If you’re looking to start having your own family, you probably have a lot of questions regarding fertility. You may be wondering when is the best time to try and if there’s something you can do to speed up the process a little bit.
Conceiving does take quite some time and a lot of planning, but a great first step if you’re trying to get pregnant is taking care of the body. If you’ve ever wondered if there are other things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving, then here are some tips for you on how you can optimize your fertility:
1. Weight Matters
Too much of everything isn’t good, and the same principle applies to your weight when you’re trying to become pregnant. There are times when changes in weight cause fluctuation in your level of hormones that might cause infertility.
Also, weighing too light or too heavy may cause irregular periods. If you don’t have a regular menstrual cycle, then that means your ovaries may not send out an egg for ovulation. If you’re not ovulating, you can’t conceive.
It’s also important to remember that too much weight or obesity might heighten the chance of getting:
- Preeclampsia or conceiving a baby with higher birth weight
- Gestational diabetes, diabetes that occurs during pregnancy
Thus, women who are looking to get pregnant should try to maintain a Body Mass Index of around 18.5-27. Natural conception is a big consideration of marriage, and one way to become successful in it is to have normal weight.
Also, consider your body temperature if you’re trying to conceive. There’s something called basal body temperature, which pertains to your body temperature as soon as you wake up in the morning. Upon ovulation, your basal body temperature goes slightly higher. You’ll more likely get the chance to predict your fertile days if you track your body temperature.
While basal body temperature varies from one woman to another, the average temperature swings around 36 degrees Celsius just before ovulation. Once ovulation is done, the temperature changes to 37 degrees Celsius.
Most women are done ovulating three days after the increase of body temperature. This means that you’re most fertile two or three days before your temperature spikes up. This is why knowing your basal body temperature is very important. You can start trying just before your body temperature goes up again since sperms usually last inside the woman’s body for up to three days.
To track your temperature, there are basal body temperatures available at your local pharmacy.
There are a lot of factors that affect basal body temperature. If you want your chart to be more accurate, be sure to get your temperature around the same hour every day. There are also other things that affect your temperature, which includes smoking, not getting enough sleep, fever, or doing anything else before checking your temperature.
If you’re looking to get the most accurate basal body temperature, make sure to have these things in mind.
3. Problems Causing Infertility
Suppose you have been trying to conceive for the last six months to a year (if your age is higher than 35) but are getting nowhere closer, then you might start to wonder if you have any fertility problems. These may be making it harder for you to get pregnant.
There are several medical conditions and issues that might contribute to infertility:
- Early menopause
- Damage or blockage in the fallopian tube that is caused by pelvic inflammatory disease
- Endometriosis is what happens when tissues grow outside the uterus
- Pelvic adhesions. This means that you have bands of scar tissue after experiencing pelvic infection, pelvic surgery, or appendicitis
- Ovulation disorders that might impact your ovaries from releasing an egg. Ovulation disorders include hyperprolactinemia, polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid problems
- Abnormalities in the uterus or cervix, including polyps or fibroids
If you’re a woman who’s trying to get pregnant, then you surely have heard people say that a woman’s biological clock is ticking. This clock signifies your fertility window.
Unlike men who are able to produce sperm for the rest of their lives, women have a shorter time period as women are born only with a certain number of eggs. These eggs decrease as the woman ages, and it’s totally impossible to get pregnant when your menstrual cycle stops, which often happens in your late 40s to 50s.
As a woman, you’re born with roughly around two million eggs in your body, but you naturally lose hundreds if not thousands of these eggs just before you hit puberty. Regardless of what you do, you’ll continually lose eggs, and this becomes even faster by the time you hit 37 years old.
The egg quality is also affected by your age. Your eggs go through a process of dividing the DNA. This process is completed after 20-40 years of ovulating.
If your eggs are stuck longer in this stage, then they will go through more changes that might go wrong. Therefore, the quality of eggs is affected.
This is why women who are much later in age are more likely to struggle with getting pregnant and have a higher risk of getting a miscarriage.
5. Get Treatment
Looking for the root of why you are not getting pregnant despite a lot of unprotected sex is a complicated and emotional step.
Treatments for infertility include:
- Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): This is the process where a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg that has been removed from the body are mixed together outside the body. This procedure is done inside the laboratory, guided by experts.
- Surgery: This is done if there’s damage in any part of the reproductive system of a woman. There are also instances where the man is infertile, but this can also be fixed by surgery.
- Taking drugs: Some fertility drugs may be prescribed to you by your doctor that impacts ovulation problems. These drugs might cause side effects like having twins. Make sure to check with your doctor first to know what you need.
Conceiving can be a long and complex process sometimes, as well as emotionally dragging. Some women might struggle with it more than others, and some might have it easier. However, there are various technologies and techniques that are available for you to use if you need any help with conceiving and want to increase your fertility rate.
These techniques are here for you to utilize. But if you’re still having doubts about your chances of getting pregnant, then it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor and ask for professional advice. Just note that fertility and conceiving processes vary from woman to woman, so don’t feel discouraged if you’re taking longer to get pregnant than your peers.
Anne Stanley is an obstetric nurse with years of experience teaching clients about fertility and natural conception. She works in a maternal care clinic and shares her expertise through guest posting. Anne is married and has a two-year-old son. She spends her free time taking care of her family. Also, she loves cooking, gardening, and playing badminton.