A Baby at Last! A Couple's Complete Guide to Getting Pregnant

This whole series of events need to happen at the right time. There is an eight-to-twelve-hour window within each cycle in which the egg can become fertilized. Usually this happens between days 13 and 15 of a typical twenty-eight-day menstrual cycle. Healthy sperm can survive for several days inside the female reproductive tract, so timing sex around the middle of the cycle increases your chances of conception. Even in the best of circumstances, the chances that a woman will get pregnant are about one in four each month.

You Are Not Alone

There are many reasons a couple may find it hard to get pregnant, and these reasons can stem from a problem with either or both partners. In about 40 percent of infertile couples, the man has a problem. In another 40 percent, the woman has a problem. And in 20 percent both partners have a problem. That's why a couples-based solution is imperative.

Often both partners may have just-below-normal fertility, or subfertility, which may lead them to struggle with having a baby together. Treat- ments to improve each of their fertility levels will maximize their chances of conceiving.

Many infertile couples striving to conceive feel isolated and helpless, but actually you are not alone. Infertility affects about 7 million Americans, which represents about one in six couples during their childbearing years. There are daunting odds, but here's the good news: while the number of infertile couples is on the rise, medical understanding of infertility is more advanced than ever. You have more treatment options today than before. Just a few decades ago, there were no drugs to induce ovulation, no microsurgical techniques to unclog fallopian tubes or blocked ducts in man, IVF was just a dream, and single-sperm injections were unheard-of. And our understanding of the nonsurgical methods of increasing fertility—diet, exercise, and other lifestyle adjustments that greatly increase the odds of conceiving—is now similarly advanced.

When to Seek Help

You may feel lots of anxiety and stress about making a baby, particularly if you have been trying for a while. So it is important to know when it is appropriate to seek advice regarding your infertility. Fertility declines rapidly after age thirty-five, so women in this age group should consider working with a fertility specialist sooner rather than later. Even if you became pregnant on your own when you were younger, you may still have difficulty conceiving when you become older. We begin to be concerned about infertility when a couple has not conceived after twelve months of unprotected intercourse if the woman is under age thirty-five, and six months of unprotected intercourse if she is age thirty-five or older. However, our policy is to recommend an evaluation if the female partner is older than age thirty and has not conceived within six months, especially if the couple has been having sexual intercourse two or three times per week.

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