Women who have struggled unsuccessfully to conceive for over 1 year still have a good chance at getting pregnant, a new study suggests. As part of a long-term Australian study, 1,400 women age 28 to 36 were followed after reporting they’d tried unsuccessfully to conceive for at least a year.
Interestingly, 44% of the women who struggled with conception and did not receive fertility treatment eventually became pregnant. That’s pretty close to the 55% who pursued fertility treatments and subsequently became pregnant.
These data suggest that perhaps these couples are dealing with sub-fertility rather than infertility.
Danielle Herbert, a researcher involved in the study commented that “Many women aged up to 36 years with a history of infertility can achieve spontaneous conception and live birth without using fertility treatment indicating they are sub-fertile rather than infertile.”
These data are not surprising to many fertility experts.
Dr. Courtney Lynch, head of reproductive epidemiology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, states that IVF is generally pursued as a method to speed-up time to conception.
It may be worthwhile for 20-somethings with sub-fertility to wait a little longer before they seek fertility treatments. However, for women in their late 30s, another year is a long time to wait to conceive.
Experts caution that even if you are planning to wait to pursue fertility treatments, couples who have struggled for more than a year to conceive should have a complete fertility evaluation.
An exam can determine if there are any obvious causes of infertility such as low sperm count or blocked tubes.