Some couples have trouble getting pregnant. In general most women will be pregnant within 12 months of trying, although depending on your age and circumstances, tests may be performed after 6 months to see if any cause can be found.
Infertility is a joint problem with around a third of cases being due to male factors.
A variety of tests can be undertaken to see if a woman is ovulating (producing eggs) regularly or if there are any other medical conditions impairing her ability to conceive, such as thyroid problems, diabetes or structural abnormalities of the uterus.
Blockage of the Fallopian tubes can lead to infertility so a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or laparoscopic dye studies may be indicated. Male causes are best initially evaluated with semen analysis.
Depending on the situation, treatment of underlying causes of infertility may be initiated or ovulation induction can be begun. Some couples will need further help in the form of Intra-uterine insemination or IVF.
Some women have no difficulty conceiving but miscarry in the first few months of the pregnancy. This is unfortunately quite common with 25% of all recognized pregnancies miscarrying. This risk increases with age.
Undergoing a miscarriage can be a traumatic and stressful experience, but more so if this recurs in successive pregnancies.
There are sometimes reasons why someone will have recurrent miscarriages including blood clotting tendencies, thyroid disease, auto-immune and inflammatory disease, genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, fibroids and cervical incompetence. A series of tests can be performed to look for treatable causes of recurrent miscarriages.