Fertility check…

1. Learn how to chart your fertility signs. How long is your cycle? Look for signs of ovulation (body changes etc) and if you concerned about your ovulation cycle then use an Ovulation kit available at supermarkets and chemists.

2. Don?t use lubricants. Even water-soluble lubricants can be extremely hostile to sperm. If you are having trouble producing arousal fluid, try to spend more time working up to intercourse.

3. Stay away from chemicals found in scented tampons, arousal oils and especially douches and other ?freshening? sprays or creams.

4. Limit or give up alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and recreational drugs like marijuana. Marijuana has been found to cause disruptions in a woman?s menstrual cycle.

5. Don?t take fertility drugs unless it is really necessary. Clomid, a popular drug used to stimulate ovulation, can dry up cervical fluid, making it nearly impossible for sperm to get to the egg.

6. Don’t smoke – smoking decreases fertility in both sexes. “In fact, a woman can lose so many eggs by smoking that it can speed up her passage into the menopause by 3 years.” by Mary Kittel Stay Fertile Longer

7. Avoid STD’s. Sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and ghonorrea can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which can cause a great deal of damage to your reproductive organs and fertility. In the case of Chlamydia, 3 out of 4 infected women don’t even know they have it. If you have casual sexual relationships use condoms and get checked up regularly.

8. Maintain a healthy weight for your height. Both being underweight or over weight can lead to fertility difficulties.

9. Reduce your stress and avoid burnout. Have fun, have time out for yourself – go on / have regular holidays. Fatigued, exhausted bodies do not have the resources to have babies.

10. Consider carefully your choice of contraception. If you are younger (18-30) and know that having a baby is still at least 5 years away for you, then hormonal contraception (the Pill) may be a good choice for you. If you are over 30 and having a baby is important to you in the next few years, then it is probably time to come off the Pill and start using non hormonal contraception like diaphragm, condoms, natural fertility methods. This way you will give your body lots of time to establish a heathly natural hormonal system and menstrual cycle without the pressure of having to conceive quickly.

“Don’t worry, be happy” may sound like patronising advice to a woman seeking help in having a baby but it may be just what the doctor ordered, according to new research.

This is not a topic SheSaid takes lightly. The information was prepared by our editorial but if you have any further questions or problems regarding fertility, consult your doctor.