The word infertility tends to raise the anxiety level in any room, whether it’s filled with men or women. Infertility affects all of us, at some point in our lives, either personally or through friends and loved ones. But it’s quite rare to be truly infertile. 85% of couples will get pregnant within a year of trying.
The definition of infertility under the age of 35 is the inability to conceive after one full year of trying through natural means. If you’re over 35, we advise that you try for six months before considering alternative options.
If you’ve been deemed infertile, or know somebody who has, there are many options for having a child, so please check with your doctor first to know what steps to take.
Increasing your chances of getting pregnant
Many people are not aware there are steps both partners can take to increase their chance of conceiving. These include: stress reduction, smoking and recreational drug cessation, reaching a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, regular exercise and adequate Vitamin D & omega-3 fatty acids consumption.
It is also important for women to learn when they ovulate. While everyone has different cycles (typically 28 to 35 days), women ovulate 14 days before they get their period. There are often clear signs of cervical mucous present at the ideal time for intercourse. Remember, sperm live for three to five days, so get them in early and get them in often (without the use of lubricants). If you would like to determine your personal ovulation schedule, your doctor can do a blood test or mucous check, or you can complete an LH surge test of your urine at home (typically two to three days prior to ovulation).
If your cycle is irregular, and always has been, be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare team to see about potential thyroid issues, polycystic ovaries or hypothalamic concerns. Again, there are things we can do to prepare you for conception.
Start early & get a pre-conception health check
Start early (the ability to get pregnant decreases after age 35), and get a baseline, pre-conception health check. We also advise that you start taking folic acid before conception (1000 mcg per day), and that both you and your partner make the necessary changes to ensure you are living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re starting to try over the age of 35, check in with your doctor as early as possible in order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
And, above all else, stay positive and trust it will happen.