5 things to know about fertility if you’re trying to conceive
If you are looking to start a family of your own, you probably have a lot of questions about fertility. You might be wondering when is the best time to give it a try and if there is anything you can do to speed up the process a bit.
Conceiving takes some time and a lot of planning, but a good first step if you’re trying to get pregnant is to take care of your body. If you’ve ever wondered if there are other things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving, then here are some tips for you on how you can optimize your fertility:
1. Weight issues
Too much of everything is not good, and the same principle applies to your weight when trying to get pregnant. There are times when changes in weight cause your hormone levels to fluctuate that could cause infertility.
In addition, too light or too heavy weighing can cause irregular periods. If you don’t have a regular menstrual cycle, it means your ovaries may not be sending an egg for ovulation. If you are not ovulating, you cannot conceive.
It’s also important to remember that too much weight or obesity can increase the chances of getting:
- Preeclampsia or conceiving a baby with a higher birth weight
- Gestational diabetes, diabetes that occurs during pregnancy
So, women who are looking to get pregnant should try to maintain a body mass index of around 18.5-27. Natural design is a big consideration in marriage, and one way to be successful is to be at a normal weight.
Also consider your body temperature if you are trying to conceive. There is something called basal body temperature, which relates to your body temperature as soon as you wake up in the morning. During ovulation, your basal body temperature rises slightly. You are more likely to predict your fertile days if you monitor your body temperature.
While basal body temperature varies from woman to woman, the average temperature hovers around 36 degrees Celsius just before ovulation. Once ovulation is over, the temperature rises to 37 degrees Celsius.
Most women have finished ovulating three days after the increase in body temperature. This means that you are most fertile two or three days before your temperature rises. That is why it is very important to know your basal body temperature. You can start trying right before your body temperature rises, as sperm typically last up to three days inside a woman’s body.
To track your temperature, basal body temperatures are available at your local pharmacy.
Many factors affect basal body temperature. If you want your graph to be more accurate, make sure you get your temperature at around the same time each day. There are also other things that affect your temperature, including smoking, lack of sleep, fever, or anything else before you check your temperature.
If you’re looking to get the most accurate basal body temperature, make sure you have these things in mind.
3. Problems causing infertility
Suppose you have been trying to conceive for six months to a year (if your age is over 35) but you are not getting close, then you might start to wonder if you have fertility issues. It can prevent you from getting pregnant.
There are several conditions and medical issues that could contribute to infertility:
- Early menopause
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage caused by pelvic inflammatory disease
- Endometriosis is what happens when tissue grows outside the uterus
- Pelvic adhesions. This means you have bands of scar tissue after you have had a pelvic infection, pelvic surgery, or appendicitis.
- Ovulation disorders that could impact your ovaries due to the release of an egg. Ovulation disorders include hyperprolactinemia, polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid problems
- Abnormalities of the uterus or cervix, including polyps or fibroids
If you are a woman trying to get pregnant, surely you’ve heard people say that a woman’s biological clock is ticking. This clock signifies your fertility window.
Unlike men who are able to produce sperm for the rest of their lives, women have a shorter period because women are only born with a certain number of eggs. These eggs decrease as a woman gets older and it is completely impossible to get pregnant when your menstrual cycle stops, which often happens between your late 40s and 50s.
As a woman, you were born with around two million eggs in your body, but naturally you lose hundreds, if not thousands, just before puberty. Regardless of what you do, you will continually lose eggs, and it gets even faster when you hit 37.
The quality of eggs is also affected by your age. Your eggs go through a process of DNA splitting. This process is completed after 20 to 40 years of ovulation.
If your eggs get stuck for longer at this point, they will undergo other changes that could go wrong. Therefore, the quality of the eggs is affected.
This is why women who are much later are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant and have a higher risk of miscarriage.
5. Get treatment
Finding out why you don’t get pregnant despite having had a lot of unprotected sex is a complicated and emotional step.
Treatments for infertility include:
- Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): It is the process where a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg that has been removed from the body are mixed outside the body. This procedure is done inside the laboratory, guided by experts.
- Surgery: This is done if there is damage to any part of a woman’s reproductive system. There are also cases where the man is sterile, but this can also be resolved with surgery.
- To take drugs: Certain fertility drugs may be prescribed for you by your doctor and may have an impact on ovulation problems. These drugs can cause side effects like having twins. Be sure to consult your doctor first to find out what you need.
Conception can sometimes be a long and complex process, as well as an emotionally taxing one. Some women might have a harder time with this than others, and some might have an easier time. However, there are various technologies and techniques that you can use if you need help designing and want to increase your fertility rate.
These techniques are there for you to use. But if you still have doubts about your chances of getting pregnant, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor and seek professional advice. Just note that fertility and conception processes vary from woman to woman, so don’t be discouraged if it takes longer to get pregnant than your peers.
Anne Stanley is an obstetric nurse with years of experience teaching clients about fertility and natural conception. She works in a maternal care clinic and shares her expertise through guest posting. Anne is married and has a two year old son. She spends her free time looking after her family. In addition, she loves to cook, garden and play badminton.