Infertility | Office on Women’s Health
What are the different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
Common methods of ART include:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) means fertilization outside of the body. IVF is the most effective ART. It is often used when a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or when a man produces too few sperm. Doctors treat the woman with a drug that causes the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Once mature, the eggs are removed from the woman. They are put in a dish in the lab along with the man’s sperm for fertilization. After 3 to 5 days, healthy embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus.
- Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) or Tubal Embryo Transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization occurs in the laboratory. Then the very young embryo is transferred to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) involves transferring eggs and sperm into the woman’s fallopian tube. So fertilization occurs in the woman’s body. Few practices offer GIFT as an option.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often used for couples in which there are serious problems with the sperm. Sometimes it is also used for older couples or for those with failed IVF attempts. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected into a mature egg. Then the embryo is transferred to the uterus or fallopian tube.
ART procedures sometimes involve the use of donor eggs (eggs from another woman), donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos. Donor eggs are sometimes used for women who can not produce eggs. Also, donor eggs or donor sperm is sometimes used when the woman or man has a genetic disease that can be passed on to the baby. An infertile woman or couple may also use donor embryos. These are embryos that were either created by couples in infertility treatment or were created from donor sperm and donor eggs. The donated embryo is transferred to the uterus. The child will not be genetically related to either parent.
Women with no eggs or unhealthy eggs might also want to consider surrogacy. A surrogate is a woman who agrees to become pregnant using the man’s sperm and her own egg. The child will be genetically related to the surrogate and the male partner. After birth, the surrogate will give up the baby for adoption by the parents.
Women with ovaries but no uterus may be able to use a gestational carrier. This may also be an option for women who shouldn’t become pregnant because of a serious health problem. In this case, a woman uses her own egg. It is fertilized by the man’s sperm and the embryo is placed inside the carrier’s uterus. The carrier will not be related to the baby and gives him or her to the parents at birth.
Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that ART babies are two to four times more likely to have certain kinds of birth defects. These may include heart and digestive system problems, and cleft (divided into two pieces) lips or palate. Researchers don’t know why this happens. The birth defects may not be due to the technology. Other factors, like the age of the parents, may be involved. More research is needed. The risk is relatively low, but parents should consider this when making the decision to use ART.
Why Am I Not Getting Pregnant? 8 Possible Reasons
So, you’ve been trying to get pregnant for awhile, but nothing is happening. Why are you not getting pregnant? There are many possible reasons, including ovulation irregularities, structural problems in the reproductive system, low sperm count, or an underlying medical problem.
While infertility can have symptoms like irregular periods or severe menstrual cramps, the truth is that most causes of infertility are silent. Male infertility rarely has symptoms. Here are eight possible reasons you haven’t conceived yet.
Not Trying Long Enough
The first thing to consider is how long have you been trying. It may feel like you’ve been trying forever—and maybe you have!—but it’s important to know that many couples won’t conceive right away.
About 80% of couples conceive after six months of trying. Approximately 90% will be pregnant after 12 months of trying to get pregnant. This assumes you have well-timed intercourse every month.
When to Call a Doctor
Doctors recommend that you see a doctor about your fertility if
- You’re 35 years or older and have been trying for at least six months
- You’re younger than 35 and have been trying for at least one year
If either of these fit your situation then see a doctor, even if you have no symptoms of a fertility problem.
Human conception requires an egg and sperm. If you’re not ovulating, you won’t be able to get pregnant. Anovulation is a common cause of female infertility and it can be triggered by many conditions.
PCOS is one possible cause of anovulation. Other possible causes include being over or underweight, primary ovarian insufficiency, a thyroid dysfunction, hyperprolactinemia, and excessive exercise.
Most women who are experiencing ovulation problems have irregular periods. However, regular menstrual cycles don’t guarantee that ovulation is occurring. If you have irregular cycles, talk to your doctor, even if you haven’t been trying for a year yet.
Problem Is With Him, Not You
Women may carry the baby, but it takes two to tango. Twenty to 30% of infertile couples discover fertility factors on the man’s side. Another 40% find infertility factors on both sides.
Another thing you need to know: male infertility rarely has symptoms that are observable without a semen analysis, which is a test that measures the health of the semen and sperm. When you do see the doctor, make sure you are both tested.
For women after age 35, and for men after age 40, it can take longer to get pregnant. Some women assume if they still get regular periods their fertility is fine, but this isn’t true.
Age impacts egg quality as well as quantity. Also, if your partner is five or more years older than you are, this can further increase your risk of fertility problems after age 35.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Ovulatory cause accounts for about 25% of female infertility cases. The rest can have problems with blocked fallopian tubes, uterine structural problems, or endometriosis.
In case you don’t know, the fallopian tubes are the pathway between your ovaries and the uterus. The fallopian tubes do not directly attach to the ovaries. Sperm must swim up from the cervix, through the uterus, and into the fallopian tubes.
When an egg is released from the ovaries, hair-like projections from the fallopian tube draw the egg inside. Conception takes place inside the fallopian tube, where the sperm and egg finally meet.
If anything prevents the fallopian tubes from working properly, or if scarring blocks the sperm or egg from meeting, you won’t be able to get pregnant.
There are many possible causes of blocked fallopian tubes. While some women with blocked tubes experience pelvic pain, many others have no symptoms. Only fertility testing can determine if your tubes are open. An HSG is a specialized X-ray used to determine if your fallopian tubes are open. This can be ordered by your OB/GYN.
You Have Endometriosis
Endometriosis is when endometrium-like tissue (which is the tissue that lines the uterus) grows in places outside of the uterus. It’s estimated that up to 50% of women with endometriosis will have difficulty getting pregnant.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods and pelvic pain at times besides menstruation. However, not all women with endometriosis have these symptoms. Some women who discover they have endometriosis as part of an infertility work-up.
Endometriosis is commonly misdiagnosed or simply just missed. Endometriosis can’t be diagnosed with a blood test or ultrasound. It requires diagnostic laparoscopic surgery. Because of this, proper diagnosis takes an average of 4. 4 years.
Underlying Medical Problems
Underlying medical conditions can lead to infertility in both men and women. For example, a thyroid imbalance or undiagnosed diabetes can lead to infertility. While it’s not well understood, depression is associated with infertility. Some autoimmune diseases, like lupus and undiagnosed sexually-transmitted diseases, can cause infertility.
There are prescribed medications that may impact fertility. But never stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor first.
Make sure both your doctor and your partner’s doctor know you’re trying to get pregnant. Also, an undiagnosed sexually transmitted illness can cause infertility. You may not have any symptoms of the disease.
Between 10% and 30% of infertile couples never find out why they can’t get pregnant. Some doctors say this is a lack of good diagnosis. They say there is no such thing as unexplained infertility but only undiscovered or undiagnosed problems.
The fact remains, though, that some couples don’t get answers. However, not having answers doesn’t mean you can’t be treated. You can (and should) still receive treatment for infertility even if your diagnosis is unexplained.
A Word From Verywell
If you’re having difficulty getting pregnant, know that there is help available. Many couples put off testing and treatment, waiting for a miracle or thinking they should just “try a little longer” first. This is a mistake. Some causes of infertility worsen with time. The sooner you get help, the more likely fertility treatments will work for you.
Another reason couples sometimes delay testing is they feel and seem to be in perfect health. It’s true that you and your partner may have no signs or symptoms of a fertility problem. You may have a textbook 28-day menstrual cycle, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed fast and smooth results when trying to get pregnant, and that doesn’t mean you may not have a fertility problem.
The reasons for infertility aren’t always observable to the lay person. For this reason, if you’ve been trying to conceive for one year (or six months if you’re 35 years or older), please get help. Don’t wait.
What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant
The inability to get pregnant if you’ve been trying for some time can be heartbreaking. But there are steps you can, and should, take. Sometimes the cause of infertility is easy to diagnose and can be treated.
If you’re under 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year, or if you’re over 35 and have been trying for six months, it’s time to get help. If you’ve had two or more miscarriages back-to-back, you should see a professional. The same goes if you’re having any worrisome symptoms or have risk factors for infertility, even if you haven’t been trying for a baby for an entire year.
