National Infertility Awareness Week
National Infertility Awareness Week is a great opportunity to bring attention to the issue of infertility and spread awareness about fertility-related challenges. At Fertility Centers of New England, we see individuals every day who are struggling with infertility, and we want to provide some answers to the most common questions we receive. From how long couples should try on their own before meeting with a fertility specialist, to how best to time intercourse, and even how age affects fertility—we’re here to answer all of your questions.
Our focus is always on providing comprehensive information so that our patients can make informed decisions about their reproductive health. We hope that by answering some of these questions for you, you’ll realize that you’re not alone in this journey and if you need any further information, the team here at Fertility Centers of New England is here to help.
Common Questions About Fertility
How long should a couple try on their own before meeting with a fertility specialist?
For women under 35 years of age, it is reasonable for a couple to try on their own with regular unprotected intercourse for 12 months. If they have not successfully conceived in that time, we would recommend that they schedule a consultation to begin some fertility testing. For women over 35 years of age, they should schedule a consultation after 6 months of trying to conceive. If a woman has irregular periods or there is any reason to suspect an underlying fertility issue, we recommend that the couple seek care sooner.
What is the best way to time intercourse?
We generally recommend that a couple have intercourse, on average, every other day during their fertile window. The fertile window is typically defined as the 6 days leading up to ovulation. Ovulation can be detected using over-the-counter ovulation predictor kits.
At what age should a woman be concerned about her fertility?
All women experience a decline in their fertility and ovarian function over time. It’s not fair, but as women, our pool of eggs actually peaks when we are fetuses and begins to decline before we are even born! The speed at which the pool of eggs shrinks is different for every woman. Prior to age 35, most women are still quite fertile. After the age of 35, fertility rates decline, and miscarriage rates increase. After the age of 40, this decline in fertility occurs at a much more rapid pace. After the age of 43, a woman has a <5% chance of conceiving a healthy pregnancy with her own eggs. Many women do have healthy, successful pregnancies in their mid- to late- 40s with the help of donated eggs, however.
If I am not currently in a relationship, is there anything I can do to preserve my fertility?
Absolutely! Women who are not ready to conceive but would like to preserve their fertility for the future now have the option of freezing their eggs. We are very proud of our egg freezing success at Fertility Centers of New England. We have been freezing eggs since 2008 with excellent subsequent pregnancy rates.
The Importance of National Infertility Awareness Week
National Infertility Awareness Week is an annual event designed to increase awareness and education about infertility. This important week provides a platform to discuss the issues faced by people struggling with fertility-related challenges, and it encourages conversation on ways to help those affected. We believe that this awareness can lead to better support for these individuals, which in turn can assist in reducing the stigma surrounding infertility. By increasing our understanding of the issues faced by those who are struggling with infertility, we hope that more people will be able to access resources and gain greater control over their reproductive health.
We’d be honored to help you build the family of your dreams. Fertility is a journey, and if you’re ready to take the first step, you can book an initial consultation with us here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016, but was updated in April 2023.