Getting pregnant can be overwhelming for many couples, especially if it is taking longer than you expected. If you are having trouble conceiving, you do not have to go through it alone. Seeking expert advice can be very helpful and our doctors can provide the support and advice you need. We highly recommend that you make an appointment with your GP to give yourself the best chance of falling pregnant, even before you begin trying to conceive.
Preparing for Pregnancy
If you and your partner are thinking of starting a family, it is important to make an appointment with your SmartClinics GP. Conceiving is easier when you have all the facts. Your doctor will perform a general health check before looking at specific factors that can affect your fertility. They will make sure that you are up to date with your pap smear and assess any medications that you are currently on. They will screen for infectious diseases such as rubella, chicken pox, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Sexually transmitted diseases can affect male and female fertility and they can remain undiagnosed for many years, so it is important to test both you and your partner before you start trying to conceive.
Our GPs can also recommend any lifestyle changes that may increase your chances of falling pregnant, such as quitting smoking, diet, fitness, and reducing alcohol intake. A healthy lifestyle is important for both partners.
When it comes to getting pregnant, timing is everything. Our doctors can help identify the best time for you to have sexual intercourse every month to maximise your chances of conceiving. This time is called your fertility window and it refers to when your egg will be moving down the fallopian tube. If your period is quite regular, count back 14 days from your cycles usual first day to calculate your ovulation day. You and your partner should aim to have unprotected sex every second day during your fertile window, focusing on the two days prior to ovulation. You may notice physical symptoms during this time including an increased libido and changes in the consistency of your cervical mucus.
Why Can’t I Get Pregnant?
For both men and women there are many causes of infertility. We are born with some, such as abnormal anatomy and testicular obstruction. Others are acquired over time, such as endometriosis and production of sperm antibodies. In 40% of cases the cause of infertility is attributed to a sperm factor, in another 40% the cause is attributed to the female reproductive system. A third will have a combination of both male a female factors. The first step to helping you conceive is finding out what the problem is.
Some common fertility issues for women and men include:
- Irregular periods that may be related to ovulation disorders
- Gynaecological conditions PCOS and endometriosis
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Sexually transmitted infections
- BMI and general health
- Abnormal sperm production
- Blocked/absent vas deferens (tubes)
- The presence of sperm antibodies
- Genetic diseases
If you have been trying to conceive for some time your Doctor will look for any signs of the health issues above, and may request some additional tests such as:
- Ovulation test
- Egg count (AMH) test
- Full blood count to determine blood group (this may be bulk billed)
- A semen analysis which measures the number of sperm in a sample.
When to see your GP
Your SmartClinics GP is ready for any fertility concerns you may have. There is no time too early to be examined in your fertility journey.
It is particularly important to consult your GP if you are under 35 years old and haven’t fallen pregnant after 12 months of trying, over 35 years old and haven’t fallen pregnant after 6 months of trying or have a history of conditions which may affect fertility such endometriosis or pelvic infection.
At SmartClinics, our primary goal is to help you fall pregnant as naturally as possible. We understand that every couple is unique and requires special attention. Our doctors can provide you with answers to your fertility questions and recommend the next best step for you to take.
It’s important that you are treated by a Doctor who you feel you can connect with. To find a SmartClinics GP who has a special interest in fertility and family planning, or who meets your specific needs you might like to use our Doctor Search tool.