Step 1: Make an Appointment with Your OB/GYN
Your first stop should be at your regular gynecologist—no need to go straight to a fertility clinic. In fact, most clinics prefer you have a referral from your primary gynecologist or physician. You may want to bring your partner along, although that’s not necessarily required at this point. To prepare for your appointment, gather the following information:
- The dates of your last six periods, even if you menstruate like clockwork. If you’ve been keeping a fertility calendar or body basal temperature chart, bring the last six months’ information.
- A list of medications you—and your partner—take on a regular basis. Some drugs can interfere with fertility, including certain antidepressants and even over-the-counter allergy treatments.
- A list of any infertility symptoms or risk factors you have.
- Any questions you have. If you write them down, you’re more likely to ask them.
When you discuss your symptoms, make sure to mention the embarrassing ones, such as painful sex, unwanted hair growth, or low libido. These can all be symptoms of a fertility problem. Include any symptoms your male partner may be experiencing as well. Up to 40% of infertile couples face male infertility.
Step 2: Begin Basic Fertility Testing
Fertility testing includes blood work for the woman and a semen analysis for the man. Depending on your symptoms, testing also may include a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), vaginal ultrasound, or diagnostic laparoscopy. Your doctor will also likely perform a basic pelvic exam and Pap smear, and some test for certain sexually transmitted infections or diseases.
Basic fertility tests may or may not lead to a diagnosis. Up to 30% of couples never find out why they can’t conceive, in which case they are diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
It’s normal to feel anxious and worried as you go through fertility testing. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. An in-person support group or an online fertility forum also can provide emotional support.
Step 3: (Maybe) Begin Basic Fertility Treatment
Based on the results of your fertility tests, your doctor may advise you to go ahead with some form of fertility treatment. You could have success, for example, by taking a medication such as Clomid (clomiphene), Femara (letrozole), a breast cancer drug that increases estrogen levels, or Metformin, an insulin-sensitizing drug that is used to treat infertility, sometimes along with Clomid.
If testing reveals you have structural abnormalities (of your uterus, for example), or endometriosis, your doctor may suggest surgical treatment. They may refer you directly to a fertility specialist or reproductive surgeon.
Certain lifestyle changes may greatly increase your chances of conceiving while you go through treatment (and even if you choose not to pursue treatment). These include:
- Quitting smoking
- Cutting back on drinking alcohol
- Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese (obesity also can be triggered by a hormonal imbalance)
- Reducing the amount of exercise you do if you tend to work out excessively or are underweight
Step 4: Look For a Fertility Clinic
If basic fertility treatment isn’t successful, or if your test results suggest treatments that go beyond your gynecologist’s purview, they may refer you to a fertility specialist or fertility clinic. Because your fertility treatment likely won’t be covered by insurance, focus your search for a doctor or clinic on finding the best possible care that you can afford.
When you begin researching fertility clinics, make certain you’re clear on how much the initial consultation will cost. Discuss fees ahead of time if you decide to move forward with treatment. Remember to factor in travel and lost work time if you’re considering a clinic that’s not close by. Many treatments require frequent visits.
Step 5: More Fertility Tests
Often (but not always), your fertility clinic will want to do more testing or even rerun some tests you’ve already done. For example, your gynecologist may have checked your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, while the fertility clinic will decide to also do an antral follicle count or other ovarian reserve testing.
If you’ve ever had a miscarriage, your gynecologist may have sent the tissue from the miscarriage for analysis. The fertility clinic may suggest karyotyping or a hysteroscopy.
Step 6: Create a Plan of Action
After you get the results of any second-round or repeated tests, your fertility doctor will go over a recommended treatment plan. You also may sit down with the clinic’s financial advisor to discuss payment fees and options. Your doctor should give you and your partner time to consider the proposed treatments and figure out what you can afford.
Step 7: Begin Fertility Treatment
Infertility treatments range from relatively simple to complicated and involved. For example, if you have endometriosis, your doctor may perform surgery to remove endometrial deposits first. Then, after you have time to recover, you may start in vitro fertilization treatments or even try on your own for a while.
Step 8: Reevaluate Treatment Plans
Fertility treatment is less of a pinpoint solution and more of a try-this-then-that kind of process. You may conceive on your very first treatment cycle, but it’s more likely you’ll need a few cycles before you succeed.
A good doctor will help you understand when to stick with the current treatment plan and when to make big or small changes. There are also suggested limits on treatments. For example, you shouldn’t take Clomid for more than six cycles.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, but not quite ready to give up, talk to your doctor about taking a break. You may be worried that delaying treatment will reduce your odds of success, but this isn’t always true. Plus, sometimes your mental health is more important.
Step 9-A: Plan for a Healthy Pregnancy
If treatment is successful and you become pregnant, the fertility clinic will likely monitor you for the first several weeks of the pregnancy, and you may need to continue some hormonal treatments or injections.
Depending on the cause of your infertility, and whether you conceive multiples, you may need closer monitoring during your pregnancy. Pregnancy after infertility is not the same as an “easily conceived” pregnancy. Even deciding when to tell people you’re expecting can be stressful. If you have infertile friends, you may experience survivor’s guilt or feel like you’re leaving them behind.
Step 9-B: Decide to Move On
Not all infertile couples will conceive. If ultimately you’re unable to get pregnant or must stop treatment for financial reasons, it can be heartbreaking. If your disappointment is overwhelming, be sure to see a counselor or join a self-help group.
Getting Pregnant After 35? Here’s What You Need to Know
Whether you’re trying to conceive after 35 or are just thinking about the future, here are five things you need to know about getting pregnant later in life.
Getting Pregnant After 35 Is Not Impossible
Research has demonstrated that it is often more difficult—but not impossible—to conceive naturally after a certain age. However, there is debate about using 35 as a “cutoff” age for fertility.
One biological reason that it can be more difficult to get pregnant beyond a certain age is that the number and quality of viable eggs dwindle as a person with ovaries gets older. By contrast, partners with testes can produce 100 million sperm a day throughout their lifespan.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 1 in 4 women in their 20s and 30s will get pregnant in each menstrual cycle. For women over the age of 40, only 1 in 10 will get pregnant.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Vital Statistics Reports show that in 2018, the birth rates for women between 35 and 39 years of age was 52.6 births per 1,000 women, and 11.8 births per 1,000 women ages 40 to 44.
Your Partner’s Age Matters
Research has found that male fertility also declines with age, but not as predictably as female fertility. Studies have shown that during a year of trying to get pregnant, conception was 30% less likely when a male partner was 40 years or older than it would be for males in their 20s.
Miscarriage rates, as well as the rate of birth defects, also increases with age (for both male and female partners). A study published in 2019 found that the rate of miscarriage increased rapidly for women after age 30, reaching more than 50% for women over the age of 45.
Don’t Wait to Ask for Help
If you’re hoping to get pregnant, time is of the essence because age naturally lowers your monthly fertility odds. Don’t delay seeking help if you are not able to conceive after 6 months of trying. Some people might not conceive on their own in 6 months but go on to conceive naturally after a year—or even 2 years.
If you’re over 35, don’t wait a full year to talk to your provider. Ask about fertility testing if you aren’t pregnant after six months of trying. If you’re over 40, talk to your doctor before you start trying. Treatment success also is less likely as you age; the sooner you start, the more likely it is to help.
If no obvious cause of your fertility problems is found, your provider might suggest that you keep trying to conceive naturally for a few more months, then come back if you are not successful.
Your provider might order blood tests, an ultrasound, and a specialized x-ray, known as an HSG. For a male partner, a semen analysis might be performed. Once the results of those basic fertility tests come back, you, your partner, and your provider can decide about the next steps.
Fertility Treatment Won’t Solve Age-Related Infertility
Don’t put off seeking help because you think that fertility treatments can make up for the lost time. Fertility treatments become less successful as you age (unless you plan to use donor eggs).
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), the rate of fertility treatment success greatly decreases beyond the age of 40. The rate of live births (per egg retrieval) for women between the ages of 35 and 37 is 42%, and 26.6% for women ages 38 to 40.
CDC data has shown that the percentage of live births per IVF cycle for women over the age of 40 is only 5.8%. However, if donor eggs are used, the rate of success rises to almost 40%.
When looking at pregnancy success rates for fertility drugs like Clomid, or for fertility procedures like IUI or IVF, keep in mind that it’s not just your age that matters—the cause of infertility also plays a key role.
Your odds for pregnancy success with IUI treatment at age 27 is very different from when you’re 37.
