What is infertility?
Empower yourself with early diagnosis
Did you know that one in six Australian couples will have a fertility issue at some point in their lives or that one in 10 couples will have trouble conceiving their second child? The number of people with infertility in Australia means that there’s at least one child in every classroom born through IVF.
While it might seem like everyone else around you is popping out babies and the world is filled with pregnant bellies and baby showers, these figures show you’re not alone. Here at Genea, we see people who are struggling to conceive every day and we help them with our world leading fertility science, care and advice. We can help you too.
It’s generally agreed by doctors that if a couple has been having regular, unprotected sex for 12 months without conceiving then they have a fertility problem. If you’re over 35 years old, that time period drops to six months.
For women aged between 25 and 35, there’s an average 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle and roughly 85 to 90% of couples in this age bracket will conceive within the first 12 months of trying. For younger women, the chance of getting pregnant each month is higher and for older women it can be considerably lower.
The reason why you’re having trouble getting pregnant could be something simple like your diet or a more complex medical disorder such as endometriosis or a low sperm count. We strongly believe in accurately diagnosing the cause of infertility as soon as possible and we’re experts at it. Not only because it gives you clarity, but also because the earlier you embark on the correct treatment, the higher your chance of having a baby.
Our research shows that on average it takes couples 26 months to actually start treatment for fertility issues. If you’re 37 when you start trying, a delay of that timeframe could mean you are significantly decreasing your ultimate chance of success.
By 40, women who can’t conceive naturally have a far lower chance of success, even with treatments like IVF. More on age and success rates.
Testing your fertility
Your GP can conduct a series of simple tests to find out what’s happening or, if you’re in the Sydney area, you can come and see Genea's Fertility GP. If you’d prefer to see a doctor who specialises in infertility, you can ask your GP for a referral to see one of Genea’s highly qualified Fertility Specialists.
Our Fertility Specialists will conduct a thorough investigation into your reproductive health and conduct some simple tests to get to the bottom of why you’re not getting pregnant.
For women, these fertility tests usually include some blood tests and ultrasounds to check for ovulation and specific fertility conditions and ovarian reserve. Other tests may be needed to check your fallopian tubes and the condition of your uterus. Read more about female fertility tests.
For men, the most important fertility test is a semen analysis which measures the number of sperm, the motility (movement) and morphology (shape). Read more about semen analysis and the other types of male fertility testing.
Causes of female infertility
A woman’s fertility can be affected by:
Causes of male infertility
When the difficulty getting pregnant is due to male infertility, the problem could be:
- Obstruction or absent vas deferens (tubes)
- Low sperm count and/or poor sperm production
- High numbers of abnormally shaped sperm
- Absent sperm production
- Anti-sperm antibodies
- Sperm DNA fragmentation
- Genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or a chromosomal abnormality
Achieve the best possible fertility outcome you can by arming yourself with knowledge and getting a plan. Get diagnosed early and take control of your fertility again - it is the single most important step you can take.