Trying to Conceive
When a couple is trying to conceive, the sperm will first need to be produced and then matured in the male reproductive tract. The act of intercourse will deposit the sperm near the woman's cervix, where it will need to make its way into the uterus, and then along the fallopian tubes. This is where the sperm will attempt to encounter an egg that has been released from the female ovary. Conception starts at the moment of fertilisation, when the sperm penetrates the outer shell of the egg, and an embryo is formed.
Over the next four to six days the embryo moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus, and implants in the lining of the uterus where it will hopefully continue to grow.
This is a complicated sequence of events, because all of the following will need to be in place for the process to occur:
- Regular egg production by the ovaries (ovulation)
- Healthy sperm, with the ability to move (motility) and the correct shape (morphology)
- Unblocked and healthy fallopian tubes and uterus
How can we maximise our chances of conceiving?
You should have unprotected intercourse every two to three days, and most importantly about two days before the female partner ovulates.
Sperm can survive in the fallopian tubes for about two or three days, so this ensures sperm will be present when the egg is released from the ovary.
Why is my age also important?
The number one factor affecting a couple’s chances of conceiving is the woman’s age, as the number of healthy eggs your ovary contains will dramatically decline as you age – especially once you are over 35.
Most people start to consider seeking professional advice after six months of trying, and it’s more important that you do so if you are over 35 years.