First things first, it’s important to understand and acknowledge a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle:
- Ovulation is the monthly journey of an egg, from the ovaries to the uterus, via the Fallopian tubes.
- This usually happens around 14 days after the first day of a period. Consider the month of February – if a woman’s period starts on the 1st of the month, then ovulation coincidentally coincides with Valentine’s Day on the 14th!
- Couples are most likely to conceive after having unprotected sex one or two days after ovulation.
- Sperm can survive within the woman’s body for up to a week – so an egg can often be fertilised by sperm that entered the body before ovulation took place!
As simple as the science sounds, the reality is often far less straight-forward. In fact, conception rarely happens on a couples’ first month of trying.
- For a healthy, fertile couple, it is estimated that only around 15-20% will conceive in the first month of trying to conceive, by having regular unprotected sex.
- Around 90% of couples, in which the female partner is younger than 35, will conceive naturally within a year of trying.
Despite leading a healthy lifestyle, and having regular unprotected sex, many couples will still struggle to conceive for several months. This can be for any number of reasons, such as:
- Problems with the woman’s ovulation (10-15%)
- Endometriosis – the abnormal growth of uterus tissue outside the uterus itself
- Blockage of the Fallopian tubes
- Problems with the male’s sperm
Sometimes, there is no clear explanation for a couples’ apparent infertility. After several months of unsuccessful attempts, many couples will turn to the medical professionals for help. Together with a doctor, they can to try to diagnose any potential medical reasons for their infertility, and work towards improving couples’ overall fertility and chance of conceiving.
We at London Doctors Clinic offer a large variety of such tests, for those wishing to investigate their fertility issues. We have helped advise and arrange testing for numerous patients in this situation, offering services from from general pre-pregnancy screening, advice and guidance, to more thorough blood testing via one of our Infertility Profiles.