Everything You (and Your Partner) Need to Know About Your Fertility
Listen up guys, because this post is for you too. Having an understanding of your partner’s fertility is important if you are planning on starting a family. You might think that all you need to do is have sex. True, this can lead to conception but, unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as that for some couples. There are often a lot of external factors that could affect a woman’s fertility, some of which might prevent her from conceiving.
The best thing you can do if you have decided to start a family is to get to know your own fertility as well as you can. Learning about your menstrual cycle and the various factors that will have consequences on your fertility can be really useful as it can help you figure out how to improve your chances of having a baby.
So, ready to learn as much about your fertility? Here’s a general guide to a healthy woman’s fertility – hopefully, it should answer some of the burning questions that you might have!
The Menstrual Cycle
What Is The Menstrual Cycle?
The menstrual cycle is the monthly cycle in which the female body undergoes. One cycle lasts from the first day of her period to the day before her next one. Generally speaking, they tend to last around twenty-eight days, but there could be some slight differences between some women. Once a girl starts her period, which usually occurs between ten and thirteen years old, they are fertile and their body is ready to have a baby.
The vagina connects the vulva to the cervix. In a non-aroused state, the walls of the vagina are collapsed against each other. The vagina changes: during sex, throughout the menstrual cycle, and with age and different life stages. An average adult vagina is slightly curved, and can range between 7 to 12 cm in length—but every body is different, and there’s no such thing as a too small or too large vagina. Click the link in bio for more information.
What Happens During The Menstrual Cycle?
Something called “ovulation” will occur during the menstrual cycle. This is when one of the thousands of eggs in a woman’s ovary is released. It then travels down the fallopian tubes and will survive for around 24 hours in these tubes. The idea is that it is met by a man’s sperm and the two cells join together so that the egg can be fertilized. Sperm can survive in the fallopian tubes for up to seven days, so an egg can still be fertilized even if ovulation takes place a few days after sex. On very rare occasions, more than one egg can be released. If both of these eggs are fertilized by the sperm, then multiple pregnancies can occur, and this usually results in twins or triplets.
When Are Women Most Fertile?
Because of the nature of the menstrual cycle, and the fact that the egg released will only be fertile for 24 hours, there is only one point during the month when a woman can fall pregnant. As all women are different, it is impossible to pinpoint the exact time when ovulation occurs in a woman. Usually, though, it occurs around ten to sixteen days before a period. For most people who have cycles that are 28 days long, they will be at their most fertile around the 14 day mark. However, this could be different for women with cycles that are slightly longer or shorter than average.
Factors Affecting Fertility
As I’ve previously mentioned, there can be a lot of external factors that play a part in your fertility. Here are a few things that could be making it difficult for you to conceive a baby.
Unfortunately, a woman’s fertility decreases as she gets older. Unlike men, women aren’t fertile for their whole life and they will no longer be able to conceive once they go through the menopause. Usually, the menopause occurs between the ages of 50 and 55. The best childbearing years are in your late teens and early twenties. From the age of around 34, fertility starts to slowly decline. Even though you can still conceive naturally beyond the age of 40, there is often a very sudden drop in fertility once you hit this age milestone. As a result, only 50% of women over the age of forty are able to become pregnant naturally. Don’t worry if you are getting older and struggling to get pregnant. There are lots of fertility clinics around the world, including MCRM, who can help you conceive using various treatments such as IVF. As long as you have not gone through the menopause, then it should be possible to conceive thanks to medical intervention.
If your body’s hormone levels aren’t quite right, then it ovulation might not be occurring properly. This is often the case with people who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If a woman suffers from PCOS, there is a big chance that her body has very high levels of some male hormones, which can prevent or hinder ovulation. Even if your body is producing the right kinds of hormones, though, the balance they need to be in is so delicate that any slight changes might make it tricky for you to conceive.
