How Does Age Affect A Woman’s Ability To Have Children
Many women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. In fact, about 20 percent of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35. So age is a growing cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways:
- Her ovaries become less able to release eggs
- She has a smaller number of eggs left
- Her eggs are not as healthy
- She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems
- She is more likely to have a miscarriage
Soda And Other High Sugar Foods
Soda and other high sugar foods top our list of foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant. When it comes to fertility, sugar is not your friend. Sugar causes inflammation and glycation, which ages our organs and destroys cells. Sugar is hidden in many foods we eat regularly, from fruits and vegetables to baked goods and sauces. Its prevalent in soda, energy drinks, and many sugar-sweetened beverages that go down easy and fast.
Research shows that sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly sodas and energy drinks, have an adverse effect on the fertility of both men and women. A study of women and their male partners who consumed at least seven sugar-sweetened beverages per week had a more difficult time getting pregnant than their counterparts who consumed no sugar-sweetened beverages.
Sugary beverages can affect egg quality. Another study of women undergoing IVF found that consuming higher quantities of sugary drinks was linked with 1.1 fewer total oocytes retrieved, 1.2 fewer mature oocytes retrieved, 0.6 fewer fertilized oocytes, and 0.6 fewer top-quality embryos than women who did not consume sugared soda.
This IVF study compared women who drank sugared soda with women who did not and found women who drank between 0.1 and a cup of soda per day had 12% fewer live births women who drank more than a cup of soda per day had 16% fewer live births.
|Amount of Soda Consumed|
|Live Birth Rate Decrease from Those Who Consume 0 Cups of Soda Per Day||12% Decrease||16% Decrease|
Explore Your Contraceptive Options
If you havent already, you may want to go on birth control. There are several hormonal and nonhormonal options to choose from. Hormonal approaches include the following:
- Daily combination pills contain estrogen and progestin, two synthetic hormones similar to the ones made by your ovaries.
Your chance of becoming pregnant increases with each day youre not on birth control. Here are some tips you need to know to make sure your birth control is effective:
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- If Im over the age of 35, do I have to wait a year before being tested for infertility?
- What could be the reason for my infertility if my tests and my male partners test are fine?
- At what age does your fertility decline?
- Whats the best time in your monthly cycle to get pregnant?
- If I am currently using birth control, how long should I wait in between stopping the birth control and trying to get pregnant?
- Do birth control devices cause infertility?
How Should You Deal With Fertility Problems
After two or three months of trying, it’s easy to get frustrated. That doesn’t mean an immediate appointment with a fertility specialist is in order. “Even under ideal conditions, perfectly fertile couples can take several months to become pregnant,” Dr. Wood assures. If you’re under 35, with regular menstrual cycles and no underlying health issues that might affect fertility, Dr. Wood advises waiting it out for one year.
There are a few ways to boost your fertility without visiting a specialist. Things like focusing on a healthy diet, watching your weight, keeping stress levels down, and staying away from toxins like pesticides are smart places to start.
Weight Fertility And Conception
Being overweight or underweight can cause hormonal changes that interfere with ovulation and reduce fertility. On average, women who are obese take longer to conceive than women in the healthy weight range and are more likely to experience infertility.
In men, obesity can lower fertility. This is likely due to a combination of factors including hormone problems, problems with erection or other health conditions linked to obesity.
Keep These Things In Mind While Using Natural Contraceptives
There are certain things you should keep in mind when you use any of the above home remedies:
- If youre looking for an effective way to avoid pregnancy and are considering any one of the above methods on a long-term basis, consult a gynaecologist.
- Many of the herbs and foods listed above are neither 100% effective nor 100% free from side effects. Some carry risks that may prove harmful in the long run.
- If you experience any abnormal health effects after taking the remedy, stop taking it.
- Make sure you eat healthily while taking any birth control measures.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the home remedies to prevent unwanted pregnancy are not as effective as condoms, contraceptive pills or other medical contraceptive devices. Practising safe sex is always the best option. Consult your doctor so that you can proceed without anxiety or fear. After all, its always better to be safe than sorry.
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How Does Age Impact Female Infertility
As a woman ages, her chances of becoming pregnant decreases. Age is becoming a more common factor in female infertility because many couples are waiting to have children until their 30s or 40s. Women over age 35 have a higher risk of having fertility issues. The reasons for this include:
- Overall number of eggs is lower.
- More eggs have an abnormal number of chromosomes.
