Blog

Trying to conceive? When it’s time to reconsider your options

For many couples trying to conceive, it can be a tough journey especially when it just isn’t happening naturally; it can be frustrating, stressful and upsetting for both partners. Dr Sonya Jessup from Demeter Fertility, has been through the IVF process herself, explains how to give yourself the best chance at having a baby in 2014.


For many couples trying to conceive, it can be a tough journey especially when it just isn’t happening naturally; it can be frustrating, stressful and upsetting for both partners. Dr Sonya Jessup from Demeter Fertility, has been through the IVF process herself, explains how to give yourself the best chance at having a baby in 2014.

Many factors lead to infertility and there is no single cause why some couples have difficulties conceiving. Couples generally are leaving having a baby until a lot later than they used to and that is having an impact on overall fertility, as fertility declines with age. Today a large proportion of the young population, don’t even feel ready to have and look after a child until well into their 30’s or even 40’s. After years of taking contraception, there is an expectation that falling pregnant will happen quickly which often is not the case.

There are many good reasons for delaying starting a family but the downside is that with increasing age comes decreasing fertility due to a range of reasons but mainly due to the decreasing quality of the eggs.  Women over 40 have a 1 in 20 chance of falling pregnant naturally each month, and this declines even further with increasing age. IVF can improve the chances of conceiving each month considerably.

Infertility affects men too. Sperm count and motility decrease as males get older, so their chance of fertility also declines. Studies show that around 1 in 10 men with no previous history of illness or trauma often have a very low sperm count.  

Dr Jessup suggests answering the below questions and if any of these apply to you, it may be time to seek the advice of a Fertility Specialist by asking your GP for a referral to see a specialist as a starting point, rather than as a last resort. Delaying too long is one of the main problems that lead to long term infertility.

  • Do you want to have a baby or a family?
  • Are you concerned about the time it has taken you to conceive?
  • Do you already know of a medical reason why you or your partner may have fertility problems?
  • Do you suspect there may be a reason based on you and your partners' past?
  • Are you single and wanting a baby?

“Many couples think that they will conceive naturally within about 3-6 months of trying and are surprised when it doesn’t happen. Anyone who is concerned about a delay in conceiving is encouraged to seek specialist fertility advice promptly. There is no longer a “length of time” that any person or couple should wait for assessment, advice and treatment if it is required. Often just seeking professional advice makes couples feel more positive about the whole experience and gives some clarity around what might be happening,” says Dr Jessup.

“Remember that everyone’s fertility journeys are different, and no two couples are the same” says Dr Jessup. “IVF need not be the long and difficult process it was in the past. I advise my patients to lead a completely normal life during an IVF cycle. That means working as usual, coffee in the morning, a glass of wine when catching up with friends and family and the return to a completely normal sex life, where sex is fun again, and not just aimed at “conceiving”. 

If a woman is older, not every egg is normal, and a number of IVF cycles may be needed to find a good quality embryo that grows into a baby. The ability to lead a normal life during this time is just so important.” 

Demeter Fertility’s Dr Sonya Jessup knows exactly what it is like to be a woman trying to fall pregnant. Having gone down the IVF path herself whilst in her 40’s, in 2012 she gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy Samuel.

Dr Jessup and her husband, Dr David Knight are both fertility experts from Demeter Fertility in Sydney. The couple managed to conceive using a frozen embryo after three cycles of IVF. Dr Jessup, who has four children from a previous marriage, and Dr Knight who has three older children, said the process was a difficult, emotional rollercoaster but was completely worth it, and gave them both a first-hand experience of what their patients go through.

Sonya says she would highly recommend IVF despite the emotional and logistical hardship couples face, as they got their beautiful son Samuel out of it. Although it is a challenge, it is certainly a positive step forward for couples who are struggling with fertility issues.

Dr Jessup’s advises, “If you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and are concerned, regardless of how long or your age, my strong advice is to see a fertility specialist.”

Book An Appointment
Ask A Question
Request More Information

Call 1300 899 850 or
Send an Enquiry