If you are having problems conceiving, remember – you are not the only one. It is estimated that 150,000 or one in seven couples in Yorkshire and the Humber are having difficulty conceiving. Though the majority of these couples will become pregnant naturally given time, a significant minority will not. Of 100 couples trying to conceive naturally:
- 20 will conceive within one month
- 70 will conceive within six months
- 85 will conceive within a year
- 90 will conceive within 18 months
- 95 will conceive within two years
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) define infertility as failing to get pregnant after two years of regular unprotected sex. Infertility is the commonest reason for women aged 20-45 to see their GP, after pregnancy itself. Here’s the experience of one of my patients:
It’s like a game of snakes and ladders. At the start of the cycle I try to make myself feel positive and reassure myself that this month it could happen. I eat well, try to stay relaxed. We have sex knowing it’s ‘baby-sex’ mid-cycle but still I try to inject some enthusiasm into it. All the time my hope is building, like climbing a ladder in snakes and ladders. Then, I go to the loo on day 30 of my cycle and see a small spot of blood. I sit there and feel a crushing wave of disappointment. Another month wasted. Another slide down the ladder. All the hope evaporates.Kathryn, trying to conceive for two years.
Couples trying to conceive can quickly feel isolated, despondent, frustrated, sad and confused. NHS services can seem confusing and standards of care vary enormously between establishments. Just when a couple have decided the time is right for them to raise a child, they can experience frustrating NHS waiting times and can feel that they are wasting precious time. A diagnosis of subfertility or infertility can be devastating, leaving partners feeling guilty, hurt and angry. It can put a strain on a relationship as one partner feels more responsible or is more active in trying to resolve the issue or as pressure to conceive mounts.
Some couples choose to have acupuncture before trying to conceive naturally to optimise their health and promote wellbeing. Others may come once they have received a diagnosis for subfertility or infertility or are due to have IVF. My patients are at different stages of the fertility process. I treat women being prescribed clomid/ clomiphene, women having donor insemination and couples having IUI as well as women and couples having IVF and ICSI. I have worked with many same sex couples using donor sperm. Some of my patients who have had successful pregnancies are willing to talk to others who are thinking about whether to have acupuncture treatment – please ask if this would be useful for you.
Download my free guide
I’ve written a free guide for couples who are trying to conceive, answering some commonly asked questions.