What Healthy Habits Can (And Can’t) Do
Don’t assume that your age is the only reason you’re not conceiving quickly. When you’re over 35, your lifestyle can also work against you as you try to get pregnant.
Your provider might suggest you try making some lifestyle changes, such as:
Diet and lifestyle can affect fertility. Eating healthier, letting go of fertility-busting habits, and maintaining a healthy weight can help you conceive faster and may even boost your odds for fertility treatment success if you do need treatment.
Don’t forget about mind-body therapies as well. While research hasn’t yet found a strong link between mind-body therapies like yoga and fertility, most everyone can benefit from adding stress-reducing activities to their life.
It’s true that unhealthy habits can increase the rate of fertility decline, but changing your lifestyle won’t stop age-related fertility decline. Even if you eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and don’t smoke, you will still get older and experience age-related fertility decline just like anyone else.
Lifestyle habits have been linked to fertility challenges. For example, women who smoke have eggs that age faster.
Don’t Try Before You’re Ready
If you want to have children one day, you’ll want to understand how your age affects your chances of starting a family. This will help you make informed and educated decisions about when to start trying and can prepare you for the possibility of not getting pregnant as quickly as you’d hoped.
That said, no one should be pressured to have kids before they feel ready. Don’t allow your age, or anyone else’s opinion, to pressure you into starting a family if you are not ready.
If you’re upset with yourself for “waiting too long” to start a family, try to be forgiving. If you weren’t ready to have kids when you were younger, that’s OK. It’s better to wait than to try to start a family at the wrong time.
A Word From Verywell
Getting pregnant after age 35 isn’t as easy as it is at 25. While it can be challenging, it is possible for many people to have kids later in life. The most important thing is that you feel ready to have a family whenever you choose to start trying.
While you can’t prevent yourself from getting older, you can build lifestyle habits that will help you age healthfully, such as eating well, exercising, and quitting unhealthy habits like smoking.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months without success, talk to your healthcare provider. The sooner you have fertility testing, the sooner you can start treatment (if it’s needed), and the more likely it is that treatment will be successful.
When and How Often to Have Sex to Get Pregnant
Verywell / Jessica Olah
If you want to get pregnant faster, you might be interested in knowing when you should have sex, how frequently to have sex, and whether there are factors that can increase or decrease your chances of becoming pregnant each month.
It’s important to know that you can get pregnant at any time during your menstrual cycle, even if you are having your period. This is one of the reasons that birth control methods like the “rhythm method” are not very reliable in preventing pregnancy.
While unprotected sex doesn’t lead to pregnancy every time, you can become pregnant if you have sex just one time. In general, fertility declines with age, and teenagers are far more likely to become pregnant with only one or a few sexual encounters than older women are. If you are having a hard time getting pregnant, there are some things to know that can help you maximize your chances.
Secret to Getting Pregnant? An Ob/Gyn and Moms Discuss
When You Are Most Likely to Get Pregnant
If you have sex often enough, and if you are not urgently trying to get pregnant, working on strategizing the timing of sex may not be necessary. But knowing the best time to have sex can help you if you want to get pregnant soon.
You have one week every month when sex is most likely to lead to pregnancy. This is considered your fertile window, and it begins two to three days before you ovulate. The best chance of becoming pregnant is in those days right before ovulation.
Ovulation and Fertilization
Ovulation usually occurs around days 12 to 14 of a 28-day cycle, but it varies from woman to woman based on the length of their cycle and can even vary from cycle to cycle. It’s possible to have your fertile window as early as day 8 and 9 if you have a shorter cycle, or as late as days 19 and 20 with a longer cycle, for example.
The egg that ovulates is only able to be fertilized for 12 to 24 hours after it’s released from the ovary, but with the help of your cervical mucus, sperm can live up to five days in the female reproductive tract. Since it can be nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact moment of ovulation, having sex before you ovulate (as opposed to after) can help increase your chances of conception by having sperm ready and waiting for the egg.
Is Day 14 Your Most Fertile Day?
You may have heard that day 14 of your cycle is when you ovulate. As a result, many women have sex on day 11, 12, and 13, thinking this will give them the best chance at conception. But many women don’t ovulate on day 14. Normal ovulation can occur as early as day 10 and as late as day 20. If you have irregular cycles, ovulation can occur even later.
Research says that the best day for sexual intercourse is the day you notice the most fertile cervical mucus. Fertile cervical mucus is a vaginal discharge that resembles a raw egg white. This kind of discharge is healthy and normal, and it typically appears on the days before ovulation. Once you know what to look for, it’s easy to detect.
If you have discharge that has a pungent smell or causes itchiness, you may have an infection. You should see your doctor.
Cervical mucus improves sperm motility (movement) and helps them survive. The more sperm that survive and travel to your fallopian tubes, which release your egg, the higher the likelihood of fertilization.
Feeling relaxed and free of stress can increase your chances of becoming pregnant, but, as with most other “rules,” this is not necessarily the case. Have you ever noticed that your libido is stronger at certain times of the month? This is no coincidence. The same hormones that increase just before ovulation also boost your desire for sex.
Sexual pleasure can increase the chances of becoming pregnant, but not so much that you need to be concerned that every time you have sex it’s the hottest sex ever. The theory that female orgasm might help boost the odds of conception may be wishful thinking.
This theory ignores the physiological fact that female arousal creates vaginal tenting, which actually lifts the cervix-uterine area away from the ejaculated semen. That said, having an orgasm is not required to get pregnant. You can have terrible sex and still conceive.
You can keep track of ovulation based on a calendar, and some tools use physiological changes such as body temperature, cervical mucus, or hormone levels to track signs of ovulation. Here are some methods you might consider.
Using Ovulation Predictor Tests
Ovulation predictor tests work a lot like pregnancy tests, except they tell you when you’re likely about to ovulate. They come as test sticks or test strips that react with your urine. To use these, you can urinate into a cup and then dip the test strip into the collected urine. You will get your result based on color changes or digital reading.
At-home ovulation tests detect the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH surges just before you ovulate, so when the test reads positive, this indicates that your body is attempting to trigger the egg release from the ovary and that it is probably your optimal time to become pregnant.
Charting Body Temperature
Basal body temperature charting requires taking your temperature every morning before you get up. Your basal body temperature is your body’s temperature at complete rest, and your hormone levels affect this temperature.
The hormone progesterone raises your body temperature. Progesterone increases after ovulation, so when your basal body temperature rises and remains high for at least a few days, this means that you probably ovulated just before you observed the rise.
Tracking Cervical Mucus
When checking your cervical mucus, you’re monitoring your vaginal secretions. Your vaginal discharge changes throughout your cycle and takes on distinct characteristics when you are approaching ovulation when it becomes stretchy and more mucus-like. When it resembles raw egg whites, you’re probably at your most fertile time of the month.
Using Saliva Tests
The saliva ferning test is an at-home test that uses a microscope to examine a sample of saliva. A ferning test can be useful for some women, and hard to interpret for others. A ferning pattern, which appears like frost under a microscope, can also be a sign of ovulation.
Utilizing Fertility Apps
There are many online and smartphone apps that track ovulation cycles. The more accurate ones require you to input your basal body temperature or cervical mucus changes, but even a simple app can help you pinpoint what are likely to be your most fertile days if your periods are very regular. You need to input when you get your period so the app will learn your cycle, and tell you when you’re most likely to be ovulating.
How often you should have sex depends on your own personal preference as a couple, and whether or not there are any male infertility issues, such as sperm count problems.
Experts advise that you don’t have sex more than once per day. It may seem that more sex would equal a better chance of pregnancy, but actually, having sex too frequently may decrease the number of healthy sperm.
Having Sex Throughout the Month
While some women feel empowered by tracking ovulation, others just feel anxious and overwhelmed by it all. Whatever method of ovulation tracking you choose—checking your temperature every morning, using ovulation detection strips, checking your saliva for ferning, checking your cervical mucus, or all of the above—paying close attention to your cycles and ovulation signs can be emotionally exhausting.
If timing sex for ovulation is causing anxiety, you can instead just rely on regularly timed sex. In these cases, experts suggest having sex every week, about every other day. Following this schedule, you’re bound to have sex at least once during your fertile window, even without tracking your cycle.
