If you are struggling to get pregnant, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Current estimates suggest that the prevalence of infertility is around 12% of the reproductive-aged population, where infertility is defined as the failure to get pregnant after 12 months of trying to conceive. However, this can often be a difficult time for couples and being equipped with the right tools to navigate this is crucial. In this post, we will talk you through how to assess the next steps of your pregnancy journey together, including communication strategies, home testing, and discussions with your physician.
Trying to conceive is an important time in a couple’s lives and having trouble getting pregnant can often bring unwanted emotions. Communication is, therefore, key to discussing these feelings and can help understand the situation. Below are five communication strategies that should be considered for those struggling to get pregnant:
- Actively listen to your partner
- Avoid labeling and judging
- Communicate your feelings
- Express your needs
- Make physical contact
Whilst discussions with your doctor are the right way to go on your fertility journey, home fertility tests allow individuals to track their hormone levels and can be very useful to facilitate trying for a baby. There are numerous different tests available to facilitate your pregnancy journey, but what do these entail? You can purchase at-home tests for both men and women. The female tests include:
- Progesterone tests. Progesterone is a vital hormone in the menstrual cycle and its levels can be used to detect whether you have released an egg during your menstrual cycle, indicating a fertile period. These tests primarily comprise of finger prick test to collect a blood sample.
- Ovulation tests. When we think of fertility tests, we often think of ovulation tests, an at home test that measures the levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine. This is the least invasive of the home testing kits and solely involves a simple urine test. When the levels of LH rise, it triggers the ovary to release the egg and is a useful measure to determine when pregnancy is most likely to occur. The results of these tests are instant, often taking a matter of minutes to obtain.
Speak to your doctor
Many people often question when is the right time to speak with your doctor. However, there is no right answer to this, and every couple is different. It is advised to make an appointment with your doctor or a fertility specialist if you are of reproductive age and have not been able to conceive within 12 months of trying. Likewise, if you have tried any of the above fertility tests and the results indicate that something may be unusual, it is always a great idea to talk this through with your doctor and discuss your options moving forward. The process of seeing a fertility specialist does not have to be a daunting task, experts emphasize the importance of seeing a professional as early as you feel is necessary.