Most of us enter the “trying to conceive” arena armed with whatever we learned as teenagers about getting pregnant. Our educators were so focused on delivering lessons about safe sex and pregnancy avoidance that many of the details of the how the male and female reproductive systems actually work were glossed over. It is no wonder we all assume that when the time is right, and we stop contraception, pregnancy will just happen. It’s that easy, right? Certainly, that was the take away for most of us.
For most part, that is the truth. But what we never learned is that 20 percent of those boys and girls would experience infertility. We also likely didn’t learn ways to proactively identify the early signs and symptoms of this rather pervasive, surprisingly common disease.
To achieve a pregnancy, the male and female reproductive systems must first execute a complex sequence of interdependent processes to produce sperm and egg and prepare the female body for conception and pregnancy. Next, the sperm must find their way to the egg and fertilize it in order to create an embryo. The embryo must implant in the uterus where it develops for the next 9 months. Any breakdown in this process—hormone imbalances, structural anomalies, and even poor timing of intercourse—can result in no conception.
The great news is that a specialist can easily treat most of these problems. The key—as with most diseases—is prevention and early intervention.
We’ve designed this section to give you a basic understanding of the mechanics behind female and male reproduction, a knowledge and understanding of which can go a long, long way toward proactively identifying potential problems, knowing how to optimize and preserve fertility, and knowing when and where to seek help if pregnancy doesn’t happen so easily.
more information about fertility health
Develop a good foundation of knowledge about the basics of your reproductive system. Knowledge and awareness will help you spot problems and act on them early.
Up to 50 percent of all infertility cases is due to a problem with sperm quality or quantity. Learn about the male reproductive system and its impact on conception.
Three basic tests are usually all that is needed to find the cause of a couple’s inability to conceive. Learn what to expect during these tests.
A timely first consultation is an important step that can result in a greater number of available treatment options. Find out when to see a specialist.