Lifestyle Factors That Can Affect Fertility
There are many lifestyle factors that can affect your ability to conceive, but evidence suggests that the age of both the man and woman plays the most important role. It is commonly reported that a womenâs fertility declines dramatically at 35, and although it is often beyond our control, some studies suggest that women should try to get pregnant before the age of 30 and men before 35 for the highest chances of success.
The weight of the both the woman and man can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Research shows being overweight â especially significantly so â can affect your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. But being underweight can also affect a womanâs fertility, causing hormone imbalances that affect ovulation and therefore make it harder to get pregnant.
Stress may also reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. One study found an association between high levels of a substance indicative of stress and a reduced chance of becoming pregnant. The researchers also noted that that stress may increase with the disappointment of several failed attempts at getting pregnant, setting off a cycle in which pregnancy becomes even more difficult to achieve. This suggests itâs important to look after yourself as much as possible while trying to conceive.
Lifestyle habits, diet and exercise
Fertility Treatment Won’t Solve Age
Don’t put off seeking help because you think that fertility treatments can make up for the lost time. Fertility treatments become less successful as you age .
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology , the rate of fertility treatment success greatly decreases beyond the age of 40. The rate of live births for women between the ages of 35 and 37 is 42%, and 26.6% for women ages 38 to 40.
CDC data has shown that the percentage of live births per IVF cycle for women over the age of 40 is only 5.8%. However, if donor eggs are used, the rate of success rises to almost 40%.
When looking at pregnancy success rates for fertility drugs like Clomid, or for fertility procedures like IUI or IVF, keep in mind that it’s not just your age that mattersthe cause of infertility also plays a key role.
Your odds for pregnancy success with IUI treatment at age 27 is very different from when you’re 37.
If You’re Trying To Get Pregnant Don’t Skip Out On These Vaccines
One concern you may have while trying to get pregnant is vaccination, one of the most important defenses we have against disease, according to the CDC. Indeed there are some best practices to follow to ensure your safety, says board-certified pediatrician Dr. Vincent Iannelli. “If you are trying to get pregnant, you are hopefully already fully vaccinated and protected,” he explained to The List. “At this time, just as when you are pregnant, some routine vaccines are contraindicated.” This includes vaccines for HPV measles, mumps, and rubella and chickenpox.
Timing is also an issue when it comes to vaccination and conception, as noted by Iannelli. “Other vaccines should be delayed until you are actually pregnant, including Tdap and your flu shot,” he continued. He added that, if needed, any other vaccine that’s kosher during pregnancy is also safe to receive while trying to conceive. As always, talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
What Healthy Habits Can Do
Dont assume that your age is the only reason youre not conceiving quickly. When youre over 35, your lifestyle can also work against you as you try to get pregnant.
Your provider might suggest you try making some lifestyle changes, such as:
Diet and lifestyle can affect fertility. Eating healthier, letting go of fertility-busting habits, and maintaining a healthy weight can help you conceive faster and may even boost your odds for fertility treatment success if you do need treatment.
Dont forget about mind-body therapies as well. While research hasnt yet found a strong link between mind-body therapies like yoga and fertility, most everyone can benefit from adding stress-reducing activities to their life.
Its true that unhealthy habits can increase the rate of fertility decline, but changing your lifestyle won’t stop age-related fertility decline. Even if you eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and don’t smoke, you will still get older and experience age-related fertility decline just like anyone else.
Lifestyle habits have been linked to fertility challenges. For example, women who smoke have eggs that age faster.
Reasons For Not Getting Pregnant The Second Time
Your fertility can reduce from your first pregnancy and women may find it difficult to become pregnant for the second time. This is known as secondary infertility. Here are some common reasons for not getting pregnant:
- If you are a woman over 35 years, then the egg count will fall, leading to no or lesser eggs
- Men over 50 have a decreased fertility and abnormal sperm
- Changes in ovulation and menstrual cycles due to hormonal dysfunction, weight issues, stress, medications , and substance abuse
- Complication in your first pregnancy or labor
- Damage to fallopian tubes due to abdominal surgery, endometriosis, sexually transmitted infections
There are certainly ways to fix infertility and conceive easily. But, first you must recognize the problem and then work towards the solution.
If you have more suggestions on how infertility can be dealt with, then tell us in the comments section.
