Trying for a year or longer?
It is quite common for even young, healthy couples to take a year or longer to conceive.
If you have been trying consistently for over a year with no success and are under 35, it would be advisable to have a few health checks to see what may be reducing your chances of conception.
However, if you and your partner are aged 35 or older then it would be advisable to get health checks after only six months of trying to conceive.
You may have already completed some initial bloods, such as a Day 3 & 21 blood hormone panel, screening for STI's, full blood count and your partner may have had a semen analysis. You may have also have had some anatomical investigations such as laparoscopy/HSG along with basic internal investigations such as a cervical smear.
When women are given the all clear on these investigations many are advised to try the fertility drug Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate) to encourage the ovaries to release extra eggs to increase their chances of conception. However, if after 6 months this treatment has not resulted in pregnancy it should probably be discontinued. According to a recent Cochrane review it was decided that there is insufficient evidence to suggest Clomiphene Citrate has an impact on pregnancy rates and it also pointed out findings from earlier research which noted that women using the drug for longer than a year were at higher risk for ovarian cancer.
If Clomid hasn't worked then most patients will move directly on to assisted fertility treatment, such as IUI or IVF.
Patients in this situation are often chronically stressed due to trying to conceive for a long period of time and are concerned about the financial, emotional and physical implications of potential fertility treatment.
That is why it is so important to do everything possible to ensure that you are both in the best possible physical, emotional and mental health before making the decision to take that next step.
Worst case scenario, you improve your health and are therefore more likely to succeed on your first round of treatment.
Best case scenario, your health and that of your partner, improves to the extent that you conceive naturally and go on to give birth to a healthy baby without any need of assisted fertility methods.
If you have been trying to conceive for a while and would like more information on the natural treatment options that may be open to you, please click here.