If you’ve been trying for a baby for some time, you might be wondering if it will ever happen, and if so, how. You are not alone.
About one in six couples experience fertility problems, so if you’re aged under 35 and haven’t conceived after a year, talk to your GP about it. If you’re 35 or older, visit your GP after six months of trying without success.
Fertility problems can be caused by problems with a woman’s or a man’s reproductive system. About one-third of infertility is due to male factors and one third to female factors. Sometimes both partners have a fertility problem. In about 20 per cent of cases, there is no apparent cause of infertility. This is called unexplained infertility.
Your GP might conduct some preliminary tests to find out why you’re not conceiving. Depending on the results you might then be referred to a fertility specialist who will do further testing to try to determine the cause of the problem.
Depending on the cause of infertility, your GP or fertility specialist may suggest assisted reproductive treatment (ART).
Some people also experience pregnancy loss. About one in four pregnancies are lost. Sometimes it’s possible to find out why this has occurred, but often it remains a mystery. Whether the reason is known or not, losing a pregnancy can be a devastating experience. The grief may not be recognised by others and people often report feeling alone and unsupported throughout the experience. Here are some resources for women and their partners who have lost a pregnancy. You can access more information about miscarriage and stillbirth written by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists here.