Fertility

These Are The Best Apps For Tracking Your Period

Want to know when Aunt Flo is coming to town? There’s an app for that.

May 10, 2017

The Weird Ways Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Who You’re Attracted To

Could your hormones be dictating your love life?

April 25, 2017

This Is When You’re Most Likely To Be Horny Each Month

And it’s all thanks to our period.

June 28, 2016

When Your Miscarriage Is A Relief

When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked and scared.

April 8, 2016

I Spent More Than $80,000 To Have My Kids, And I’d Do It Again

When they came into the world, I knew I was complete.

March 11, 2016

My Friends Dumped Me When I Had A Baby

They showed their true colors, and I made new BFFs.

March 3, 2016

Endometriosis: When Period Pain Is A Sign Of Something Sinister

Because nothing is more important than your health.

January 21, 2016

17 Things No One Tells You About Having IVF

Falling pregnant is no walk in the park.

October 9, 2015

Broody Blues: When Is It Time To Stop Having Babies?

The strong, primal urge to have children can strike you when you least expect it; it’s a deep, emotional pull that can be completely illogical, irrational, inconvenient and indeed bordering on insanity, as in my case.

RELATED: Why Having Babies Later In Life Is Good For You

I’ve just turned 41; I have three-year-old and two-year-old daughters; I work part-time and our household is so chaotic and noisy I’m often half expecting to hear the sounds of glass shattering – none of these conditions are ideal in which to bring another life into this world.

And yet, I feel an intense, inexplicable desire to breed – it’s like my fertility clock has started tick, tick, ticking again as my body approaches the end of its peak reproductive capabilities. I’m yearning for a baby to the point that when I see a newborn in the street, I have to quell a strong desire to sniff that cute, little bundle of joy’s head; nothing would smell sweeter to me right now. This is far from ideal and fairly offensive, anti-social behaviour: “Er, excuse me? Can I please sniff your baby’s sweet head?” Ugh.

fertility, fertility clock, conception, parenting

And did I mention I already have both a preschooler and a toddler, born very close together? What am I thinking?! My head is overruling my heart on this one: my having another baby can’t and won’t happen – life is only just starting to get manageable as it is; my husband and I are finally starting to get seven-to-eight hours sleep nightly again and we have a happy, if hectic family life. Why would I want to ruin all that with another baby?!

Then there’s my fertility to think of: having a baby in your 40s can be very fraught. It is of course, thanks to the miracles of modern science, by no means impossible. But my husband and I have already endured the agony of two miscarriages and a down syndrome scare in our quest to have children later in life. It’d be way too much mental and emotional anguish to lose another child and/or suffer more pregnancy complications.

And then there are the long, sleepless nights to consider – my 45-year-old husband would happily go for another baby, but I’m not sure we’d survive it, to be honest – I think it would be very ageing and stressful. I’m sure, if it was to happen, I’d wake up one day, pregnant with our third child, with a giant patch of grey hair (no greys yet, touch wood).

And yet, despite all this, I am still longing for another baby; not even my boisterous and demanding two littlies can deter these irrepressible maternal urges. For having a baby is an experience like no other – one of life’s greatest gifts – a rollercoaster of emotions: giddy highs and the lowest of lows.

Interestingly, I never even felt this strong desire to have children until about six months before my wedding at age 36. I was extremely career-driven and rarely, if ever, got clucky. But now, perhaps because my husband and I have been blessed with two healthy and adorable children – so I know just how wondrous parenthood can be – it’s a heart pull that is starting to plague me.

fertility, fertility clock, conception, parenting, conceiving in your 40s

However, here is a fun fertility fact which, for me, is yet another reason to stop having kids: from your mid-40s, if you conceive naturally, you have a one in two chance of having twins. Can you believe it? Women’s bodies are amazing; this twin lottery is due to the fact that as we approach menopause, our hormones work harder to release an egg from our ovaries. And so the result is often two eggs being released during ovulation which can be fertilised and implanted in our uterus, resulting in non-identical twins. Eek.

Every baby is a blessing, but I’m way too tired to have another and, I like to think, wise enough to know when it’s time to stop. Now, if I can just overrule these utterly ridiculous broody blues…

What do you think? Have you experienced the broody blues? How did you know it was time to stop having babies?

July 4, 2015

Why Having Babies Later In Life Is Good For You

“Tick tock, tick tock: you can’t have a career and babies,” scolded my uncle, whom I cannot bear, for obvious reasons. Yep, I actually had this Bridget Jones’s Diary-esque situation happen to me at a family function – a man, then in his 60s, felt compelled to tell me, then aged in my late 20s, that I had no business putting a career before marriage and babies.

Doesn’t it make your blood boil? It did mine then and still does now.

Ah, the great fertility debate: every couple of months or so in the media, without fail, a fertility expert (usually male) will also admonish women for being so utterly, almost criminally selfish as to have babies later in life. How dare you put your career, travel or all-round self-development first, or even just wait until you meet the right guy? Why, if you’re of age, you should be out there breeding, girlfriend!