Aim to have sex at least three to four times a week, throughout your cycle. There is a theory that semen may be helpful to the developing embryo. This means that sex after ovulation, and after you’ve conceived in fact, may help your pregnancy “stick. ” Another good reason for more sex.
Having Sex During Your Fertile Time
If you’re happy to spend time tracking and detecting ovulation, then you can be sure to have sex during your most fertile time.
If sperm counts are normal or healthy, then it’s best to have sex every day that you:
- Have fertile cervical mucus
- Have a positive ovulation detecting test
- Have a positive saliva ferning test
If you chart your basal body temperature, you can know the approximate day you ovulated each month—but only after the fact. In this case, you should have sex for the three days before you expect to ovulate and possibly on the day you expect to ovulate, too.
However, you should still have sex throughout your cycle, just to keep the sperm quality in tip-top shape. You should also aim to provide time to enjoy sex without a baby-making mission attached.
Dealing With Low Sperm Counts
If sperm counts are borderline normal or on the lower side, the general recommendation is to have sex every other day during the fertile window.
For example, if on Monday you get your first positive ovulation predictor test result, or you see fertile cervical mucus, you should have sex on Monday, skip Tuesday, and then again on Wednesday, skip Thursday, and once more on Friday. The day in between will help replenish the sperm supply, possibly increasing your chances of pregnancy.
Some research on fertility treatment found a slight increase in pregnancy rates when women remained on their backs after artificial insemination. However, this hasn’t been generalized to sexual intercourse.
One thing you should pay attention to is the lubricant you use if you use any. Make sure you choose sperm-friendly lube because many regular lubricants can damage sperm.
A Word From Verywell
When you’re eager to get pregnant, it’s easy to over-complicate things. It’s true that you’re more likely to conceive quickly if you have sex during your fertile window, but it’s also true that if you and your partner are healthy and have sex frequently all month, you’re likely to get pregnant eventually.
There is a lot of pressure online within fertility support groups to use as many ovulation tracking methods as possible. It can be helpful, enlightening, and even fun to track your cycles, but it can also become stressful. Do what works best for you and your partner. If you don’t get pregnant after trying for one year (or after six months, if you’re over 35), see your doctor.
Why Can’t I Get Pregnant?
When you’re ready to start a family and you’re not getting pregnant, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Especially if you’ve tried the conventional methods to maximize your chances: having frequent intercourse during your fertile window, tracking your temperature every morning and using tools like ovulation tracker apps and predictor kits.
You may start to wonder — is this a medical problem or do I simply need to be more patient? You’re not alone. One in 8 couples struggles to conceive. Chantel Cross, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center at the Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center — Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Maryland, explains what factors might be affecting your ability to get pregnant and when you might consider infertility treatment.
How is infertility defined?
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex for women under 35 and six months for women 35 and older.
“The vast majority of people will become pregnant within the first 12 months of trying to conceive with regular unprotected intercourse,” says Cross. “After six months to a year of trying — depending on a woman’s age — we recommend that a couple comes in for an infertility evaluation. At that point, it’s more likely that there’s a problem preventing pregnancy.”
Medical Conditions Affecting Infertility
One or more factors may contribute to infertility. The most common problems include:
Fallopian tube obstruction
Blocked or scarred fallopian tubes that prevent sperm from reaching the egg are a frequent cause of infertility, especially among African Americans. A history of pelvic infection, sexually transmitted disease or endometriosis increases your risk for fallopian tube obstruction.
Irregular uterine shape
An irregularly shaped uterus can make it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall. Abnormalities can be caused by uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths on the uterine wall) or scar tissue from surgery or infection. It could also be the way your uterus is shaped.
Sometimes women don’t ovulate regularly and consistently. Sporadic menstrual cycles can be caused by conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hormonal imbalances or obesity. Ovulation can also be impacted by excessive exercise, stress or low body weight.
In more than 30 percent of infertility cases, there’s a problem with sperm such as low sperm count or abnormal sperm movement or shape. Male factor infertility can be due to a number of reasons including trauma, medical conditions like diabetes and unhealthy habits such as heavy drinking and smoking.
The Impact of Stress on Fertility
It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re trying to conceive. But whether or not that impacts fertility is up for debate. What we do know is that managing stress is good for you, no matter what life stage you’re in.
Age Is a Major Factor for Women
You’ve probably heard the phrase “your biological clock is ticking.” This phrase refers to your fertile window. Women can’t conceive after their menstrual cycles stop, usually sometime in your 40s or 50s. Men produce sperm throughout their lives, but women are born with a set number of eggs that decreases as you age.
“At birth you have about two million eggs but naturally lose hundreds of thousands of them by the time you reach puberty,” says Cross. “Your body continues to lose eggs no matter what you do. And the rate at which women lose eggs accelerates around the age of 37.”
The quality of eggs stored in the ovaries also declines over time. “The eggs you’re born with are naturally paused in the process of dividing their DNA,” Cross explains. “They complete that process, or ripen, when you ovulate them 20 to 40 years later. The longer eggs are stuck in the mid-division stage, the more likely that process will go wrong — creating eggs with the wrong number of chromosomes. That results in not becoming pregnant, experiencing miscarriages or having babies with genetic syndromes due to chromosomal abnormalities.”
The bottom line: The quality and number of eggs a woman has decreases throughout her lifetime and egg loss accelerates around the age of 37, which makes it more difficult to become pregnant.
Do I Need Infertility Treatment?
If you’re having trouble conceiving, an infertility specialist may be able to help. The first step after 12 months of trying to conceive (six months if you’re 35 or older) is to schedule an infertility evaluation. This multipart assessment includes:
- Physical examination
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Blood work
- Semen analysis
- Evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes (by specialized x-rays or ultrasounds)
If you or your partner have a known medical condition that affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, sperm or ovulation, talk to your doctor to see if you should be evaluated sooner. For example, if you know that both of your fallopian tubes are blocked, you’ll need to see an infertility specialist even before trying to get pregnant.
Infertility – NHS
Infertility is when a couple cannot get pregnant (conceive) despite having regular unprotected sex.
Around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving.
About 84% of couples will conceive naturally within a year if they have regular unprotected sex (every 2 or 3 days).
For couples who have been trying to conceive for more than 3 years without success, the likelihood of getting pregnant naturally within the next year is 1 in 4, or less.
Some people get pregnant quickly, but for others it can take longer. It’s a good idea to see a GP if you have not conceived after a year of trying.
Women aged 36 and over, and anyone who’s already aware they may have fertility problems, should see their GP sooner.
They can check for common causes of fertility problems and suggest treatments that could help.
Infertility is usually only diagnosed when a couple have not managed to conceive after a year of trying.
There are 2 types of infertility:
- primary infertility – where someone who’s never conceived a child in the past has difficulty conceiving
- secondary infertility – where someone has had 1 or more pregnancies in the past, but is having difficulty conceiving again
Read more about how infertility is diagnosed.
Fertility treatments include:
- medical treatment for lack of regular ovulation
- surgical procedures such as treatment for endometriosis, repair of the fallopian tubes, or removal of scarring (adhesions) within the womb or abdominal cavity
- assisted conception such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF
The treatment offered will depend on what’s causing the fertility problems and what’s available from your local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
Private treatment is also available, but it can be expensive and there’s no guarantee it will be successful.
It’s important to choose a private clinic carefully. You can ask a GP for advice, and should make sure you choose a clinic that’s licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
Some treatments for infertility, such as IVF, can cause complications.
- multiple pregnancy – if more than 1 embryo is placed in the womb as part of IVF treatment there’s an increased chance of having twins; this may not seem like a bad thing, but it significantly increases the risk of complications for you and your babies
- ectopic pregnancy – the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy is slightly increased if you have IVF
Read more about how infertility is treated.
What causes infertility?
There are many possible causes of infertility, and fertility problems can affect either partner. But in a quarter of cases it is not possible to identify the cause.
Common causes of infertility include:
- lack of regular ovulation (the monthly release of an egg)
- poor quality semen
- blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- endometriosis – where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (the endometrium) is found outside the womb
There are also several factors that can affect fertility.
