We’re both with all the eggs we will ever have. As we get older our eggs age too, diminishing in quantity and quality.
We can’t control our age but we can sometimes control when we choose to start a family. The older we get, the longer it takes to conceive and the risk of not falling pregnant increases: at 30, the chance of conceiving each month is about 20 per cent; at 40 it’s around five per cent.
The age of the father at the time of conception is also an important factor.
Assisted reproductive methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help, but often cannot overcome the effects of age.
Women who are overweight or obese have a reduced chance of getting pregnant. Obesity can affect fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation, particularly for obese women having their first baby. If you are overweight and planning to get pregnant, committing to healthy eating and regular exercise is the solution — even losing a few kilos can make a difference.
Women who smoke or are exposed to other people’s smoke have a higher risk of infertility. Passive smoking is only slightly less harmful to infertility than smoking.
Smoking affects each stage of reproduction, including egg and sperm maturation, hormone production, embryo transport and the uterus. It can also damage the DNA is both eggs and sperm.
If you and your partner smoke, quitting together is a great way to boost your fertility.
Heavy drinking can cause irregular or heavy periods and increase the length of time it takes to get pregnant.
The five days before ovulation through the day of ovulation is the only time you can get pregnant.
These six days are the fertile window in a woman’s cycle. If you have sex six or more days before you ovulate, the chances of pregnancy is virtually zero. If you have sex five days before ovulation, the likelihood of pregnancy is about 10 per cent. The probability rises until the two days before and including the day of ovulation.
At the end of the fertile window, the chance of pregnancy declines rapidly. By 12-24 hours after ovulation, you’re no longer able to get pregnant in that cycle.
If you’re unsure when you ovulate, having sex every two to three days will boost your chances of conceiving.
Text: Good Health/Bauer