The decision to start a family is an emotional rollercoaster for most couples. There are a lot of ups and downs. Anxiety is coupled with hope, and excitement matched with fear, but for some couples, the experience becomes much more dominated by stress and unanswered questions as difficulties with fertility become apparent.
Only 30% of couples are able to get pregnant on their first try. For the vast majority of couples, it takes between three and six months to conceive a child, once they have decided to start trying. But for almost 20% of couples, the task of getting pregnant can take even longer, with many trying for more than a year to finally conceive.
Infertility is not spoken of as openly as it ought to be, and for this reason, many couples are caught unaware by the problem—thinking incorrectly that it is a rare issue or something that they had little risk of experiencing. Once difficulty with conception becomes apparent, it is all too easy for couples to start pointing fingers at one another, putting the blame squarely on one or the other.
This is a dangerous approach to take when considering fertility issues, however. In addition to putting undue stress on the relationship, only focusing on one partner leaves half of the fertility equation completely unconsidered. Frequently, small fertility concerns present in both partners contribute to difficulty with conception. When both partners are tested for fertility concerns a more comprehensive perspective can be attained, saving you a great deal of time and stress as you begin to work around medical concerns that could prevent you from easily conceiving.
One of the big misconceptions surrounding fertility issues is that once you are unable to conceive easily, you won’t be able to conceive at all. There are millions of cases in which couples were unable to conceive easily in their first few months, but were then able to overcome one or more of the boundaries that prevented them from obtaining an easy conception and to ultimately become pregnant.
Causes of Infertility
Infertility can be caused by a wide range of reasons and can be caused by either the male or female partner. There are many cases in which the cause of the fertility concern is a combination of health issues from both partners.
Here is a quick list of some of the most common causes of fertility problems:
- Emotional stress or physical stress, including mental distress
- Autoimmune disease
- Irregular menstruation
- Low sperm count
- Nutritional deficiency caused by poor diet
- Excessive alcohol use
This is just a short list of the highly complex factors that go into conceiving a child. New studies are conducted regularly determining additional concerns that could influence fertility. For example, a recent study found that depression in the male partner could increase the risk of infertility thanks to the influence that depression has on male sperm count. Mental health concerns in the female partner have long been identified as having an impact on fertility, but with rising awareness on the influence of male mental health, the conversation regarding fertility issues has continued to evolve. In addition, increased age in either partner can heighten the risk of fertility concerns, but there are solutions that can help you conceive around these barriers.
Creating a child is a beautiful and complex experience, one that should never be underestimated in its complexity. Sure, there are people who accidentally become pregnant, or who are able to conceive without difficulty, but the more you learn about fertility the more you will realize that those stories are actually far from being the norm. Working with a fertility expert can help you identify and ideally overcome any obstacles that may be preventing you from conceiving. Having both partners involved in that conversation and identifying the underlying factors in both partners that may be contributing to infertility will provide a more comprehensive and helpful overview of the issue, potentially leading to a quicker resolution of the concern.