- age – fertility declines with age
- weight – being overweight or obese (having a BMI of 30 or over) reduces fertility; in women, being overweight or severely underweight can affect ovulation
- sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – several STIs, including chlamydia, can affect fertility
- smoking – can affect fertility: smoking (including passive smoking) affects your chance of conceiving and can reduce semen quality; read more about quitting smoking
- alcohol – the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum. Drinking too much alcohol can also affect the quality of sperm (the chief medical officers for the UK recommend adults should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, which should be spread evenly over 3 days or more)
- environmental factors – exposure to certain pesticides, solvents and metals has been shown to affect fertility, particularly in men
- stress – can affect your relationship with your partner and cause a loss of sex drive; in severe cases, stress may also affect ovulation and sperm production
There’s no evidence to suggest caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee and colas, are associated with fertility problems.
Page last reviewed: 18 February 2020
Next review due: 18 February 2023
Fomin’s Clinic – a network of multidisciplinary clinics
If pregnancy does not occur within six months of active sexual activity, then this is one of the signs of infertility. But don’t panic. This does not mean at all that you have infertility, perhaps it is enough for you, for example, to adjust your diet. Secondly, infertility is treated. Well, you should not immediately wind yourself up on the subject of IVF. Remember, infertility is not equal to IVF.
Infertility is a diagnosis with which 10% of women worldwide have to live: according to statistics, every fourth married couple is infertile.In this article, we will talk about what female infertility is, how to live with it and whether it is possible to defeat it.
Female infertility is a diagnosis that is made after a year of unsuccessful attempts to have children, subject to regular sex with a partner without contraception. If the woman is over 35 years old, the diagnosis is made faster – after 6 months. After 35 years, the ability to conceive gradually decreases, so it is better for older women not to delay treatment.
However, one should not rush to sad conclusions either.According to statistics, even completely healthy couples under 30 years old manage to conceive a child in the first three months only in 20-37% of cases. Moreover, after six months, pregnancy occurs in 80% of couples. Until a year has passed from the first attempt, there is no need to worry, to be examined, and even more so to be treated.
Pregnancy depends on many reasons – in order for the “stars to converge” and coincide all the factors, sometimes it takes some time.
For example, it is known that the easiest way to get pregnant is to make love 3-4 times a week.But a break of more than 5 days can negatively affect the quality of sperm.
In addition, a lot depends on the lifestyle of the parents – stress and heavy workload reduce fertility in both men and women. Unsurprisingly, many successful pregnancies began during family vacations.
If less than 6-12 months have passed since the first attempt, you can try several “life hacks”:
Choose the optimal time for conception.According to some reports, the day of ovulation and 2-3 days before it is best for conception. To find out when ovulation occurs, a urinary rapid test for luteinizing hormone will help – a day or two before ovulation it will become positive. However, timing is not always the best option.
I always oppose calculating the optimal time for conception, because because of this, sex begins in a couple’s life on a schedule, and this is one continuous stress. It seems to me wiser to have sex 2-3 times a week throughout the cycle.
Kosolapova Inna Vladimirovna, gynecologist-reproductive specialist of the Fomin Clinic, chief physician
Do not use lubricants. Water, oil and silicone based lubricants reduce sperm survival. However, hydroxyethyl cellulose-based lubricants have less effect on sperm survival, so if there is a lack of lubrication, you can continue to use them.
“Stop” with diets. Adequate nutrition is the key to a successful pregnancy. But overeating is also not worth it. There is evidence that a body mass index (BMI) of 19-30 is ideal for pregnancy.In women who have more or less BMI, the time to conception increases.
You can manually calculate your BMI by dividing your weight by your height squared. Alternatively, you can use the built-in calculator on the website of a medical organization, or download a special application.
Stop smoking and give up alcohol. Smoking increases the risk of infertility by 1.6 times. It is also better not to abuse alcohol – eat more than 20 grams of ethanol per day, the risks of “earning” infertility increase by 60%.
On the other hand, the position of the body during sex, based on the available data, does not affect the result in any way. The missionary position is as suitable for conception as any other.
If more than a year has passed and nothing helps, it’s time to see a doctor. Only an obstetrician-gynecologist (reproductologist) has the right to make a diagnosis of infertility.
It is important to understand that infertility is not only a woman’s problem. According to statistics, in the absence of children in a third of cases the mother is “to blame”, in a third – the father, and in another third of cases the cause of infertility cannot be established. This means that when diagnosed with infertility, both partners must be examined.
The diagnosis of male infertility is made by a urologist / andrologist. But if you go to a family planning center, the diagnosis can be made by a fertility specialist.
Most often, female infertility is associated with problems in the reproductive system: in the ovaries, the fallopian (or fallopian) tubes, through which the egg is transferred from the ovaries to the uterus, and in the uterus itself. To find out what exactly “broke” in the female reproductive system, the doctor will take anamnesis, carefully examine the patient and prescribe tests.We talk about this in more detail in the article “Diagnosis of female infertility”.
Infertility is treated, and quite successfully – according to statistics, after diagnosis and therapy, children appear in 50% of women (without the use of assisted reproductive technologies: IVF, etc.). On the other hand, success depends on many factors, from age and history of previous pregnancies to partner sperm problems. Many factors affect the ability to become pregnant, so it can be difficult to predict the result.
If the problem is associated with being overweight or underweight, it is often sufficient to normalize the weight for a successful pregnancy. True, much more often the problem is associated with sex hormones – in this situation, the doctor will select the appropriate medications. And if the problem is in the obstruction of the fallopian tubes or in the uterus itself, surgery may be required.
An in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure is provided for patients for whom these methods of treatment are not suitable or have not helped.
The essence of IVF is that the patient’s ovaries are stimulated with the help of hormones, then the egg is taken and fertilized with her husband’s sperm, then the embryo is “grown” for a while in a special incubator and transplanted into the mother’s uterus. A baby is born in the same way as other children conceived “naturally”.
In Russia, the IVF procedure can be done free of charge under the compulsory medical insurance policy. However, it is important to understand that this is a complex method of treatment that requires serious preparation and gives the best result up to 40-45 years.It is difficult to predict how successful IVF will be. According to statistics, the procedure ends with the birth of a live and healthy baby in about 27% of cases.
At the same time, IVF success rates vary greatly not only in different countries, but also in different clinics in the same city. There are clinics in which in 30-40% of cases it is possible to achieve a positive result already on the first try.
Very often mothers are worried about possible health problems that may arise in children conceived with IVF.But lately, there is much less cause for concern than 20 years ago.
When the method was just being created, all viable embryos that were obtained after fertilization were implanted into the mothers’ uterus “just in case”. If everyone took root, mom often gave birth to twins or triplets, and sometimes “fours”. It is much more difficult to bear several children than one – and after all, mothers already had problems with pregnancy, otherwise IVF would simply not be required.
Today, the goal of the procedure is to give birth to one healthy baby, so mothers transfer only one, maximum two of the best embryos.As a result, most children born after IVF are almost indistinguishable from their peers.
- Female infertility is as common as male infertility. If you cannot get pregnant within a year, you need to be examined, and sometimes to be treated with your spouse.
- Infertility is a complex diagnosis that can have many causes. However, after treatment, about half of women successfully become pregnant and give birth to healthy babies (without IVF).
- IVF is a fairly effective way to give birth to a healthy baby.However, this method (like any other) has its pros and cons, so a decision must be made after consulting an obstetrician-gynecologist or a reproductive specialist.
Diseases preventing pregnancy | Family Clinic A-Media
The ability to conceive, safely bear and give birth to a child without any problems is a real happiness for a family. But, unfortunately, such happiness is not available to every married couple – many of them have been trying to give birth to an heir for years, but to no avail.According to experts, if within a year or two a couple living a regular sex life without means of contraception does not have the desired pregnancy, they need to consult a doctor. After all, many diseases, both male and female, both directly related to the sexual sphere and those without such a connection, can become an obstacle to the birth of a baby. This article will be devoted to these diseases.
Diseases in a woman
Among diseases of the female genital area, which can cause infertility, are the leading obstruction of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, polycystic ovary and tumors .
Obstruction of the fallopian tubes
Obstruction of the fallopian (fallopian) tubes in the vast majority of cases appears during inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs resulting from infections, hypothermia or surgery.
It is through the fallopian tubes that the ovum released from the ovary moves into the uterine cavity in order to attach to the uterine wall after fertilization and continue to develop into the embryo, and then the fetus.Inflammatory changes lead to adhesion of the inner mucous lining of the tubes, a sharp narrowing or even complete overlap of their lumen and, as a result, to the impossibility of passing the egg through such a tube.
