Getting pregnant: the how-to guide you didn’t learn at school

Recent studies have suggested that a woman?s fertility starts declining in her late 20s, not in her thirties as was previously thought. Europe?s leading journal of reproductive medicine, Human Reproduction, have studied healthy couples in the US and Italy. They?ve realised that although a woman?s fertility began to decline before the age of thirty, it doesn?t mean she won?t eventuality have children. It just means it may take a month or two longer than if she were in her early twenties. It also noted that men?s fertility also begins to decline from as early as their late thirties.
But the good news is that older women hoping to fall pregnant still have the same six day window within the menstrual cycle when women are more likely to fall pregnant.

Even with healthy couples, there was variation in the probability of pregnancy, many of which can be attributed to lifestyle factors. Below she said have compiled a list of fertility measures to help your chances of falling pregnant.

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 – 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.

This is merely a guide compiled by personal experience and SheSaid researchers. It is not meant to be a substitute to speaking to a health care professional.