Having a child is a very important thing no matter what the year. However, the pressure was definitely on historical couples to conceive. There were titles and names to pass down from generation to generation, and unfortunately, in some cases, children were needed from a young age to work farms and learn the family business.
The wedding ceremony itself had a lot to do with fertility rites. For example, when a king got married, it was both his, as well as his wife's duty to produce a male heir as soon as possible. So, on their wedding night a prayer would be given to the couple, as well as a blessing, in the hopes that the female would conceive as soon as possible.
Fertility did not only translate to the actual conception of an heir. Rather, it also had a lot to do with the virility of a man or woman. Thus, many different fashions throughout the centuries were meant to augment that fact. In the Middle Ages, for example, men would wear long pointy shoes, as well as tights to show off their legs. In the eighteenth century, the bodices on women's dresses became lower, and padding was added to the hips of the dresses to augment their figures.
Food played a significant role in enhancing fertility as well. For example, men and women would eat pomegranates or oysters to increase their libido, and thus increase their chances of conceiving. Then, science started slowly creeping its way into enhancing the chances of conception. Quack doctors would try to enhance fertility by having couples pay them money to make love on an electrified bed!
In the eighteenth century, aristocratic women who were having trouble conceiving would go to the spa. This was a fashionable location in which women could bathe in natural hot springs, as well as drink that water. Ironically, when a couple was having trouble conceiving it was always the fault of the woman. Actually, men could share equal blame, especially if they have a low sperm count.
Nowadays, couples have far more reliable options if it has been discovered that they might not be able to conceive naturally. A couple can tell this is the case if, after a year of having active, unprotected sex, they have either still not conceived, or have suffered frequent miscarriages. This is where the advancements in medical technology come in.
A couple can get the process started by finding a reputable clinic, wherein all of the doctors associated with that clinic are highly certified, and have many excellent, verifiable references. Upon examining both the male and the female, the doctors will then make the determination on the best procedure for the couple so that they might conceive.
If it has been determined that the male has a low sperm count, artificial insemination might be the first option. In that scenario, via a small surgical procedure, the sperm is directly injected into the woman's fallopian tubes so that the chances of an egg being fertilized are much greater. Whatever the procedure, it is important that the couple has patience at all times.