However, in some cases, when the tube is narrowed, but there is still a gap in it, the possibility of pregnancy remains, but such a pregnancy is fraught with complications that are life-threatening for a woman. We are talking about an ectopic pregnancy, when a sperm cell, tiny in comparison with an egg, can pass through a narrowed tube, fertilization of an egg by it occurs, but the egg itself no longer descends into the uterine cavity. Within a few weeks, such a pregnancy can develop in the fallopian tube, but anyway, sooner or later there comes a point when the fetus does not have enough space and the tube bursts.
Another common cause of female infertility is endometriosis . This disease, the causes of which have not yet been thoroughly studied, is manifested by the appearance of areas of the inner lining of the uterine cavity on the surface of various organs of the small pelvis. The mucous membrane of the uterus is unique in its structure, it has two layers, and one of them, the outer one, if the woman is not pregnant, once a month completely exfoliates, which is accompanied by bleeding.
The areas of the uterine mucosa on other organs behave in the same way – these are small areas of nodules, growths that swell and even bleed once a month. And if such an area is located, for example, on the outer wall of the uterus, it will not manifest itself in anything other than moderate abdominal pain once a month associated with irritation of the peritoneum with blood and usually coinciding with menstrual bleeding. But the appearance of a section of the uterine mucosa in the lumen of the fallopian tube can lead to its obstruction – complete or partial.
Polycystic ovary is another disease that provokes the development of infertility. With this disease, the ovaries, due to hormonal disruptions in adolescence or in connection with congenital features of their structure, have a too dense outer shell. Normally, the egg cell is inside the ovary in a special bubble – the follicle, which, under the influence of the hormonal cycle, gradually approaches the surface of the ovary and at a certain moment bursts, releasing the egg ready for fertilization.In polycystic follicles, the follicles cannot rupture, and the ovary gradually turns into a cluster of cysts filled with fluid. Of course, since the release of the egg does not occur, then its fertilization is impossible.
Tumor diseases of the genital area . Malignant tumors in the overwhelming majority of cases are an indication for radical surgery with the removal of the entire affected organ. In addition, as a rule, such tumors are hormone-dependent, and pregnancy can only aggravate and intensify their course.
However, benign tumors – quite common fibroids and fibromas – can become an insurmountable obstacle to carrying a child. Conception in such cases usually occurs without problems, the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus, however, the tumor, especially if it is located in the submucous layer of the uterus, can begin to bleed profusely, which poses a serious threat not only to pregnancy, but also to the woman’s life.
Miscarriages and missed pregnancies in the past are also a serious reason to pay close attention to a woman’s health.Without a reason, pregnancy is not terminated – which means that an infection, or hormonal imbalance, or severe stress was to blame. This reason must be identified and must be cured or prevented, otherwise one miscarriage can develop into a habitual miscarriage, and this is a very difficult condition in all respects.
Diseases in a couple
Sexually transmitted diseases can become a serious obstacle to conceiving and bearing a child – a set of infectious diseases that can not only provoke violent inflammation of the internal genital organs and mechanically interfere with conception, but even cause premature termination of pregnancy, or the development of fetal deformities.
Therefore, it is very important, even before pregnancy, to be tested for such diseases (as a rule, this study is complex, for several dozen infections at once), and, if necessary, to cure them, and do this to both future parents – because in some cases, diseases can occur in a hidden, erased form and, for example, only in a man. But with the onset of pregnancy, the infection will manifest itself in the body of the expectant mother, and the consequences of this can be sad.
In addition to diseases of a purely sexual sphere of women, there are a number of general somatic diseases that can become an insurmountable obstacle to happy motherhood.
One of the most common such diseases is obesity . The fact is that adipose tissue is a hormone-active substance, and its excess in the female body directly disrupts the normal course of hormonal processes. With severe obesity, the onset of pregnancy is impossible, but its moderate forms can cause serious complications in the course of pregnancy and childbirth.
However, no less than obesity is dangerous and underweight women .The reason is the same – adipose tissue is hormonally active, and with its insufficient content in the body, the sexual cycle of a woman stops. Menstruation stops, conception becomes impossible. By the way, excess or lack of body weight in men works the same way – it causes disruption or cessation of sperm production and infertility.
Fortunately, with the normalization of body weight, hormonal processes in most cases return to normal, and motherhood becomes possible without additional treatment.
Any diseases of the organs of the endocrine system can lead to infertility. This does not mean that with thyroid diseases or, for example, diabetes pregnancy and childbirth are impossible. However, these diseases can cause serious complications of the course of pregnancy, and therefore, if they are present, a woman needs to be especially carefully monitored by a doctor.
Another cause of infertility can be diseases that suppress the immune system – these include HIV , tuberculosis , some systemic connective tissue diseases such as lupus and arthritis .
A course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, passed in the past, both by a woman and a man, also in some cases leads to infertility.
Diseases in a man
It has long been known that the “culprit” of childlessness is not always a woman. There are also purely “male” reasons for the infertility of a couple.
So, one of the causes of male infertility can be 90,081 mumps, or mumps , transferred during puberty and after it. Inflammation of the parotid salivary glands, harmless for a little boy, becomes fatal for a teenager or adult man, as it disrupts the maturation of sperm in the testicles.That is why it is so important for a man to do all the planned preventive vaccinations against mumps.
Undescended testicles into the scrotum is a fairly common malformation. Initially, during intrauterine development, the testes are laid and developed in the abdominal cavity, from where they then enter the scrotum. This usually occurs in the sixth month of intrauterine development, but in some cases even later, after the birth of the baby. If the testicles have not descended by the age of one year, you should consult a doctor and, if necessary, operate on the boy until puberty.The testicles in the scrotum are a physiological necessity for the body, since the normal temperature for sperm formation is 35 degrees (and the temperature in the abdominal cavity is much higher, up to 38). And if the testicles remain inside, sperm will not be able to develop in them.
Inflammatory diseases of the testicles, their appendages and urethra bring both to a disruption in the process of sperm production and to mechanical obstruction of the tubules through which sperm or sperm are excreted.
Hormonal diseases , especially the imbalance of female and male sex hormones due to adrenal disease is another common cause of male infertility.
Strong drugs : antibiotics, analgesics, immunosuppressants, hormonal drugs, antineoplastic agents, and even some vitamins (in particular, vitamin C) – taken in large doses, often uncontrollably, both by a woman and a man, can also become an insurmountable obstacle to happy parenting.
Of course, the list of diseases leading to infertility is much wider than , the article lists only the most common pathologies. In order to exclude these diseases and find the true cause that prevents conception, it is important for both spouses to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. Our clinic in St. Petersburg has all the necessary tools for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of the cause of your infertility. And when you go through treatment, your dreams of a baby will certainly come true.
See also : Diagnosis of infertility, Treatment of infertility, Appointment of a urologist, Appointment of a gynecologist.
90,000 how and when to plan a pregnancy
Do I need to plan a pregnancy in advance? Most often, expectant parents visit a doctor when it has already come. It’s good if their health is all right. But what to do when they are unaware of the presence of abnormalities in the body or genetic inheritance? In many cases, an elementary examination and treatment before conception could prevent the development of pathologies in the unborn child.Therefore, the planning of pregnancy is now beginning to be taken quite seriously.
Why you need to plan a pregnancy
Currently, many people are still wondering: why plan a pregnancy? However, according to some statistics, only about 30% of babies are born absolutely healthy. The same number already have a definite diagnosis. The remaining children are at risk. The situation is explained by the fact that as a result of the influence of unfavorable factors (poor-quality nutrition, radiation, the use of drugs, air pollution, smoking and others), the cells of the human body are constantly mutating.Mutations that occur in the germ cells can be passed on to subsequent generations.
A person may not even be aware of what changes are taking place in his body, especially if he is in excellent health and looks absolutely healthy. The older a person is, the more mutations accumulate in his cells. All this is transmitted as a result of inheritance, so it is very important to undergo a thorough examination before conception.
Planning a pregnancy is a must for those couples who have hereditary diseases, problems with bearing a child.The risk group includes future parents living in environmentally polluted areas or working in hazardous industries. But this does not mean that the rest should not worry, because planning a pregnancy, or conscious parenting, is the key to the health and well-being of an unborn child.
