Fertility is the ability to reproduce. This covers both falling pregnant, and carrying a baby to term. If you are a fertile couple, you should conceive within a year, having regular, unprotected sex. 80% of women fall pregnant in a this time.
Both men and women have a level of fertility which is raised or lowered by their body, lifestyle and environment. If you want to fall pregnant easily, you need to understand how to make this more likely.
Guidelines to Maximizing Your Fertility
Simply put, the healthier you and your partner are, the more likely you are to have a baby without trouble. Both men and women can have fertility problems, which makes caring for your reproductive health a joint effort.
Female Fertility Factors
1.Basic Health factors
- Age – This is the most important factor. As you age, your chance of conception goes down, and your risk of miscarriage rises. The ideal time to conceive naturally is before 35.
- Weight – If your body mass index (BMI) is in the average range, you are more likely to fall pregnant. Measure it accurately, and take the steps you need to reach a good weight. Being underweight is as bad as being overweight.
- Stress – The higher your stress levels, the harder you will find it to conceive. This article explains the chain reaction stress triggers in your body.
- Lifestyle factors – Smoking, drinking, drugs and caffeine should be avoided. If you want to conceive easily and safely, you will need to give these substances up. There is little consensus on safe amounts of any of these substances during conception and early pregnancy, so it is better to be cautious.
- Medication – Certain medications can affect fertility, including some antidepressants, antibiotics and painkillers.
- Autoimmune disorders – Diseases like lupus or diabetes can stop you from falling pregnant, so ask your doctor for advice if you suffer from an autoimmune disorder.
- Exposure to toxins – Being near to certain chemicals or toxins can make you infertile. Discuss this with your doctor.
2.Gynecological Health Factors
- Menstrual cycle – The more predictable and regular your cycle, the higher the chance of conceiving quickly. Keeping a diary of your dates is very helpful. You should start several months before you start trying to fall pregnant. You need to identify your fertile window, and pinpoint when you are likely to ovulate.
- Gynecological problems – Before trying to fall pregnant, you need to visit your gynecologist to check for major problems. You should also be tested and treated for STDs, as these could make it hard to fall pregnant. Some STDs are dangerous for the fetus.
This little quiz will give you an idea of how fertile you are right now.
Male Fertility Factors
More than 90% of male infertility cases are due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. The remaining cases of male infertility can be caused by a range of conditions including anatomical problems, hormonal imbalances, and genetic defects. Sperm abnormalities are a critical factor in male infertility. – (University of Maryland Medical Center)
- Age – As men age, their sperm counts go down and the sperm move less. The quality of the sperm also decreases, mesning more genetic problems occur in babies fathered by older men.
- Sexually transmitted diseases – Several STDs can cause scarring in the reproductive system and lower sperm counts.
- Lifestyle factors – Smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs and certain medications have an effect on sperm quality.
- Exposure to toxins – Long term exposure to certain chemicals can cause problems. The workplace is often the culprit.
- Exposing genitals to heat – Saunas, hot baths, and hot tubs can temporarily affect sperm production.
- Medical history – Conditions affecting fertility include mumps after puberty, varicose veins in the testicles and undescended testicles.
Do Fertility Drugs Work for Increasing Male Fertility?
If you have done all you can to maximize your fertility, it is very likely you will fall pregnant in a year. If this doesn’t happen, you should be referred to an infertility specialist. Each case will examined as unique. Both you and your partner will have various tests to pinpoint the problem.
The first step will be to increase your chances of falling pregnant through sex with your partner. Fertility drugs are often given to help with this.
Common Female Fertility Drugs
- Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene) – Changes hormones to tell the ovaries to produce eggs.
- Gonadotropins (Repronex, Menopur, Bravelle, Follistim, Gonal-F) – Make the ovaries produce
Common Male Fertility Drugs
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – Makes the testes produce sperm.
- Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) – Combined with hCG.
- Recombinant human follicle stimulating hormone (rhFSH) – Used if the above methods didn’t work.
In general, male fertility treatment doesn’t work as well as female treatment. Getting to normal hormone or sperm levels can take up to three years of therapy.
If you still don’t fall pregnant, in vitro fertilization (IVF), is another option. IVF may be combined with fertility drugs.
NOTE: There are many sources claiming some “natural” wonder drug or treatment that will get you pregnant. Rather than rely on old wives’ tales or an unregulated drug, contact your doctor. A proper examination of both you and your partner is the first step if you struggle to fall pregnant.