I’ve interviewed some of these so-called experts myself, back in the day, and I recall feeling so anxious about being in my early 30s then at the time and – gasp – still not procreating, as I hadn’t yet met my life partner – that I momentarily considered the largely unsuccessful practice of egg freezing.

Now, I know at least some of what these fertility experts say is largely true in regards to women ideally conceiving in their 20s – although, note well: they usually also have vested financial interests in you using their IVF or egg freezing services. For a start, you’re often at your physical prime then, conception is usually quick and easy, and there are the fewest medical complications during pregnancy.

But is younger necessarily better when it comes to having a baby? I don’t think there’s ever an ideal time; I believe much of what we are told about potential risks, especially for expectant mothers older than 35, is unnecessarily alarmist. And if you, like myself, married and had babies later in life (you heathen, you!) – we’re in very good company, and many celebrities are also onboard with this trend. Just look at TV’s Sonia Kruger, who recently announced she’s 16 weeks pregnant with her first baby at 48. Others who’ve had babies late in life include Madonna, J-Lo, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and more.

The Bureau of Statistics says the older birth rate reflects today’s modern woman’s changing priorities of wanting to spend more time getting better educated and become financially stable before breeding an army of mini-mes (quelle horreur!). And since 2000, women aged 30-34 have continued to record the highest fertility rate of all age groups. What’s more, since 2005 the fertility rate for women aged 35-39 years has exceeded that of women aged 20-24 years.

So, why all the undue societal guilt and disapproval for us women delaying childbirth? Short of punching arrogant and rude uncles in the face, and never reading an article about fertility again, how do you deal?

Well, aside from knowing you’re in good company, it’s handy to remember you’re very likely to have a healthy baby as long as you are in good health, seek early prenatal care and have good lifestyle habits. Sure, your fertility does decline after 35, and your risk of pregnancy complications, miscarriage and Down syndrome all increase – and I am in no way making light of this, for I have personally experienced it – there are also many, many advantages to having babies later in life.

Sure, your body might not snap-back straight away post-baby, ala supermodel Miranda Kerr, for example, and it may take you longer to conceive – but you will most likely enjoy greater financial security, personal confidence and inner-happiness.

Was I ready, prior to having my first baby in my mid 30s, to bring a child into the world? Hell no, I had too much living to do first!

And while everyone is different, and there are pregnancy risks at any age – I say it’s high time we women aged 35+ started being out and proud about what worked for us, so-called fertility experts be damned! And motherhood can be isolating and lonely at the start – far, far better to have kids when you’re really emotionally ready then feel like you’re missing out on an important chapter in your life of getting to know yourself first.

What do you think: is there a perfect age at which to have a baby?

Main image via www.stratfordacupuncture.com and secondary image via www.pixabay.com.

procreation, fertility debate, egg freezing, having babies

August 29, 2014

Getting Pregnant After Having a Miscarriage

For many women, the idea of getting pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage is a confusing and emotional process. In order to have a better chance of conceiving again and having a successful pregnancy, it is often helpful to find out what caused the miscarriage and work with your doctor to incorporate new ways to promote a healthy pregnancy. Keep reading to find out more about conceiving after a miscarriage.

Why do miscarriages occur?
A miscarriage occurs when a pregnancy is spontaneously ended prior to the 20th week of gestation. Most miscarriages occur due to abnormal fetal development, but many other things such as physical trauma, maternal health conditions and problems with the reproductive organs can also lead to a miscarriage. In some cases, miscarriages occur for no apparent reason.

According to statistics, approximately 15 percent of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage. The exact percentage could even be a little higher because many women have early miscarriages that occur before she knows she is pregnant.

Some people have the misconception that a woman who has a miscarriage is at a higher risk of having another miscarriage. However, most miscarriages are isolated incidents and the majority of women are able to have a successful pregnancy afterward. Fewer than five percent of women experience two miscarriages back-to-back.

How long should you wait before getting pregnant after a miscarriage?
It is a good idea to allow your body to heal before trying to conceive after a miscarriage. For many women, most physical damage caused by the miscarriage heals within one week. However, it may take up to six weeks for your period to return. Some women are able to get pregnant again before their next period occurs.

In addition to the physical damage that a miscarriage can cause, many women also experience emotional trauma and a sense of loss. This may require you to take more time before trying to get pregnant again. You might also need counseling to help sort out your feelings.

Women who have already suffered from one or more miscarriages are encouraged to speak to their doctor or gynecologist before deciding when to start trying to conceive again. Some experts say that women should wait six months before trying to get pregnant again. However, there is little to no real evidence that waiting this long is actually necessary. Your doctor will be able to conduct tests and examinations to determine how long you should wait.

