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Family Planning and Fertility

Most couples who are trying to get pregnant will likely conceive within a year of trying. If you haven’t become pregnant after 12 months of regular, unprotected sex, then it is worth seeing your GP.

If you are female and over 36 or have any other concerns about your overall health and fertility, it will be worth seeing your Doctor sooner.

The GP will ask about previous pregnancies and any complications at your appointment, plus whether either partner has had children before. It is always best for both partners to be at the appointment as fertility issues can affect men and women.

The Doctor will also ask how long you have been trying to conceive and how regularly you have sex. You may find this sort of discussion a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing, but it is always best to be open and honest.

Other factors like your medical history, medication you take and lifestyle (your weight, whether you drink or smoke, your stress levels) can also affect fertility, so your GP will explore these with you too.

Remember, the GP is there to help you, and anything you say is confidential.

Physical examinations of both partners may help to identify any potential causes of infertility. Following this, your GP may refer you to specialist fertility treatment.

The type of treatment the NHS can offer you will depend on the nature of the problem. Options will include prescribing medication, surgical procedures or assisted conception, such as in vitro fertilisation, more commonly known as IVF.

You can read more about fertility treatment options on the NHS website.


Date published: 18th August, 2023
Date last updated: 22nd August, 2023