Infertility can be difficult to diagnose. So much affects our fertility – our general health, our emotional state, what kind of contraceptive we have been using, when and how often we have sex – that there a lot of reasons why conception may take longer than expected.

Some couples conceive immediately. Other perfectly healthy couples succeed only after 12 or 18 months – stress itself can have an impact on the reproductive system.

Most physicians will be prepared to start a preliminary investigation if you have been trying to conceive for over a year without success. In the case of prospective mothers in their mid-30’s or who have a history of miscarriage or pelvic infection, a physician may want to start investigating sooner or refer you to a specialist to see if there is any specific reason for failure to become pregnant. These investigations can take some months and involve both partners from the beginning. Most physicians are well aware that fertility is a sensitive topic. Even so, the process of investigation may seem intrusive, embarrassing, and lengthy, and can put a strain on your relationship.

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