As the months tick by, and you get more and more disheartened by the monthly visit from Aunt Flo, you may start to wonder if conceiving a child is going to be harder than you thought. Is there a problem with you, or with your partner? Where should you go for help? How long should you leave it before getting some advice? If you are beginning to worry that something may be wrong, there are several options open to you if you’re worrying about infertility…
- You could simply wait and let nature take its course, even if this means you never conceive.
- You could allow yourselves a while longer, making sure that you are maximising your chances of conceiving.
- You could decide to seek medical help.
There is no doubt that seeking medical help is a big step. If either of you is unsure about it, you need to talk this through carefully before you begin. You may also like to contact a support group, to talk through your fears, worries and hopes. This may help you to get things in perspective before you make your decision.
However, if you are both committed to having children and you believe there may be a medical reason why you aren’t conceiving, then your first port of call is your GP. Go together as it is just as likely that the problem will lie with the man as the woman; figures vary, but the cause will be female problems for around 35 per cent of couples and male problems for another 35 per cent. In some cases no cause can be found, although this does not mean that you cannot be helped.
If your GP feels you need more specific treatment, you will be referred for tests and then to a specialist. Bear in mind that your medical history will be discussed. If you’ve ever had a sexually transmitted disease, for example, or had a miscarriage or an abortion, your GP will need to know, as these facts will affect any assessment of your fertility.
Before your appointment, make a list of any questions you want to ask, and bring paper and a pen so you can take notes. If you know exactly what your GP is suggesting for you and why, this will help you feel more in control of the process.
The NHS have an online fertility test containing questions that could be relevant to you and for your GP appointment. You can take the test here.