Five top fertility facts

29th June 2011 in Advice

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Timing is key to successful conception

Infertility is only actually considered as a medical diagnosis when you’ve been having unprotected intercourse for up to two years without falling pregnant. Statistics show that up to 95% of couples are able to get pregnant within this time. More often than not, if there’s no underlying medical reason, not conceiving is simply down to timing. Knowing when ovulation occurs is crucial as the egg doesn’t survive for very long once it’s been released. So if you’ve not fallen pregnant yet, consider using an ovulation prediction kit. These can help pinpoint when you’re about to ovulate so you can time intercourse accordingly to give yourself the best chance. Don’t always assume it happens exactly in the middle of your cycle.

Fertility isn’t just a woman’s problem

Did you know that in up to a third of cases, the reason for not falling pregnant lies with the man? Male factor infertility – issues such as sperm disorders – are more common than you might think. If you’re having difficulty conceiving, make sure you both get the appropriate testing done by your GP to find out where the issue may be.

Fertility declines from mid-30s

Although many women aren’t ready for a family until they’re in their 30s, the truth is by this time your fertility has already started to decline, and even more sharply once you get past 35, making it difficult to conceive. You’re actually at your most fertile in your early 20s, but not many women are ready for children at this age. It’s why egg-freezing has become a popular treatment. It allows women to freeze their eggs whilst they are still good enough quality to conceive, to be used in future years when they want to try for a baby.

Lifestyle can affect fertility

Various studies have shown that certain lifestyle factors can affect fertility, such as smoking, alcohol intake and weight. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it makes sense to ensure both you and your partner are in good physical health to maximise your chances of conception.

Having a second baby isn’t always simple

It’s natural to assume that if you’ve already had one child without difficulty, then having another should be just as easy. But for some couples it’s not that simple. Secondary infertility – the inability to have a second or third child – is fairly common. The good news is that if you’re struggling to get pregnant again, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need infertility treatment. It could just be taking longer than before to get pregnant. However, it’s important to consider that your age could also be a factor. If you’ve waited a few years before trying to add to your family, your age could make it harder to conceive this time.

Last updated: 28th June 2011