There are some simple tests that check ovulation and sperm quality that can provide reassurance to couples so that to either try a little longer before more intensive investigation or to quickly identify a problem.
A woman’s chance of conceiving each month falls with age, especially in the late 30s and early 40s, so age is an important factor to consider. In some cases you may be encouraged to wait a while before any invasive tests are performed, for example, if you have been trying for only a few months, the woman is under 35, and there is nothing to suggest an anatomical problem.
On the other hand, couples that may need longer to conceive because the woman is older, require earlier investigations because there is less time left for conception.
There are circumstances when earlier advice should be sought, such as:
- lack of regular periods
- known low sperm count
- a previous operation to bring down a testis into the scrotum as a child
- previous treatments for cancer in either partner.
Get to know your chance of having a baby
A typical fertile couple in their mid-to-late 20s having regular sex have about a 20-25% chance of conceiving each month. After 6 months at least three-quarters of such couples will be pregnant, and after a year at least 90%. Click here to work out your chances of having a child given the length of time you and your partner have been trying for and your age.