How does pregnancy occur? In short, sperm meets egg. This is a very simple way of explaining it, but it helps in explaining what we do in terms of investigations and treatment in cases of delayed pregnancy.
Delayed pregnancy is defined as actively trying to get pregnant for one year. Exceptions to this rule will include men and women who are known to have conditions that make conceiving difficult such as irregular or very long periods, PCO, potency issues, etc.
On average, 30% of couples trying to get pregnant will succeed in getting pregnant every month. So, if we follow 100 couples, after one month of trying, 30 are pregnant and 70 are not. Thus, after 12 months of trying, 10 of the original couples are not yet pregnant. It is these 10 couples who may need help.
Sometimes, if the woman is older than 38 or so, it may not be recommended to wait for one more year of trying. While male fertility seems to be less dependent on age, female fertility drops after age 35 and drops faster as her age increases. At about 42-43 years of age, the chances of pregnancy in women using their own eggs can drop to very low levels.