Expert advice

Rebecca Martin: fertility expert

Rebecca Martin is a Naturopath and Herbalist who specialises in reproductive health. Rebecca consults and presents for various health sectors alongside working in her Sydney city practice, CBD Natural Health.

Conceiving

Thursday, September 20, 2007
In Australia, 80 percent of all couples conceive in the first year of trying and 90 percent within 18 months.

Question:
How long should it take to conceive? I've heard an average of six months.

Answer:
This depends on the age of the couple trying. Couples in their mid twenties have around a 25 percent chance of conception in a given cycle and 75 percent of couples in this age group will conceive within six months.

This drops to 15 percent per cycle for a couple in their early thirties, with 60 percent conceiving within six months.

Couples aged between 35 and 39 have a 10 percent chance in any given cycle and 25 percent will conceive within six months.

In Australia, 80 percent of all couples conceive in the first year of trying and 90 percent within 18 months.

Factors influencing a couple's chance of conception are the age of the woman, followed by male infertility, lifestyle factors and of course coital frequency. With ageing of women comes an increase in reproduction-related problems such as endometriosis, ovarian failure and fibroids.

Male infertility can be caused by trauma or structural defects of the testes, excessive heat or radiation, nutritional deficiencies, prescription drugs, recreational drugs and environmental toxin exposure. Stress, alcohol and smoking can also adversely affect male fertility.

If you have a history of irregular periods, pelvic injury or surgery, genitor-urinary infections or a family history of infertility or miscarriages, it would be wise to see a fertility specialist before trying to conceive.


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