When to plan a child
In the process of planning a pregnancy, it is necessary to carefully analyze the situation at the moment and look a little into the future. Of course, it will not be possible to foresee everything that may happen, but some moments can still be thought over.Experts recommend starting preparations for conception six months or at least 3 months before pregnancy. But this is provided that outwardly no signs of illness are observed in both parents. In the event that at least one of them has current or hereditary disorders, the term increases.
Pregnancy and Age
When can I start planning a pregnancy? What is the best age for conception and gestation? According to experts, it is best to get pregnant at the age of 21-26 years.The fact is that the woman’s hormonal background has already been established by this moment and she has enough physical strength to bear and give birth to a child. Unfortunately, today the age of women who give birth for the first time has increased significantly. This is mainly due to the social burden. Study, career, desire to get on your feet – all this pushes pregnancy into the background, and the first birth increasingly occurs after 30 years.
On the one hand, the positive thing is that conception occurs purposefully, consciously, and the child is born in a financially secure family.But if we talk about the process of the pregnancy itself and the health of the expectant mother and child, then many problems can arise. It is believed that with age, the ability to conceive decreases and the likelihood of genetic disorders at the level of germ cells increases.
Pregnancy and Study
If the expectant mother is studying and cannot or does not want to postpone conception until later, it is worth choosing the time for this so that the child is born during the holidays. As a result, she will be able to stay close to the baby, provide him with breastfeeding and get used to the new status.Also, when planning a pregnancy, you should look: will it not coincide with state exams or the defense of a thesis? Even with very good preparation for delivery, this is a stressful factor, and anxiety and anxiety can harm an unborn baby. It would be nice to talk with loved ones, how often they can stay with the baby when the mother is at school. After all, it is very difficult to combine education, recovery after childbirth and caring for an infant alone. If possible, you should consider a nanny.
Pregnancy and material well-being
Before planning a pregnancy, it is worth discussing your financial condition with the other half. How important is your contribution to the family budget? Will the husband be able to meet the increased needs of the enlarged family after the baby is born? Although it is said: “God gave a child, he will give to a child,” however, one should take a responsible approach to this issue. After all, in addition to food and diapers, you will need to buy a lot.
Pregnancy and Housing
It is also important where you will live after the baby is born. This also needs to be discussed during the planning phase. If the accommodation is rented, then you should ask the owners in advance if they will renew the contract. Moving from apartment to apartment with a baby is a stressful situation. In addition, if you are going to make repairs, then it is better to carry out the work before pregnancy. Inhalation of construction dust, paint vapors and other materials does not contribute to the normal development of the fetus, this can provoke a miscarriage or the development of pathologies.
Pregnancy and Season of the Year
When choosing the time of conception, it is worth considering in what season your child will be born. Count back three months and consider how comfortable you and your baby will be. So, if childbirth occurs in the fall, then sudden changes in air temperature and humidity can interfere with walks. With spring conception, there is a high probability of contracting viral infections, which is unacceptable in the first months of pregnancy. However, the third trimester in winter will be much easier to carry.
Summer is a good time to conceive thanks to the abundance of fruits and vegetables. In this sense, autumn is also great. However, the autumn period is famous for unstable weather conditions and the massive spread of viral diseases. In this case, the last months of pregnancy will fall in the hot summer season, which can lead to frequent swelling and drowsiness.
What else does planning mean?
Consultation with a specialist. First of all, if a woman is going to become pregnant in the near future, she should consult a doctor – a general practitioner and a gynecologist.And her man should also go to the first. The state of health of not only a woman, but also her other half at the time of conception determines how healthy the baby will be. It is worth preparing for the fact that you will have to visit more than one specialist. If any violations or facts are detected, additional examination and, possibly, treatment may be required. So, for example, toxoplasmosis is a serious disease that leads to the occurrence of pathologies in the fetus. You can get it from domestic cats.Therefore, you should definitely take a blood test for the presence of antigens if representatives of this family live in the same apartment with the expectant mother.
Correction of medication intake. If a woman is prescribed any medications for permanent use, then she should definitely inform the doctor that she is planning conception and pregnancy. The doctor will select a suitable, safer analogue. The medicine can have teratogenic and mutagenic effects, therefore, before using any of them, even at the stage of pregnancy planning, it is best to consult first.
Collection of information. It is worth asking parents and relatives if they have had cases of miscarriage or manifestations of hereditary disorders. If you find at least one such episode, you need to visit a geneticist.
Self-study. What steps can you take on your own, without the help of specialists? For a successful conception, pregnancy and the birth of a healthy child, both parents will also need to make an effort.
Quitting bad habits. Smoking and drinking alcohol can provoke hypoxia, miscarriage or lead to abnormalities in the development of organs in the fetus, so you should completely abandon these habits.
Power supply correction. The expectant mother needs to monitor her body weight, maintaining it at an optimal level. Obesity, as well as underweight, can cause complications in both the child and the woman. However, it is also not recommended to sharply throw off or gain weight, as this entails a restructuring of the hormonal background.A good solution would be a moderate food intake with a properly formulated regimen, which can be advised by a specialist. Choosing a diet on your own is not recommended.
Caring for a healthy lifestyle. Full rest, hardening and physical activity are factors that contribute to the easy passage of a future pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby. In some cases, it may be useful to take additional vitamins. However, it is also worth consulting your doctor on these issues.
- Folates are mandatory. For the prevention of fetal neural tube defects and other malformations, as well as a complicated course of pregnancy, all, without exception, women preparing for conception need within 3 months. during the preconception period and at least during the first trimester of gestation, take folates (optimally in the composition of folate-containing complexes) at a dosage of 400-800 μg / day A. In groups at high risk of neural tube defect, the dose should be increased to 4000 mcg / day (monitored by the level of homocysteine in the blood).
- Iodine. In iodine-deficient regions (95% of the territory of the Russian Federation) for the prevention of endemic cretinism and congenital thyroid diseases in a child for 3 months. before conception, additional prescription of iodine preparations is necessary: for women – at a dose of 250 μg / day, for men – 100 μg / day A. When pregnancy occurs, the amount of iodine consumed by a woman should be increased.
- Iron. The decision to subsidize iron should be based on laboratory assessment of red blood counts and iron status.
- Vitamin D. For all women preparing for conception, it is advisable to receive vitamin D in a dose of 600-800 IU / day. The decision to prescribe higher doses of vitamin D must be made based on the determination of its concentration in the blood. Hypovitaminosis D is subject to mandatory correction.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids. For all women in the periconceptual period, an additional intake of PUFA at a dosage of 200-300 mg / day is desirable, followed by continuation throughout gestation to prevent a complicated course of pregnancy and the physiological formation of the structures of the brain, the organ of vision and the immune system of the fetus.The optimal way to increase the intake of PUFA is to expand the diet, if impossible – medication.
- Multivitamin and mineral complexes. The expediency of subsidizing vitamins and microelements in the composition of some multivitamin-mineral complexes in the preconception period and during gestation has been proven in a number of large studies. Of the positive effects in the criteria of evidence-based medicine, a decrease in the frequency of neural tube defects and other malformations, a decrease in the proportion of children born with underweight, and a decrease in perinatal mortality were confirmed.
Thus, there is nothing difficult and impossible in planning a pregnancy. You can try to solve every single problem. After all, giving life to a new person, you also give the quality of this life, determining his future. Have a nice pregnancy!
90,000 Top 10 mistakes when trying to get pregnant
There are times when the doctors did not reveal any abnormalities in you and your partner, but the long-awaited pregnancy still does not come. And it already seems to you that this is not a natural natural phenomenon, but a real magic of luck and genetics.For some, pregnancy happens “the first time”, while others turn their lives into a real nightmare.
It’s all about making similar mistakes, we tell you about the most common ones.
Mistake # 1⃣: Worrying too often
Most likely, you have at least one friend who, having become pregnant, said: “It happened exactly at the moment when I stopped thinking about it.” It’s annoying, frustrating and annoying, especially when all you want is to have a baby.Stress can be one of the main reasons why you can’t get pregnant: high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can negatively affect fertility. Relax and try to let go of the situation for a while. Stop planning your pregnancy so much and remind yourself every day that this is a miracle that actually happens very, very often.
