I was interested to read about a new formula that can help predict a woman’s chance of conceiving depending on her age, but I won’t be recommending it to my patients.
Investigating infertility is a common consultation for me in general practice, but I don’t think these statistics tell the full story.
There are many factors that affect chances of conceiving, some immeasurable, such as stress, which is why fertility cannot always be predicted by science.
At what point should I go to the doctor to discuss fertility?
A few go when they start trying for a family, and this is fine to discuss pre-conception health, particularly if you have any medical problems. But most will wait until there appears to be a problem. It would be normal to try for a baby for a year before seeing your GP if you are under 35, or six months if you are older. Trying to conceive means having regular intercourse, about three times a week. Some 84 percent of couples conceive in the first year. Of those who don’t, half conceive in the second year.
What will my GP do when I go?
She will run through your health, your medication and whether your periods are regular, if you have conceived before or had any miscarriages. The first stage after this is blood tests – you will need two, at different times in your cycle, to see if there are any underlying conditions such as polycystic ovaries, premature menopause or thyroid problems. Your husband also needs a consultation.
What can my husband expect?
A chat about his medical history and lifestyle, such as smoking and drinking. He would be referred for a semen analysis to see if there is male infertility.
My first child was conceived naturally but I can’t get pregnant again.
We call this secondary infertility. The process is the same and you still need to undergo the investigations with your husband. - Mail On Sunday