Read Also: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Make An Appointment With Your Ob/gyn
Your first stop should be at your regular gynecologistno need to go straight to a fertility clinic. In fact, most clinics prefer you have a referral from your primary gynecologist or physician. You may want to bring your partner along, although that’s not necessarily required at this point. To prepare for your appointment, gather the following information:
- The dates of your last six periods, even if you menstruate like clockwork. If you’ve been keeping a fertility calendar or body basal temperature chart, bring the last six months’ information.
- A list of medications youand your partnertake on a regular basis. Some drugs can interfere with fertility, including certain antidepressants and even over-the-counter allergy treatments.
- A list of any infertility symptoms or risk factors you have.
- Any questions you have. If you write them down, you’re more likely to ask them.
When you discuss your symptoms, make sure to mention the embarrassing ones, such as painful sex, unwanted hair growth, or low libido. These can all be symptoms of a fertility problem. Include any symptoms your male partner may be experiencing as well. Up to 40% of infertile couples face male infertility.
Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor aboutprenatal vitaminsthat havefolic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such asspina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
Don’t Miss: Is Lice Treatment Safe During Pregnancy
Put Off Starting A Family Too Long
If you’re in your late 30s, you are a little less than half as fertile as you were in your early 20s. Talk to your doctor about your age and your baby-making odds so you aren’t caught off guard. Men should keep this in mind, too. While the mom’s age plays the biggest role, guys over 50 are less fertile, too.
You’re Having Sex Too Muchor Not Enough
If you’re gonna do it, do it right . Dr. Curtis recommends having intercourse every day or every other day during your most fertile period. If you, like so many other women, don’t know when that is, stick to every other day throughout the time you think you’re most fertile. That’s because having sex too often could deplete your partner’s sperm count, while not having enough sex might cause you to miss that critical fertility window!
You May Like: How To Know Early Pregnancy
Youre Going Too Hard At The Gym
Exercise is no doubt good for you, whether in babymaking mode or not. However, you might want to stick to moderate-intensity workouts if youre trying to conceive. A 2012 study found that for normal-weight women who performed five hours or more of vigorous exercise per week, it took longer for them to get pregnant. Moderate exercise, on the other hand, boosted fertility. Researchers say that exercising ultra-hard may have an impact on ovulation or implantation. If youre having trouble getting pregnant, it may make sense to take the HIIT down a notch. You also might want to check your weight just as excess body fat can impact fertility, so can not having enough of it.
Options For Infertile Couples
If you are having fertility issues, your doctor can refer you to a fertility specialist, a doctor who treats infertility. The doctor will need to test both you and your partner to find out what the problem is. Depending on the problem, your doctor might recommend treatment. About 9 in 10 cases of infertility are treated with drugs or surgery. Don’t delay seeing your doctor, as age also affects the success rates of these treatments. For some couples, adoption or foster care offers a way to share their love with a child and to build a family.
Read Also: Can You Donate Plasma When Pregnant
Check You Have Had Your Mmr Vaccination
MMR stands for Measles, Mumps, Rubella. Rubella is rare, but can be very dangerous to a babys development, especially during the early stages of pregnancy.
The MMR vaccination will protect you and your baby. It is normally given to children in two injections before they reach 6 years of age.
If you have not been vaccinated or are unsure whether you have been vaccinated call your GP practice to see if they have a record. If you have no record of them, make an appointment to get vaccinated. Even if you had them before getting them again is not harmful.
Get A General Health Check
Planning a pregnancy is a good chance for both parents to get a full health check. If your doctor plans to prescribe you new medications or antibiotics, remind them that you are planning a pregnancy.
If there is a family history of medical conditions on either side, such as cystic fibrosis or diabetes, let your doctor know. You may need genetic counselling with a trained specialist or referral for diabetic specialist preparation to pregnancy.
Some sexually transmitted infections can be passed on to your baby during pregnancy, so make sure you have both been treated for any infections before planning to conceive.
If the mother has a medical condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, or is being treated for depression or other mental illness, medications for these will need to be checked before conceiving to make sure they will not affect the baby.
Also Check: Can You Get Braces While Pregnant
What Is Unexplained Infertility
If youve tried to get pregnant for a year or more and your doctor has found no obvious problem, such as blocked fallopian tubes, you have what doctors call unexplained infertility. This does not mean you wont conceive. Research tracking thousands of people in this situation has found that many go on to have healthy babies naturally or with the help of fertility treatment.
Ways You Really Probably Can’t Get Pregnant When Having Sex
Full disclaimer: No day is totally off limits when it comes to getting pregnant, but there are plenty of circumstances that make your chances extremely low. Here, OB/GYNs share the scenarios where you’re least likely to conceive.
