If you’re planning to wait, trying to conceive or preparing for pregnancy, here are six facts you need to know about fertility:
1. Have a healthy weight to become pregnant – Being underweight or overweight is linked to lowered fertility levels. A body mass index of less than 18 or over 32 sometimes means you don’t ovulate and therefore don’t conceive. It is also linked to a number of issues during pregnancy. Eating a nutritious diet and enjoying regular exercise builds a strong foundation for fertility and pregnancy.
2. Before 38 isn’t too late to freeze your eggs – If you are in your mid 30s and not yet ready or able to have a baby, it’s recommend that you insure your fertility and freeze your eggs before you’re 38 (and ideally before 35) . You don’t need to have your 20 year old eggs on ice to achieve pregnancy. Pregnant women in their late 40s are almost always beneficiaries of fertility treatments and are using frozen or donor eggs.
3. Regular periods generally = regular ovulation – If you’re having regular periods inside the 27-32 day average cycle, you can assume you’re ovulating regularly. Irregular cycles usually indicates irregular ovulation. If your cycle lasts 28 days, its likely you will ovulate on day 14.
4. Men need to mind their fertility too – Having fathered a baby in the past does not guarantee virility in the future. The only way to confirm sperm are still healthy is to have a test. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, reduce alcohol and fats in your diet.
5. A blood test can estimate your eggs. An anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test can predict your ovarian reserve or number of eggs you might produce through an ovarian stimulation cycle during IVF or Egg Freezing. It doesn’t predict the outcome of pregnancy. You should consider pregnancy when you are socially, physically, emotionally and financially ready to do so. Don’t rely on the AMH test to delay pregnancy. Ultimately a woman’s age is the best predictor for pregnancy and the younger you try the great the success.
6. Infertility risk factors. Women who have a family history or early menopause, those who have had surgery to the ovaries or suffered with severe endometriosis have an increased risk of fertility problems. Previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy will also affect fertility however many women will seek to preserve their fertility before undergoing cancer treatment.