What is infertility and what causes it?
Did you know that one in six Australian couples will have a fertility issue – something meddling with their baby-making at some point in their lives and that one in 10 couples will have trouble conceiving their second child?
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’ve been helping people make babies for more than 30 years – that’s a whole lot of tiny feet pitter-pattering across Australia. And our baby-making technology also helps bring plenty more babies into the world, around the world.
We see people who are struggling to have a baby every day and we help them with our personalised fertility science, care and advice. We can help you too.
So, what is infertility? We asked the Doc and he said if you’ve been having regular, unprotected sex for 12 months without conceiving then you have a fertility problem and possibly infertility. If you’re over 35 years old, that time period drops to six months.
Now infertility is not all about women. It’s a pretty even split with approximately 40% of infertility cases caused by issues on the man’s side and 40% caused by problems on the woman’s side of things (the other 20% of cases are considered unexplained infertility).
Here's our 101 on female and male fertility.
Despite all of that, most of the info about your chance of getting pregnant is based on a woman’s age. Because … well … medicine.
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 lifestyle 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 our baby-making experts are experts at solving your fertility puzzle. The reason we go on about it is not just because it gives you clarity, but also because the earlier you embark on the correct, personalised treatment plan, 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.
Testing your fertility
If you think there might be some baby-making meddlers messing with 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 head straight to the top and 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 conduct a thorough investigation into your reproductive health and run 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.