What You Should Know When Conception Is Slow
Conception and pregnancy are natural events in the reproductive cycle. Scientific studies have shown that 92 percent of couples attempting to conceive will do so within two years. For the other eight percent, however, conceiving can be a frustrating process that may create insecurities and put stress on the relationship. Most medical experts recommend that younger couples consult a fertility expert, typically a licensed reproductive endocrinologist, if they have not conceived within one year. Women over age 35 should consult an expert if they have no success after six months of unprotected regular sexual relations.
Subfertility and Infertility
Couples who engage in unprotected sexual intercourse at least two or three times per week and have not conceived after one year will likely be diagnosed as subfertile by fertility professionals. Subfertility is not the same as infertility; a number of factors can cause couples to fail to conceive within a year without being indicative of a larger medical problem. Being diagnosed as subfertile simply means that at the current time, the couple is not as likely to conceive as a typical couple. Infertility, by contrast, indicates that there is probably a medical reason for the failure to conceive and that medical intervention may be necessary in order for the couple to achieve their goal of starting a family.
Primary and Secondary Infertility
A couple who has never been able to successfully conceive is said to suffer from primary infertility. Secondary infertility is the inability to conceive after successfully having achieved conception at least one time.
Contributing Factors to Infertility
A number of environmental and medical factors can lead to temporary or permanent infertility or subfertility, including diabetes, exposure to toxins, cigarette smoking, thyroid disorders, ovarian and fallopian tube disorders, low sperm count and poor quality of existing sperm. Eating a proper diet, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking may help some couples, while other factors may require medical intervention. Couples suffering from one or more of these complicating factors can sometimes conceive with the help of treatments prescribed by a professional reproductive endocrinologist or through advanced methods such as in vitro fertilization. This is especially true for women who have a large percentage of nonviable eggs and men who have lower than average sperm counts.
Treatments for Infertility
Fertility medications have been successful in helping couples to conceive more quickly. These medications typically stimulate the ability of the ovaries to produce and release eggs. This increases the chance for a woman to get pregnant when intercourse occurs at around the time of ovulation since it typically improves the odds that a viable egg will be released. Mechanical methods of increasing fertility include directly introducing the sperm into the area of the cervix to help ensure that the egg has the best possible chance to be fertilized.
Couples who have experienced fertility problems can sometimes benefit by taking a break from trying to conceive. While this may seem counterproductive, the relief from constant stress and pressure can allow couples to enjoy each other’s company and may even change the chemical makeup of the vaginal fluids, providing a more conducive environment for conception. Almost all couples can conceive given the right set of circumstances and a healthy dose of patience. Persistence is the key element in creating a new addition to the family unit.