womb, and may result in a prescription of fertility drugs
to help things along.
The important thing to remember is to stay calm, however long it's taking you to conceive, and concentrate on leading a healthy lifestyle. Although easier said than done, minimising the feelings of stress when trying to get pregnant is likely to do wonders for your health as well as your chances of conceiving.