- An increased risk of other health conditions.
Check Your Thyroid Levels
Hypothyroidism is very common in women, says Twenge. According to Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D., on MayoClinic.com, “Low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with the release of an egg from your ovary , which impairs fertility. In addition, some of the underlying causes of hypothyroidism such as certain autoimmune or pituitary disorders may impair fertility.” And if you do get pregnant, it can cause miscarriage, says Twenge. “Fluctuating thyroid levels that are too low can cause birth defects, too, so it’s very important to get this checked out now.”
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Reach And Maintain A Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for many serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers .1 People who are underweight are also at risk for serious health problems.2
The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isnt about short-term dietary changes. Its about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.
If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk with your doctor about ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
Have A Cervical Screening Test
If you are aged between 25 and 49 you should have a cervical screening test every three years. Its best to get tested before you get pregnant because pregnancy can make the results of your test harder to interpret.
If youre planning a pregnancy contact your GP surgery to find out if your screening is due now or within the next year.
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Is Having Sex Every Day Bad When Trying To Conceive
On the other hand, having sex too often can also cause potential problems, says Dr. Wood. “If it’s for reproductive purposes alone, having sex multiple times a day or even every single day could cause ‘burnout,’ and the couple may begin to view sex as little more than a pre-ovulatory chore,” he explains.
According to one study, abstaining from sex for as little as one to two days helped to increase peak quality sperm, so taking breaks from sex might actually be a good thing.
How To Get Pregnant If You Have Endometriosis
Endometriosis is another common reproductive condition, affecting more than one in 10 women in the United States. It occurs when tissue found in the uterus grows in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
Even mild endometriosis can reduce fertility, while severe endometriosis can distort a woman’s pelvic anatomy and, for example, block her fallopian tubes, according to a 2015 study in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India .
It is still possible for a woman with endometriosis to become pregnant, and, once pregnant, the pregnancy is expected to be no different from that of a woman without endometriosis. Drugs used to treat endometriosis do not improve fertility, according to Endometriosis UK , an endometriosis-focused charity. These medications involve regulating a person’s hormones, and can slow the growth of endometrial tissue and prevent new pieces from developing, said the Mayo Clinic . But because these drugs are based on hormones , they actively stop a woman from getting pregnant.
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Endometriosis presents differently in different women, so its treatment depends on the individual,according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine .
Surgery to excise the endometrial and scar tissue may improve fertility rates and help reduce pain associated with endometriosis, researchers reported in the 2015 study in TheJournal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India .
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Start Taking Folic Acid Now
Folic acid needs to build up in your body to provide maximum protection for your baby against neural tube defects. Many women conceive within one month of trying so it is ideal to start taking folic acid two months before you stop contraception. If you have already stopped contraception, start taking a 400mcg folic acid supplement daily until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
Some women may be prescribed 5mg of folic acid.
Amp Up On Energy Drinks Or Espresso Shots
Rest and relax. Remember, you’ll be awake many long nights once the baby arrives. When it comes to caffeine, the message is moderation. A couple of cups of coffee a day shouldn’t affect your chances of getting pregnant. But if you have a double shot of espresso, 3 diet sodas, and a chocolate bar during the day, it’s time to cut back.
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Have Sex During Your Safe Period
This method provides an added layer of precaution if you already have some kind of protection in place. You can avoid the ovulation days, which usually occur two weeks before the period. A good way to go about it is to consult a fertility expert to track your ovulation days and schedule your intercourse accordingly.
Youre Over 44 Years Old
Thanks to that good-old biological clock, a womans chances of getting pregnant wane over time. Women are born with some 1 million to 2 million eggs theres only about 300,000 left when they get their first period and 25,000 left by their late 30s. This means that a womans chances of becoming pregnant in her early 40s are pretty slim, though its by no means impossible. As we get closer to 40, the ticking of our biological clock becomes louder and by 44, it can be deafening, she says. Fertility decreases by as much as 95 percent in women between 40 and 45 years of age.
How hard is it to get pregnant over 44 years old? According to Dr. Ross, women over the age of 44 have a less than 5 percent chance of getting pregnant each month.
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Can Female Infertility Be Prevented
Most forms of female infertility cannot be predicted or prevented. However, the risk factors that may contribute to infertility can, in some cases, be controlled to prevent this condition. For example, lifestyle modifications, such as reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking, may be beneficial to ones fertility, as is maintaining a healthy weight and developing good exercise habits. Its important to regularly visit your healthcare provider and discuss any other risks you may have for female infertility.
