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Not able to conceive- When to visit to doctor?

It should be kept in mind that, if there is no risk factors for Infertility or the wife’s age is less than 35 years and the husband’s age is less than 40 years ; after one cycle (one month) of regular frequent intercourse, the chance of conception in human being is only 15%. That means, out of 100 couples trying for conception, only 15 will be able to succeed after one month of trying.

The word “Regular” and “Frequent” are important; because to achieve pregnancy, couples are advised to keep intimate relationships for at least 2-3 times a week. Thus chance of pregnancy after 6 months, 12 months and 24 months of regular trying are respectively 60%, 80% and 100%.

Therefore, in most cases, usually we advise the couples to check for Fertility status, if a couple fails to conceive after one year of regular and frequent intercourse,. However, if there are factors to question fertility; we advise to start investigations six months after trying. This include the female with age more than 35 years, or with previous surgery in tubes/ ovaries/ uterus or known diseases like PCOS or fibroids or endometriosis or painful periods and irregular periods; or male partner with age more than 40 years, or having surgery in scrotum or groin or any hormonal problems or mumps or varicocele or sexual dysfunctions; or any one of them was treated for cancer.

Therefore, you should start investigations for infertility if you fail to conceive after 6-12 months of trying.

But should you consult doctor only after 6-12 months or before?

You must consult doctor even before you start planning for pregnancy. This is very important and is needed to ensure that both the mother and baby remain healthy during and after pregnancy. This is called “Preconceptional care”. This includes some routine tests like blood group, thalassaemia screening and tests for Rubella virus (this virus can cause birth defect in the baby).

Additionally, if you have diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, epilepsy or kidney diseases, these should be controlled before pregnancy, so that neither you nor your baby is harmed. Therefore, sometimes these parameters need to be tested and you need to change to safer medicines (some medicines used for high blood pressure or diabetes cannot be used in pregnancy).

Therefore, please visit your doctor once you plan for pregnancy. This is for preconceptional care. Next time, visit, if you fail to conceive after 6-12 months of trying.