Infertility or subfertility as it is now usually called affects about 5 percent of couples. It means an inability to get pregnant. However, only if a couple tries for a pregnancy for 12 months back-to-back and doesn’t get pregnant, then and then only that couple meets the definition of subfertility. So if a couple tries for say 3 months (which is less than 12 months), they DO NOT meet the definition of infertility.
The point is if you haven’t tried for at least 12 months, then you haven’t tried enough, and hence, do not go to the doctor.
85 percent of normal couples get pregnant in the 1st year of trying. 95 percent of normal couples get pregnant by the end of second year of trying. The remaining 5 percent are the actual couples who need help from doctors.
Let’s look into what are the causes of infertility. In 30 percent cases, there is a problem with the female partner. In 30 percent there is a problem with the male partner. In the remaining cases the cause is unexplained or unknown even after all investigations.
If you are more than 35 years of age and do not manage to get pregnant by 6 months of trying, you can go to your gynaecologist. If you are less than 35, go to your gynaecologist only after trying for at least 1year.
Egg quality starts to deteriorate rapidly after age of 35. Hence it is medically prudent to plan your family before 35 years of age. If for some reason, you are not in a position to start your family before 35, or incase you are not sure, or you are undergoing any treatment which may compromise your ovary function, consider getting you eggs frozen in advance so that they can be used later whenever needed.
Infertility is not a taboo. It affects very few couples. Most couples enter the infertility route only because they went to their doctor too soon, and did not try enough.
And last but not the least, to all couples trying for a baby, please take your folic acid.
Dr. Sanchaita Das Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynecology
Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Barasat