We spend most of our young adult lives trying to avoid getting pregnant – right up until the time that we decide that now is the right time to have a baby. So we ditch the pill and get busy with our partners, expecting those double lines to appear within a couple of months. Sound familiar?
Except for many couples that double line doesn’t magically appear when they expect it to. In fact, 15 percent of all couples will have trouble conceiving. There are many factors at play when pregnancy doesn’t come easily. Some are simple to rectify, some require medical assistance, but one thing is certain, most of us don’t know much about infertility unless we’ve had to find out.
Here are five interesting and surprising facts about infertility that might help shed some light on it:
As well as the day you ovulate, the best time to have sex is within four or five days prior to ovulation. When the egg is released it lives for between 12 and 24 hours, if you get the timing wrong you’ll miss that brief window where the egg can be fertilised. However, if you have had sex in the days leading up to ovulation it is highly likely there is still living sperm ready and waiting to fertilise your egg. Sperm can remain viable inside you for several days, so if there is already sperm there, your chances of pregnancy increase.
Couples in their 30’s only have a 15 percent chance of conceiving, so don’t be discouraged if it seems to be taking longer than you thought it would. After age 27 a woman’s fertility starts to decline. At your most fertile your chances are only 25 percent, and that’s based on a ‘best case scenario’. So unless you’re in your early 20s, leading a healthy lifestyle and having regular unprotected sex, it’s likely to take longer than you thought.
We think we know when we ovulate as we are told that it happens mid-cycle, so around day 14 for the average woman. But actually, the average day of ovulation can be anywhere between day 11 and day 21. And this can vary as well. So it’s worth looking into tracking your ovulation so you can time sex with ovulation.
Most of us know that if you get too skinny your period will stop. However, research shows that for normal ovulation and conception to take place the woman needs to have a minimum of 22 percent body fat. So if you’d normally say no to the cake, indulge yourself, you’ll be supporting your chances of making a baby. Just don’t indulge every day as being overweight can also mess with your fertility hormones.
Many couples who have fertility problems automatically assume that the problem is with the woman’s body. Research has shown that a third of fertility problems are related to the female in the couple; however, another third are down to the male’s fertility, and another third are unknown. When you start planning a family factor both male and female preconception care into your plan.
If it’s not happening for you, don’t be discouraged, there are plenty of things you can do to take back your fertility. It is being acknowledged more widely that fertility is not just a women’s issue and as a result, there are tools on the market (that are widely available to purchase over the counter) that speak to both men and women’s role in making a baby. Head over to babystart for more information and some tools that will help improve your chances of conceiving.