Dear Alice,

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for five months without any success. What's wrong?

Dear Reader,

Nothing may be wrong except your expectations. We seem to be living in a time when we expect immediate results about many things. It takes on average about eight months for couples to become pregnant. Clearly, there are women who become pregnant immediately. (Alice finds that those conceptions are usually for the people who are not trying!)

The chances of a woman becoming pregnant depends on both her and her partner's fertility, as well as what time of the month and how frequently they are having intercourse. You say you have been trying for five months. Alice wonders what you mean by "trying." Several of the following factors play a role: How old are you and your partner? Do you have regular monthly periods? Have you stopped using all forms of contraception? Have you and your husband been having intercourse during those five months? How frequently? Has he been ejaculating inside of you? Do you douche afterwards?

Alice suggests that you go to your gynecologist, obstetrician, or midwife for pre-pregnancy planning. S/he will be able to listen to your concerns and assist you in the transition as you become pregnant. If after one year of trying you still are not pregnant, this would be the time to have a more serious talk with your health care provider about your options. Rather than infertility counseling, your next step may be pre-pregnancy planning with a health care provider.

Thoughts of yellow booties to you.


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