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Have you been trying to conceive for around a year or for longer? Do not be dismayed because you are not alone. Around 1 in 4 couples in Nigeria are challenged by infertility, but the good news is that there is a solution and an appreciable number of infertile couples that seek help, do go on to conceive and give birth to their own biological children.

Even though pregnancy may appear quite easy to achieve, the reverse is actually the case. Conception is often more difficult than you’ve assumed, especially the older you get. You may think that human reproduction is a much more efficient process than it really is, but it is not like that.

The fact is that there are often many surprises, and disappointments that might come with failure in your first few attempts and this would tell you that there is actually a lot more that you need to know on how to get pregnant that you probably never heard from your parents or friends.

First of all, rest assured that the odds are definitely with you. About 85 percent of all couples will get pregnant within a year, but it’s also wise to have some realistic expectations. The average time it takes to conceive, for instance, is about six months, and women aged below 35 should wait until they’ve tried for a year before they consider calling their doctor or a fertility specialist with concerns.

The picture changes for older women. Not only could it take longer to conceive, but there are fewer chances of succeeding. If you are 35 or older and you think things aren’t quite right with your reproductive cycle, for instance, maybe your menstrual cycle is off, you should consult your physician fairly quickly, best within three months if you’re not pregnant yet. If things seem absolutely fine, then you should contact someone after six months.

Postponing childbirth until later in life, for whatever reasons often reduce the odds for a successful pregnancy. A woman’s fertility reduces as she advances in age. Just because you see one 40 or 45-year-old woman getting pregnant does not mean there’s no problem waiting to conceive. You need to understand the biological realities that go along with such life choices and realize that by waiting, there’s an increasing risk you’ll stumble or be unsuccessful in your quest for parenthood.

The fact is, there’s still only one way to get pregnant, and this is by a sperm fertilizing the woman’s egg, which can happen for only about 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, which is approximately 14 days before the end of your monthly cycle.  So many things can go wrong during this intricate series of processes. For instance, ovulation sometimes can be harder to predict if your cycles are irregular, and if you are getting older, your monthly cycles first get shorter, then longer, the closer you get to menopause.

There are some relatively controllable factors that may be slowing down your ability to conceive. For you, it could be overweight or underweight, eating disorders, smoking, and drinking. For men, smoking and drinking can reduce sperm count.

Treatment of infertility has a wide range of options. Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination and Assisted Reproductive Technology, etc. Several of these treatments are combined. In most cases, infertility is treated with drugs or surgery. Specific treatments for infertility is based on test results, how long you have been trying to get pregnant, your age and age of your spouse, and your overall health status. If the man is having sexual problems, doctors can help him to deal with impotence or premature ejaculation.

Sometimes surgery can correct the cause of low sperm production, but doctors can surgically remove sperm directly from the reproductive tract. Antibiotics can also be used to clear up infections affecting sperm count. Sometimes semen has no sperm because of a block in the system and in some cases, surgery can correct the problem.

In women, physical problems can also be corrected with surgery. A number of fertility medicines are used to treat women with ovulation problems. It is important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of these medicines. You should understand the possible dangers, benefits, and side effects. 

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