Fertility and infertility

Fertility is the ability to conceive and have children. Most of us take our fertility for granted but the process of reproduction is complex and sometimes couples experience difficulties when they try to have a baby.

If you are planning to have a baby there are some things you and your partner can do to improve your chance of conceiving and having a healthy baby.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months or more of unprotected intercourse. About one in nine couples experience fertility difficulties. There are many reasons for this, some relating to the male partner and some to the female partner. If you suspect an infertility problem, talk to your GP who will guide you through the steps of an infertility investigation.

For people who have been diagnosed with cancer, fertility preservation is an important consideration if there is a chance that their cancer treatment may affect their fertility. 

Increasingly, fertility preservation is now also being used for non-medical purposes. Egg freezing for social reasons has seen a rise in demand in recent years.