Pregnancy and baby

Fertility treatments if you can't get pregnant

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for less than a year, find out how to maximise your chances of getting pregnant. Eating a healthy diet, cutting down on alcohol, keeping to a healthy weight and getting exercise can all help.

If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year or more and you're not pregnant, it’s time to see your GP. If you're a woman over 35, or if you think either of you may have a fertility problem, see your GP after six months of trying to conceive. Your GP may refer you to a fertility clinic. This will usually be in a hospital and will provide fertility treatments.

The fertility treatment that's right for you depends on a range of factors. Staff at your fertility clinic can help you choose the treatment that will give you the best chance of conceiving.

Types of fertility treatment

No single fertility treatment is best for everyone. The right treatment for you will depend on your circumstances, including the cause of your fertility problems, the age of the female partner and your medical history. Broadly speaking, fertility treatments fall into three categories.

Fertility medicines

These are usually prescribed to women. Most of the common fertility medicines, such as clomifene, are intended to help with ovulation problems. You can find out more about the medicines used to treat infertility. To learn more about ovulation and how it's linked to pregnancy, you can find out more about fertility facts.

Surgical procedures

These include fallopian tube surgery, which can be helpful if the fallopian tubes, which lead from the ovaries to the uterus (womb), become blocked or scarred, preventing pregnancy.

Assisted conception

This can include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which sperm is placed into the womb using a fine plastic tube. This can be helpful in cases of mild sperm problems. Assisted conception also includes IVF (in vitro fertilisation), in which sperm and eggs are mixed outside the body and put back into the womb. This can be helpful for a range of fertility problems, including more severe sperm problems and cases of unexplained infertility.

You can find out more about these fertility treatments.

Access to fertility treatment

If you think you may be experiencing fertility problems, see your GP first. Your GP may carry out a range of tests to help identify any fertility problems. You can learn more about what to expect in Fertility tests. Access to some fertility treatment, including IVF, varies throughout the country, and waiting lists are long in some areas.

You can learn more about access to IVF in Can I get IVF treatment on the NHS?

Your GP can advise you on access to NHS treatment in your area. has a range of video interviews with women talking about their experiences of infertility and assisted conception.


Page last reviewed: 30/09/2014

Next review due: 30/09/2016


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The 6 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

PatriciaM63 said on 02 September 2015

I think it's always best to start on the right foot when trying to get pregnant. The first step would be to go for a pre-conception check up. Then, it would be best to track ovulation. I found that using OPKs to be the most accurate. But a more inexpensive way would be to chart body temperature and charting cervical mucus.

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Findmeanamethen said on 03 January 2015

I want to book an appointment for ivf

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Keane1991 said on 26 July 2014

Hey I'm just wondering what's your weight got be when staring treatment thanks

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BalSa said on 31 January 2014


I am from India. I am working in UK past 1 year. i got married 4 years back. we gone some fertility treatment in India for 2 years before after we stopped. I have register the GP in UK. My doubt is can we eligible for fertility treatment via NHS.

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ljg said on 12 December 2013

why was my posting from two day's ago removed? also why do you only get one free try of ivf if you are from Bolton? dont you think it's a bit unfair when it doesnt alway's work first time round?

i am 39 and my partner is 36, we have just had a failed round of ivf, i feel absolutely lost. the egg retrieval and fertilisation went ok and the embryo's were put back in but unfortunately did not take and i do not have any frozen.

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lizzie8809 said on 31 January 2013

i work so am i still entitled to I.V.F on the NHS as we was offered I.V.F 4 years ago due to my partner not able to have children but he panicked and stopped it but we are older now so are considering going for our treatment again

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