This story originally appeared on Parents.com.
Most of us spend the better part of our fertile years actively trying not to get pregnant, so it’s always an unpleasant surprise to learn that it’s not actually that easy to conceive. The reality is there is a relatively short window during a woman’s cycle that she can get pregnant whether or not she’s on birth control or actively trying.
In fact, there’s really only a 48-hour period that is ideal for conceiving, according to Anate Brauer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at the Greenwich Fertility and IVF Centers and assistant professor of OB/GYN at NYU School of Medicine. Of course, every woman is different, as are her monthly cycles, so it’s never a sure bet to say that there’s any week or day when you absolutely cannot get pregnant .
If you’re wondering which occasions make for the least likely opportunity to conceive, however, here are some expert-stamped scenarios where your chances are low.
Recommended Reading: Can I Use Vagisil Wash While Pregnant
Need A Little Extra Support
Whether itâs taking you a little longer to fall pregnant than you expected, or you know youâll be needing a bit of extra help, Medibankâs Health Concierge service is there to help. You can call for support and guidance, available at no extra cost for members with residential hospital cover#.
Got a health question? 24/7 Medibank nurse phone service
Members with hospital cover can chat to experienced and qualified nurses over the phone to discuss any health questions or concerns and get professional advice on what to do next. Our nurses are available on ~ for round-the-clock health advice.
Medibank has partnered with Monash University to create OptimalMe, a research program designed to help mums-to-be optimise their health before they conceive. The program features tailored health and wellbeing tips and personal guidance on fitness and nutrition.
If youâre planning to have a baby in the next 12 months you may be eligible to take part. Find out more here
Have Sex Every Other Day During The Fertile Window
The “fertile window” spans a six-day interval the five days prior to ovulation and the day of it, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Every month, a woman is most fertile on these days.
Many women are turning to new technology tools, such as fertility-tracking apps and websites, to help them keep tabs on when they may be more likely to conceive, but a 2020 review in the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health suggests that there is limited independent research on their accuracy. In a study published in 2016 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, scientists analyzed 50 popular fertility-tracking websites and apps with a hypothetical woman, and found that the results varied wildly, with many mistakenly tagging days outside of the fertility window, Live Science reported.
When a woman has identified that fertility window, should they have sex every day? Research has shown that there hasn’t been a big difference in pregnancy rates between couples who had sex every day during the “fertile window” compared with couples who did it every other day , Pavone said. “And having sex every other day might be easier for a couple to pull off,” she added.
- Glow Ovulation, Period Tracker
- Fertility Friend FF App
- Clue: Health & Period Tracker
But she said there are some water-based vaginal lubricants that can decrease the movement of sperm, so Pavone recommended using Pre-Seed rather than Astroglide or K-Y Jelly when lubrication is needed.
You May Like: Can You Donate Plasma When Pregnant
Avoid Smoking Cannabis If You’re Trying To Get Pregnant
Cannabis use is on the rise among adults in the United States, thanks to legalization for medicinal and recreational purposes, according to Science Daily. But if you’re a regular marijuana smoker who’s trying to get pregnant, you should stop smoking, says reproductive endocrinologist and fertility expert Dr. David Diaz. “Whether smoking tobacco or marijuana, excessive use of either can lead to a decrease in the couple’s fertility,” he explained to The List. “Marijuana can lead to low sperm motility and diminished libido, thereby reducing lovemaking.” And that’s the last thing you need if you’re trying to have a baby!
Don’t go reaching for the edibles, tinctures, or patches either, as they can harm your unborn baby, according to the CDC. Specifically, THC has been shown to cause low birth weight and slow down development, as well as increase the baby’s risk of learning disorders later in life. So, total cessation is the way to go.
Fertility Booster No : Ovulation
While being intimate during the “right time of the month” won’t do anything to increase your fertility, it can increase your chances of getting pregnant — simply by ensuring you and your partner connect during the time conception is possible.
Timing is crucial, says Pollack, because “an egg only lives for 24 to 36 hours.” But sperm can live in the lower portion of a woman’s reproductive tract a lot longer — often up to five days. So to increase your chances of conceiving you should be intimate with your partner beginning three to four days prior to ovulation, and continuing up to 24 hours after ovulation.
But how do you know when you’re about to ovulate? Experts say there are several methods you can use to approximate.
You May Like: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant