It can be very confusing and painful when our bodies fail to do what we expect of them. When a couple fail to get pregnant, or are not able to maintain a pregnancy to full term, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Should you try again? Or is it time to start thinking of other ways to start a family?
NHS statistics suggest that one in eight couples experience difficulty in conceive. There is evidence to suggest that one third of difficulties are associated with the woman and one third are associated with the man. The remaining third is difficult to pinpoint.
There are many reasons a woman may not fall pregnant, including...
• Problems with the womb or fallopian tubes
• Early menopause (POI)
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
• Thyroid problems
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
• Chronic long-term illness
Seventy five percent of all male infertility is cause by abnormal semen including...
• Low sperm count
• Low sperm mobility
• Abnormal sperm
There are other factors that affect both men and women, including...
The first step when facing infertility is your GP who will be able to refer you for tests and outline any fertility treatment that might be applicable. With NHS cutbacks access to IVF is becoming an additional challenge for couples.
There are two main types of infertility...
• Primary infertility, where a child has never been conceived
• Secondary infertility, where a child has been conceived in the past but pregnancy is no longer happening despite unprotected regular sex.
Stress is a factor in infertility for some couples. Couples sometime struggle to manage the complex feelings associated with difficulties starting a family. Counselling provides a space to consider your thoughts and feelings without being judged. Counselling can also help with the sense of loss and grief infertility can bring up. Both men and women very often suggest they feel a failure if the medical problems lie with them. The additional stress placed on the relationship can also be thought about in therapy. Seeing a qualified counsellor may be helpful to help you process your feelings.