Most healthy couples are able to conceive within a year, though many are surprised that it can take several cycles of trying before that positive pregnancy test occurs. Generally, a couple is considered to be facing infertility issues when they have gone a full year of trying without being able to conceive. If you fall into this category, the best thing you can do is see your OBGYN (who may refer you to a reproductive specialist). Still, it can be helpful to be aware of some of the more common causes of infertility in both females and males.
Short Luteal Phase
A woman's luteal phase is the period of time that occurs after ovulation and before implantation or menstruation. In most women, a luteal phase lasts 10 days or more. For those trying to conceive, this gives the uterus lining time to build up for healthy conception. Unfortunately, women with shorter luteal phases (less than 10 days) can have trouble getting pregnant because of uterine lining does not have time to build up as needed before implantation.
Most women assume that if they have a period, it must mean they're ovulating. In reality, things aren't quite that simple. Many women have cycles where they don't ovulate at all but still have a period. Even for otherwise healthy women, this can occur once a year or more. Anovulatory cycles only become a problem when they're recurring because without ovulation, no egg is released and therefore conception cannot occur.
The best way for women to determine whether they're ovulating (and if so, when) is to track/chart their basal body temperature and use ovulation predictor tests.
Low Sperm Count
Of course, reproductive challenges in females aren't the only contributor to infertility. Males can suffer from a number if complications that can prevent or delay conception. A low sperm count is one of the most common causes of infertility, which is why most doctors will recommend a sperm analysis of the male after a couple goes a year or more without conceiving. Often times, issues with sperm count can be helped with medical intervention, but each case is unique.
Having trouble conceiving can be disheartening for any couple, but the good news is that there are plenty of treatments out there to help improve your chances. If you've been trying to conceive for more than a year without luck, now is the time to call your OBGYN for further guidance. You can also click here for info about this topic.