A couple that is unable to get pregnant after trying for 12 or more months is considered to suffer from infertility. A medical evaluation can determine what underlying condition is likely contributing. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 6.1 million women between the ages of 15-44 have difficulty trying to conceive in the United States alone .
How Can Fertility Awareness and Charting Help?
Fertility charting can help make the most of existing fertility with and without other treatment. Many couple experiencing fertility problems are not completely infertile, but instead suffer from conditions that make getting pregnant more difficult. Fertility awareness methods can help identify the best times for intercourse. This helps couples maximize their chances of getting pregnant.
A typical female will have 13 cycles in the course of 1 year. This corresponds to 13 chances to conceive (assuming all cycles are ovulatory). If intercourse is not appropriately timed, sperm may have no chance of uniting with the female egg during some cycles. Normally this is not a problem and averages out. Eventually intercourse timing lines up and the couple gets pregnant. Women suffering from fertility may have far fewer than 13 chances to conceive in a year. Ovulation may not occur in every cycle. Even if it does, other conditions relating to both male and female fertility may make conception more difficult.
Couples suffering from infertility have fewer or less effective opportunities to conceive. It therefore becomes important to maximize the odds of getting pregnant in every way possible. Fertility charting can help. By identifying ovulation it enables couples to maximize their chances. It can also be used to help diagnose fertility problems. Other medical options can be explored while continuing to use fertility awareness techniques. Couples should consult their doctor for further information. Women who have been charting should bring their charts with them.
How Do I Know if I am Infertile?
As each cycle passes without a successful pregnancy, anxiety can rise. Sometimes couples can begin to panic too quickly. In general you should seek medical advice if you are unable to conceive after trying for 12 or more months. Women over the age of 35 should see a doctor after trying unsuccessfully for 6 months. Your doctor can best assess your situation and explain your options. Couples already using fertility awareness techniques should see a doctor sooner if they are unsuccessful. Most couples will conceive much faster compliments of fertility charting. If you do not conceive after 6 months of charting, an early diagnosis may be possible and you should see your doctor.
The fertility awareness techniques described on this site can still benefit most types of diagnosis. It can even compliment many treatment options. You should consult your doctor if you suspect that you or your partner may suffer from infertility after trying to conceive. Infertility has many causes. Some common causes of infertility follow:
- Low sperm count
- Hormonal deficiencies
- Infrequent intercourse
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Uterine conditions
Even if you have not been diagnosed with any fertility problems or have not been trying long enough to justify inquiring, fertility charting can help. Studies have found that fertile couples who chart female fertility can get pregnant much faster (up to 5-7 times faster). This is possible by timing intercourse to coincide with ovulation. Pregnancy odds can be greatly improved by creating more opportunities for the sperm and egg to unite.
More details on the effectiveness of these methods are available here.
What is Fertility Awareness and Fertility Charting?
Fertility awareness is a term used to describe a method of predicting ovulation and fertility. It asks women to record different symptoms from day to day to look for patterns indicative of increased fertility. These symptoms may include oral temperature, cervical mucus observations, cervix status, saliva ferning patterns, etc. These patterns can be charted to facilitate analysis of changes throughout a given menstrual cycle. This is why the term fertility charting is frequently used to describe this technique.
For a more detailed introduction to fertility charting, you should consider reading the page on this site that covers trying to get pregnant. It also recommends additional links to help teach you how to use these techniques.
Recommended Resource for More Information:
 The National Center for Health Statistics. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/fertile.htm
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