Trying to conceive can be an exciting time. But for one in six couples this excitement can turn to anxiety as each month passes. If you’re under 35 and have been trying for over a year, or over 35 and trying for 6 months without success, it may be a good time to start investigating why.
A good chat with your GP
Having a conversation with your GP about your fertility is a good start. You may discuss your general health and lifestyle, your family history and how long you’ve been trying. Many lifestyle factors including weight, shift work and smoking, for example, can impact your chances of conceiving.
Your GP is likely to send you for a few basic tests. These tests are fast, simple and non-invasive and generally nothing to be concerned about. It is recommended your GP order the following tests:
Blood test. Your medical team are mainly looking at the range of hormones involved in healthy ovulation. Low levels or the absence of various hormones can indicate an issue with ovulation.
Updated pap smear, especially if it’s more than a year since your last one. Most women will have had one of these in the past, and it’s a quick and simple procedure and it is best practice to ensure it is up to date prior to conception.
Baseline transvaginal scan on day 2-6 of your menstrual cycle. This is a quick, simple and pain-free procedure. This test takes a closer look at the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus and can assist in determining the volume of eggs available within the ovaries, and check that your uterus is in good shape for carrying a baby.
For men, there is just one test to be carried out – a semen analysis. This looks at the amount of sperm being produced, their ability to move (motility) and their size and shape (morphology).
The results of all of these tests will help your fertility specialists to understand what might be causing you to have problems having a baby, and all of the results of these investigations will be completed and explained to you by your doctor.
If you aren’t quite ready to get a referral or make an appointment with your GP, Fertility SA has a free consultation service available where you can discuss your situation with one of our highly trained and experienced fertility nurses. Call 8100 2900 to make an appointment.