Ready for babies
You've met the love of your life. He's the one, and you know it. He is everything you want him to be, and on top of that, it looks like he is going to be a great father, too. He wants to be a dad, he's interested in providing for his kids. He wants to shape a little human into a bigger, better human – kind of leave a mark of legacy behind, a legacy of hope in this big bad world. Basically, what you want to do too, plus, your mother has been bugging you about grandchildren.
So you do the couple thing and start trying to get pregnant. It happens to everyone around you easily enough, and you think it'll probably be the same for you. I mean, why not? Having a baby is one of the easiest things to do – in fact, it's kind of one of the main things women don't even have to try too hard to do. Right?
It takes time
Wrong. And for many women, having a baby takes much longer than you would think.
Having a baby isn't always as easy as 1, 2, 3 – and many couples don't realize that. Most people think that all you have to do is do the deed and get the baby – but statistics everywhere show that this is not true.
But why isn't it true? Why is having a baby more difficult than it is originally portrayed? And, how long should you wait to start worrying that you're not getting pregnant?
Doctors say that conception should be as simple as getting off contraceptive methods and having unprotected sex. The recommended time to wait is about one and a half to two years before it is time to go see a specialist. Actually, if you are 35 and above, six months of trying is enough of an alarm bell to ring. Especially if you have been trying and there are no pre-existing deterring factors, such as if you take medications for asthma or you have epilepsy, if you're a smoker or if you have irregular periods, for example.
Guide to action
The point of seeing a professional is to give you hope. Not being able to conceive is not always a permanent thing – many couples conceive in the second year after trying all through the first.
Medical professionals are better able to guide you towards possible courses of action – such as stopping certain medications or treating conditions that could be responsible.
It could even just be the timing of your cycle and paying attention to ovulation days and frequency of sex (three times a week on different days for 12 consecutive months is a well-advised target). After all, women can only get pregnant on a few days of the month!
And what happens if you do find out that the problem is deeper than just counting days? Infertility is a condition that affects millions of men and women (7.3 million in America alone, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) for varied reasons.
For example, chlamydia, the STI, can sometimes result in infertility. In women, age is also a determinant for how easily a woman can bear a child, if at all.
There are other options to consider, such as adoption, which is not only noble but gives a child who has no parents a chance at a life with people who care about the child before they even have a child.
There is also surrogacy, in the event that it is one partner who is infertile, or IVF if the man has poor sperm quality/mobility or the woman has severely damaged fallopian tubes.
There is a lot that modern medicine can do today, for couples who want children. But the first step is, of course, to visit a doctor so you know exactly what you're dealing with.