Age Is A Major Factor For Women
Youve probably heard the phrase your biological clock is ticking. This phrase refers to your fertile window. Women cant conceive after their menstrual cycles stop, usually sometime in your 40s or 50s. Men produce sperm throughout their lives, but women are born with a set number of eggs that decreases as you age.
At birth you have about two million eggs but naturally lose hundreds of thousands of them by the time you reach puberty, says Cross. Your body continues to lose eggs no matter what you do. And the rate at which women lose eggs accelerates around the age of 37.
The quality of eggs stored in the ovaries also declines over time. The eggs youre born with are naturally paused in the process of dividing their DNA, Cross explains. They complete that process, or ripen, when you ovulate them 20 to 40 years later. The longer eggs are stuck in the mid-division stage, the more likely that process will go wrong creating eggs with the wrong number of chromosomes. That results in not becoming pregnant, experiencing miscarriages or having babies with genetic syndromes due to chromosomal abnormalities.
The bottom line: The quality and number of eggs a woman has decreases throughout her lifetime and egg loss accelerates around the age of 37, which makes it more difficult to become pregnant.
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Can Oral Sex Affect Chances Of Conception
One prevailing myth about oral sex and conception is that saliva can be a sperm killer. While there is a little bit of truth to the claim, like all things in trying to conceive, it’s complicated.
According to some studies, large amounts of saliva can produce a “shaking” effect in up to 12% of sperm, which dramatically reduced their motility and progression. In other words, large amounts of saliva killed some sperm. The National Library of Medicine notes that this is a particular issue for couples dealing with infertility issues that include a low sperm count.
So if oral sex helps you get in the mood, go for it!
Don’t Worry About The Best Positions For Getting Pregnant
Myths abound about the best positions for getting pregnant, but they are just that — myths. There is really no scientific evidence saying that the missionary position is better than the woman being on top when it comes to maximizing your chances of making a baby.
“Very rarely, a woman’s cervix is in an unusual position where certain positions can make a difference,” Goldfarb tells WebMD.
Getting Pregnant With Endometriosis: Is It Possible
The lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium. This unique tissue is responsible for menstruation, including when it sloughs off and causes bleeding. This happens when you get your period.
When a person has endometriosis, tissue similar to the endometrium grows in places it shouldnt. Examples include your ovaries, intestines, or tissue that lines your pelvis. This can cause pain and complications.
Most treatments for endometriosis aim to prevent ovulation. One example is taking birth control pills. When youre trying to get pregnant, youll stop taking these treatments. Fertility in general can unfortunately also be affected by endometriosis.
Heres what you need to know if youre trying to get pregnant while living with endometriosis.
2 to 10 percent of couples living with endometriosis succeeded in becoming pregnant versus 15 to 20 percent of couples without endometriosis as a complication.
Fertility issues due to endometriosis can be related to several causes. The first is if endometriosis affects the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes.
An egg must travel from the ovary, past the fallopian tube, and to the uterus for fertilization before implanting into the uterine lining. If a woman has endometriosis in her fallopian tube lining, the tissue may keep the egg from traveling to the uterus.
Its also possible that endometriosis could damage an egg or a sperm. While doctors dont know exactly why this occurs, a theory is that endometriosis causes
Difficulty Tracking Your Ovulation Cycle
If you dont know when you ovulate or if your ovulation is irregular and unpredictable you need to make sure you have a sensitive thermometer. Also, take your temperature at the same time each morning, to make sure youre comparing apples to apples .
Also, use a fertility monitr such as the Clearblue Fertility Monitor Test or an ovulation predictor kit to see if youre making lutenizing hormone, which usually triggers ovulation, writes Twenge. If you have very long cycles and think you might not be ovulating, see your doctor, who will likely prescribe Clomid. This is a common problem preventing pregnancy that can be fairly easily remedied.
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Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid When Trying For A Baby
Monica Moore, founder of Fertile Health, LLC
Some foods are not recommended when attempting pregnancy because they can contain Listeria, a bacteria that can cause an infection that can be harmful to the baby. Any cheese product containing unpasteurized milk can be a vehicle for listeria, as can prepared salads that you might find in a supermarket. Also, raw foods can contain bacteria or parasites that are also harmful and should not be ingested. Women should also avoid fish that are high in mercury, like tuna and swordfish. Any raw fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed as well.