The two factors above are beyond your control, unfortunately. But they aren’t the only ones having a say in how fertile you are. There are also some lifestyle-related factors that could play a part in your fertility and, thankfully, most of these can be controlled by you. For instance, if you regularly drink alcohol or smoke, you really need to stop. These are both activities that can significantly reduce your ability to conceive, even if you are still quite young. Not only that, though, but smoking can kill off some of your eggs. It’s also important to try and get as much sleep as possible if you are trying to get pregnant. Irregular sleep patterns can affect your body’s hormones and create an imbalance which, as already mentioned, can make ovulation very irregular and difficult to track.
One other factor that can affect fertility and that is, sadly, usually out of your control is your medical history. There are a few health conditions and illnesses that can affect a woman’s fertility and prevent her from having a baby. For instance, any condition that requires the ovaries to be operated on can often damage the body’s supply of eggs. Similarly, some life-saving treatments against cancer require an early menopause to be induced, which will make a woman completely infertile.
Improve Your Fertility
If you have just read the above list of factors affecting your fertility, you might now be worrying that yours isn’t quite as good as what you had thought. But there might not be too much reason to worry – there could be a few ways you can improve your fertility. Here are some suggestions how you can do just that.
I can’t believe it: WE ARE PREGNANT! 🙋🏼 After 2.5 years of struggle, loss, fear, faith, and hope, we are finally able to share the news that our double rainbow baby will arrive early December! 👶🏼 While we are absolutely thankful and thrilled for this answered prayer, we want to acknowledge those who are struggling in their journey towards starting their family. We know your pain, we see you, and we hope that our news provides hope that there is more to your story, too. ✨ Our journey is taking a turn, one we’ve prayed over for years and we promise to take you on it. Thank you for all of the love, support, encouragement and prayers as @kickingitwithkutch and I let you in every step of the way. 🙏🏼 Since we know life isn’t all highlight reels, we wanted to share the FULL story (never before told) of our journey to this point, so hit the link in my bio to watch a video that makes me laugh, cry, and feel beyond blessed. God is good. ✨ #babykutch Photo by: @whitleymcdonald
Increase Your Consumption Of Antioxidants
Some studies have suggested that plenty of antioxidants in the diet can help to greatly improve fertility. This is especially the case when you are consuming such antioxidants like folic acid and zinc. It is believed that they help with fertility because they remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are cells that can damage healthy cells, especially sperm and eggs. It is also recommended that couples who are undergoing IVF treatment should take a daily antioxidant supplement as it can help their treatment be more successful.
Enjoy A Large Breakfast
Love breakfast? Well, have I got some good news for you! Some studies have shown that eating a large breakfast first thing in the morning can help to prevent some of the hormonal difficulties that conditions like PCOS bring. Eating the majority of your daily calories first thing also seems to significantly reduce the body’s production of the male hormone testosterone throughout the day.
Cut Out Refined Carbohydrates
Some dietary experts believe that we should reduce the number of carbohydrates that are present in our diet. More often than not, this is just for weight-loss reasons. However, there is evidence that shows reducing the amount of refined and processed carbs that you eat can help to give your fertility a boost. These carbohydrates have a high glycemic index, which means that they cause the blood sugar to spike after they’ve been eaten. Studies have proven that foods with a high glycemic index can disrupt ovulation and bring about specific fertility problems.
Reduce Your Stress
It is also often thought that high stress levels can bring about fertility problems as well. So, if you know that you have been quite stressed lately, you should think about trying to reduce it. Taking part in Yoga and practicing mindfulness can both be a big help in doing this. An increase in stress can bring about an imbalance in your hormone levels which, as we have already discussed, can have a negative impact on ovulation.
Did you know that exercising can help to increase your fertility? That’s right; in fact, those who lead a sedentary life often have higher levels of infertility. So, if you do want to start a family any time soon, you need to start to increase your exercise. If you are currently overweight, you should find that trying to lose weight and increasing your weekly active hours can have a very positive effect on fertility.
I would not be doing my civic duty as a mother if I did not let you know the real of raising kids. So before you go hopping in the sack to make a baby, read our Family Humor section. If that doesn’t put you off having kids, then this guide can help you get pregnant whenever you are ready to! Just know that I have two teenagers for rent if you need to see what it’s like!