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Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex. Or women who do not have regular menstrual cycles, or are older than 35 years and have not conceived during a 6-month period of trying.

Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps.

To get pregnant -
• A woman's body must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
• A man's sperm must join with the egg along the way (fertilize).
• The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).
• The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps.
If you have been trying to have a baby and have not conceived, your GP may refer
you to the Fertility clinic at either University Hospital of North Durham or Darlington Memorial Hospital. You may already have tried
different ways of improving your fertility such as lifestyle changes or medication before you are referred.

At your first appointment, you will see either a doctor or specialist nurse. They will ask you questions about your general health and also about how long you have
been trying for a baby. You will then offered some investigations using a blood test taken from the female partner between day two and day four of the menstrual cycle
and a semen sample taken from the male partner if you are in a heterosexual relationship.

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham