If you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year without success, despite having regular unprotected sex, then your doctor will define that as ‘struggling to conceive’. If this could be you, you may have a fertility problem and we recommend you speak to a specialist. If you’re over the age of 35 it is suggested to take action sooner, after around 6 months of trying without success. Infertility is just as common in men and women so it is important that both you and your partner undergo infertility investigations at the same time.
Here are some proactive steps to increase your chances of pregnancy:
Having sex at the right time in your cycle will dramatically increase your chances of conception.
Stop drinking and smoking!
Both have been shown to damage the quality of egg and sperm cells and can cause fatigue and weight gain.
Enjoy a balanced diet
A balanced diet will provide key nutrients necessary to optimise sperm and egg production.
Achieve a healthy weight
Research has shown that being overweight negatively affects fertility. Equally, being underweight is also associated with reduced fertility.
Take a supplement
It can be difficult to get everything you need from your diet so supplementing with the right balance of micronutrients ensures you and your partner’s egg or sperm are of the best quality to conceive. With most high street conception vitamins lacking clinical evidence, choosing a supplement like Impryl that has clinical evidence of effectiveness will give you the best chance of success.
Just doing some physical exercise for 30 minutes between three and five times per week will not only make you feel better, but a study has also shown that regular moderate exercise led to earlier conception.
How does your age affect your fertility?
Women are most fertile between 20 and 35 years of age. The odds of conceiving start to decline quite quickly after the age of 35 and by the time a woman reaches their forties it can become more difficult. As a woman approaches the later fertile years, not only do pregnancy rates drop but the incidence of miscarriage (early pregnancy loss) increases. When women go through menopause, usually around the age of 50-55, it then becomes impossible for them to conceive naturally. Men can often still father a child when they are older. However, male fertility does decline with age and sperm quality does reduce as you get older.
The key: understanding your own personal fertility
A decline in fertility is no reason to panic, it’s just helpful to be aware of the impact of your fertility and know how best to increase your chances of conceiving, whatever your situation.
Starting or growing your family is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life so you shouldn’t try to conceive until you feel ready. Some women consider freezing/banking high-quality eggs from their most fertile years for potential use when they are a little older due to career or because they have not found the right partner. But it’s important to remember that egg freezing/banking is not a guarantee of becoming pregnant or having a baby.
How do I know if I’ll have difficulty conceiving?
If you’re having regular periods it’s likely that you’re also ovulating regularly, however, this may not always be the case.
No periods – women who are not having periods will not ovulate. This can be due to various hormonal issues, such as PCOS or being significantly underweight.
Irregular periods – this can mean you are only ovulating once every few months, if at all, reducing your chances of pregnancy. Many women with irregular periods will have PCOS.
Pain during sex – this can be an indicator of an underlying health condition like endometriosis or the presence of an infection, so it’s important to speak to your doctor immediately if you experience pain during intercourse.
Obesity – Many studies have shown that women who are obese are less likely to conceive and more likely to experience complications if they do get pregnant. For men, being obese has been shown to reduce sperm quality and cause infertility.
Erectile dysfunction – this can be related to psychological or physical factors. If you or your partner are struggling to get or maintain an erection it could be a major obstacle in your efforts when trying to conceive.
Sperm issues – these are hard to detect without proper semen analysis. Also, any changes in the colour or odour of your semen can be a sign of infection.
If you or your partner are experiencing any of the signs listed above you should speak to your healthcare professional as soon as possible.
How does nutrition impact your ovulation?
A woman will be born with every egg they will ever have, so when it comes to trying to conceive, many mechanisms within your body must function correctly even before ovulation. A good quality egg can take 3 to 4 months to fully mature to the stage of ovulation so it’s crucial that you take the right nutrients to support this development process. Impryl®’ s activated micronutrient formula can help achieve metabolic balance enabling release of the best quality egg.
What if you’re not ovulating?
Some women don’t ovulate. This is called anovulation and is common in PCOS women. Many PCOS women are deficient in myo-inositol but will be unaware of it. Thankfully Inofolic Alpha® can help with this deficit.
Additional nutrients and vitamins can help prepare your body for ovulation and pregnancy, which is why a healthy balanced diet is recommended. But if you’re deficient in any specific vitamin or mineral it is wise to supplement.
You’ll probably already know that supplementing with folic acid (vitamin B9) is important during pregnancy. However, it’s important that you take folic acid for two to three months before you conceive. This allows it to build up in your body to a level that gives the most protection to your future baby against neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
Why it’s important to choose the right supplement
Most fertility supplements promote the use of strong antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, but the latest Cochrane review shows that there is very little improvement in pregnancy rates from taking these. Antioxidants can upset the delicate metabolic balance necessary for optimal sperm production. Therefore strong antioxidants could be doing more harm than good, so it’s important to choose a fertility supplement that maintains this vital balance such as Impryl®.