Infertility is when a couple cannot get pregnant (conceive), despite having regular unprotected sex.
Around one in seven couples may have difficulty conceiving. This is approximately 3.5 million people in the UK.
About 84% of couples will conceive naturally within one year if they have regular unprotected sex.
For every 100 couples trying to conceive naturally:
- 84 will conceive within one year
- 92 will conceive within two years
- 93 will conceive within three years
For couples who have been trying to conceive for more than three years without success, the likelihood of pregnancy occurring within the next year is 25% or less.
Deciding to seek helpSome women get pregnant quickly, but for others it can take longer. It is a good idea for a couple to visit their GP if they have not conceived after one year of trying.
Women aged 36 and over, and anyone who is already aware they may have fertility problems, should see their GP sooner. The GP can check for common causes of fertility problems, and suggest treatments that could help.
A couple will only be diagnosed as being infertile if they have not managed to have a baby after one year of trying. There are two types of infertility:
- primary infertility – where someone who has never conceived a child in the past has difficulty conceiving
- secondary infertility – where a person has had one or more pregnancies in the past, but is having difficulty conceiving again
Supporting yourself at the start of building your family by Anya Sizer, Fertility Support Co-ordianator at the London Women’s Clinic | Read the article