Six months and still nothing?

You’ve been trying to conceive for six months with no joy, so what next?

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After six months of doing all the right things, it’s natural that you’ll be disappointed if you’re still not pregnant. Here we answer some of the questions you’ll be asking, and take a look at where you go from here.

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What are the odds on getting pregnant?

In any given month, there’s only a 20 to 25 per cent chance that you will conceive, even without any medical issues getting in the way

On average, most couples will manage to conceive if they try regularly to have unprotected sex over a six-month period, but a further 25 per cent will take up to two years to conceive.

You’re not alone if you’ve been trying for some time: one in every seven couples will experience some problem in conceiving and worldwide, that’s about 80 million couples.

Shouldn’t it be easier to get pregnant if you’ve already had a child?

There are two categories of infertility. Primary infertility occurs when a couple have not managed to conceive naturally.

Secondary infertility is when the couple have been through previous pregnancies (that can include having had children, or an episode of miscarriage) but on this occasion are finding it difficult to conceive naturally.

Interestingly, secondary infertility is far more common than primary infertility.

If you have had a child before, take a look at various factors. Are you trying for a baby with a different partner? Have you had any new and/or problematic medical conditions since you were last pregnant? Bear in mind that you’re inevitably older now and that age does have a direct affect on fertility, especially for women.

Also, now you have a child or children, your lifestyle may well be very different: stress, tiredness, diet and weight can all play their part in throwing hormones out of synch for you and your partner.

So what do we do now?

If you’ve been trying for a baby for less than a year then try to relax about the issue and don’t make it a problem for yourself mentally or for your relationship with your partner emotionally.

Read some of the other articles on Preconception and Conception and Fertility on this site. These will take you through the processes of charting your ovulation so you have a more accurate idea of when you are at your most fertile, they will also look at issues of health and lifestyle in enhancing your odds on getting pregnant naturally, and give you the lowdown on what you might expect if you have to go for ‘assisted conception’.

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You could also check out the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority website, which has a lot of useful information and downloads whether fertility has already become a problem or you just want to understand more about conception. It’s not half as daunting or academic as their title suggests!

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