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HealthInfo Canterbury

Fertility

If you and your partner are planning a pregnancy, or having trouble getting pregnant, it pays to find out all you can about fertility and when is the best time to conceive (get pregnant).

Fertility New Zealand's Be fertility fit section includes information on how age, timing of sex, weight, alcohol and smoking can all affect your fertility. Family Planning's leaflet on Fertility awareness also outlines how women can identify the fertile time of their menstrual cycle. The pamphlet Trying to get pregnant explains how common infertility is, its causes and what treatment and help are available.

It's best to see your GP before you and your partner start trying to get pregnant, especially if either of you have any health conditions. Your GP can help to pick up any problems that might affect your fertility, and give advice and a prescription for folic acid for women to take while trying to get pregnant.

See your GP if you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for one year, or for six months for women who are aged 35 or older. Your GP can do some tests, for example to check the woman is ovulating and the man's sperm are OK.

If you need a specialist fertility assessment, this may be publicly funded if you meet certain criteria. You will need to be referred by your GP, and may have it at Christchurch Women's Hospital or Fertility Associates. If you do not meet these criteria, you may choose to pay privately for an assessment.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated May 2015.

Page reference: 65532

Review key: HIFER-16204