Ways to promote a successful pregnancy after a miscarriage
In order to have a better chance for a successful pregnancy, there are a few things you can do if you are not doing them already. The most important step is to start taking a prenatal vitamin every day that has a high amount of folic acid. It is best to start taking folic acid about three months before conceiving. You should also work on getting physically fit and losing weight if you are currently overweight.

Additional precautions may need to be taken by women who have had previous miscarriage. Your doctor will be able to determine the best course of action for you. This may mean that you will need bed rest, further check-ups or medication in order to increase your chance of a successful pregnancy.

Experiencing a miscarriage is a traumatic and stressful event for any woman to go through. Working closely with your gynecologist or physician is important, especially if you have had a miscarriage in the past.

What is your best advice for getting pregnant after miscarriage?

January 29, 2014

5 Tips For Getting Pregnant Faster

If getting pregnant hasn’t been easy for you, you’re not alone. Many women don’t get pregnant when they start trying, but there are things you can do to help your chances of getting pregnant faster.

Ovulation
Understanding your ovulation cycle is key to getting pregnant faster. Keeping a pregnancy calendar is a must, so you can chart your ovulation dates. Start by recording the day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Most women ovulate between day 11 and day 21 of their cycle (counting from the first day of the LMP). Fertility experts refer to this as the “fertile time” of a cycle, because the chances of getting pregnant are increased during this time. Ovulation can occur at other times during your cycle, and can change from month to month. So it’s important to note down any changes in to your pregnancy calendar.

Consider positioning
How you have sex and how you position your body afterwards can help. Fertility experts recommend having sex on your back, and then laying down after sex. You may want to hop up and use the bathroom, or run to the kitchen to get a glass of water, but it is best to stay still to open up your ovaries and allow for better flow to the uterus.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Trying to get pregnant isn’t just about what you do in the bedroom. Make sure that you live a healthy lifestyle – from watching what you eat and drink, to maintaining an exercise routine to keep your body in shape and your weight in check.

The other important factor is learning to relax. Getting pregnant can sometimes feel like you’re racing against the clock. And if you find you’re not getting pregnant, that can add to even more stress. But the stress you put on yourself can effect your hormones, which can be counteractive to your reproductive efforts. So make stress-reducing efforts part of your lifestyle, like going for regular walks, meditating or doing yoga.

Stop using birth control
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, stop using birth control. It is important that you stop taking your birth control as early as possible so that your body can start to get back to its normal cycle, and flush out the chemicals. No matter what type of birth control you used, your body may vary in terms of how long it takes to get back to your regular ovulation cycle.

Keep trying
Trying to get pregnant can sometimes feel like a job. But instead, enjoy the intimacy that comes with having sex, and lots of it! It might be easier said than done, but it’s important to try and not become obsessed with getting pregnant. Relax, and keep trying. If things don’t change, then consult your doctor. But in the meantime, enjoy having lots of great sex!

What are your tips for getting pregnant faster?

January 28, 2014

Trying to Get Pregnant? 6 Tips To Help Make It Happen

Getting pregnant isn’t always easy or simple. Even if you and your partner are both in good health, you may find pregnancy just doesn’t happen right away. Sometimes women in their thirties find that their fertility isn’t what it was in their twenties. Don’t put pressure on yourself, as there are options in having children.

Here are six ways to help try getting pregnant faster. We can’t guarantee that any or all of them will work for you, but they’re all worth a shot if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Stop the pill early

If you’ve been taking oral contraceptives for several years, it may take your body several months to begin ovulating regularly again. (This is also true for the patch, the ring, Implanon and Mirena IUC.) Because of this, you should stop using contraception for a few months so your body can get fully primed for pregnancy.

Find out when you ovulate

Your body is more likely to conceive on certain days of your cycle than others, so you need to learn what time of the month you ovulate. The easiest way to do this is to buy an ovulation predictor kit, or OPK. The OPK will detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine that will happen about 36 to 48 hours before you ovulate.

Schedule sex for just before you ovulate

Once your ovaries shoot out an egg, it will hang around for only 12 to 24 hours, so you need to make sure it will meet up with a sperm during that time. The best way to make sure this happens is to start having frequent sex as soon as your period ends. Your ovulation date and the following two days are the prime times for conception to occur.

Lie on your back following sex

Resting on your back allows the sperm to pool in your vagina and be in the best position to swim for your egg. Having sex before you go to bed is a good way to make conception more likely. Drift off to dreams of being a mommy!

Be ready to test

You’ll want to know as soon as possible if you do succeed in getting pregnant, so buy at least one home pregnancy test and have it ready to go. For the most accurate results, wait to test until the day after you expect your period to arrive. Testing too early can give false negative results, so since you want a positive, don’t rush things!

If you don’t succeed, try again

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get pregnant the first month you try. Statistics show that while more than half of couples that try to conceive will do so within six months and 85% within a year, most do not in just one month. Don’t lose hope.

Do you have any secret tips for trying to get pregnant?

August 6, 2013