Mistake # 2: Doing too much / too little
If you’re going to do it, do it right! Many couples believe that if you “save” sperm and do not have sex for a week, then the chances of conception will increase significantly.This is not true. After about a week of abstinence, sperm motility is markedly reduced. For a successful conception, doctors recommend having sex every day or every other day for a week before and including ovulation day. In addition, regular sex has been shown to help establish a cycle: Your partner’s body releases hormones that affect your reproductive system, so having sex regularly can help you produce more estrogen.
Mistake # 3⃣: Using Questionable Techniques
It would seem that the 21st century is in the yard, but many women still continue to believe in the miraculous power of douching.Sperm in such an environment dies and cannot fertilize an egg, so many people use a weak solution of soda to make the environment alkaline and create favorable conditions for conception. But doctors are opposed to this method: soda kills not only harmful microorganisms, but also beneficial ones, thus disrupting the natural pH of the vagina.
Mistake # 4⃣: Blame Yourself
When we talk about infertility, we usually think that the problem is on the part of the woman. But in reality, the responsibility lies equally with both partners.Doctors say that in 40% of cases of infertility, the cause must be sought from the side of the man, in another 40% – from the side of the woman. The remaining 20% is compatibility, a combination of both partners. But don’t panic ahead of time. Remember that it takes 6 months to a year for a healthy couple to conceive successfully.
Mistake # 5⃣: Making a mistake
The most common mistake is incorrect determination of the day of ovulation. Another common mistake is counting the beginning of the cycle not from the first day of menstruation.The first day of your period is when you bleed. Not the day before, not the day after. For a successful conception, it literally counts for hours, which is why it is so important to know the exact day of the beginning of the cycle.
Mistake # 6⃣: Living on a Schedule
No matter how hard you try, pregnancy cannot be planned. As mentioned above, it takes a healthy couple 6 months to a year to conceive. But many women need six months just to normalize their cycle after they stop taking contraceptives.You will not ovulate until your cycle is regular. Therefore, if after 6 months your cycle has not returned to normal or you are not sure if you are ovulating, it is worth visiting your doctor.
Mistake # 7⃣: Rush
No one knows why so many people are sarcastic about the statement that after intercourse it is advisable to lie on your back with slightly raised buttocks for about 20 minutes. Doctors unanimously say that this method increases the possibility of conception by as much as 80%! Therefore, if you want to dance a victory dance after a successful, as it seems to you, conception, abstain – at least for 20 minutes.
Mistake # 8⃣: Ignore your “crazy” worries
Maybe you have always had an irregular cycle and are having difficulty conceiving because of this. Or perhaps you have diabetes and want to make sure everything is under control before getting pregnant. Consulting a specialist doesn’t mean being paranoid! There are situations in which you should not ignore your worries: here you think not only about yourself, but also about your future child. If you have any questions or concerns, it is better to immediately find a specialist who will explain everything and tell you about the pitfalls that may occur specifically on your way.Thus, when faced with difficulties trying to conceive, you will already be ready for them.
Mistake # 9⃣: Don’t Give Up Bad Habits
A lot has already been said on this topic, but it will still not be superfluous to repeat: it is necessary to give up bad habits at least a year before trying to get pregnant. Why do women continue to drink alcohol and smoke, knowing how detrimental it affects the ability to conceive? Doctors all over the world warn: the first trimester is the most important in the formation of a child’s body.There is no amount of alcohol that is safe for him.
Mistake # 10 Forgetting about his health
What is bad for your fertility can also harm your partner’s ability to conceive. Cigarettes, alcohol, unbalanced diet – all this negatively affects the quality and quantity of sperm. The sperm is completely renewed in 3 months, so your partner should give up bad habits at least for this time. Make sure he gets enough nutrients, selenium, vitamins E and C – these are especially beneficial for men.
90,000 What if women had complete control over when and from whom to get pregnant?
- Rachel Nuever
- BBC Future
Photo author, Getty Images
More than a third of all pregnancies on the planet are unplanned, and the availability of modern methods of contraception does not save. How would our world change if women controlled when, at what age, and from whom to conceive a child?
For millennia, society has viewed women as being of a lower order than men, in everything from biology to intelligence.
Scientists (historically, almost all of them were men) also looked at the world through the lens of this view – for example, they studied the process of animal reproduction almost exclusively on the example of males.
“It was once thought that women were a passive organ in which sperm swirled, and the egg did almost nothing,” says Patrice Rosengrave, a researcher at the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand. men who have semen. “
It is only recently that scientists have begun to discover a striking variety of methods by which the females of many animals assert their primacy in breeding.
Female salmon, for example, are able to slow down or accelerate the movement of the sperm of certain males – depending on whether you need to give someone an advantage or not.
Female mice and jungle chickens can select the sperm of exactly those males that are more genetically matched, thus avoiding inbreeding.
Drosophila female can store sperm from different males in special organs in order to use it later and from the male she has chosen.
Since male ducks are prone to rape (even gang rape) and their long (can reach 28 cm – Approx. ) corkscrew-like penis is twisted counterclockwise, the females evolved so that their vagina is twisted in the opposite direction , clockwise to prevent violent intercourse and fertilization.
Yes, people have not achieved the same success in the “sexual arms race” as flies, mice or ducks, but now women have much more control, thanks to various means of birth control, pills and, in extreme cases, abortion.
But these funds are not available everywhere, do not always provide a guaranteed result and are not approved by everyone. Women may be reluctant to use one or the other of these methods for cultural, religious or personal reasons.
And those who do not always can: in developing countries and poorer regions of the world, women may simply not have access to birth control. In addition, there are countries where abortion is prohibited or morally condemned by society.
For example, in the United States, several states have strict anti-abortion laws. In Northern Ireland, the ability to have an abortion is officially severely restricted.
Photo Credit, Getty Images
Many animals have evolved in such a way that their females can to some extent choose who will father their children
But even if women around the world could freely use all the available means of regulation fertility, the fact remains – these funds do not always work.
Contraceptives don’t always work, sex workers are forced to stop using condoms, men rape women, and some women simply have no say in when and how often to have sex.
What if all women suddenly had some of the powers of animals? Namely: what if women, by a wave of a magic wand, would gain the opportunity in 100% of cases to control not only when and at what age they get pregnant, but also from whom exactly (including cases of rape, when it is not a question of choosing a desired partner)?
The first and most obvious outcome will, of course, be the end of unplanned pregnancies.
Almost all over the planet, women already have fewer and fewer children – for various reasons. However, in 2012, one of those for which data are available, 40% of the world’s 85 million pregnancies were unplanned.
The time will come for women when they finally find inner peace.
“Their bodies will no longer undergo a sudden pregnancy – an incredibly damaging process for the body,” says Karen Newman, independent consultant on sexual and reproductive health and women’s rights in London.
You will no longer need to spend money on contraceptives, and their side effects will disappear.
For example, about 500 million women have taken birth control pills at one time or another in their lives. Because of this, some of them experienced depression, anxiety, migraines, and some had blood clots.
Sterilization (the world’s most popular contraceptive method) can cause serious complications, including death.
Photo author, Getty Images
Women nowadays have more opportunities to avoid unwanted pregnancies, but not everyone has access to such means
But will the ability to completely control their reproductive abilities lead to the fact that women start to have more risky sex lives? And to the fact that sexually transmitted diseases are flourishing?
“We haven’t seen this happen when effective contraception was invented,” says Wendy Chavkin, professor emeritus at Columbia University, New York, an expert in family health, obstetrics and gynecology.
One study of about 8,000 American women, for example, found no indication that giving women free contraception could lead to an increase in the number of their partners or in the frequency of having sex.
There will be no unwanted pregnancies – the number of abortions will also decrease. This should be appreciated by those who are fighting for the prohibition of abortion and those who are in favor of freedom of choice.
This causes serious complications, which cost $ 553 million annually to cure.Such abortions may be responsible for 13% of female deaths annually.
“In the West, where abortion is safe, our hypothetical situation will not greatly affect the health of society,” notes Chavkin.
“But if your only choice is to let someone poke around in your cervix, as is often the case in some countries in Africa or Latin America, then yes, this will change a lot for women who are now either dying or becoming disabled. “.
It should be noted, however, that even in our hypothetical situation there will be room for abortions.Why?
Because a planned pregnancy is not only a decision to conceive. Over the next nine months, a woman may be given a medical diagnosis that will influence her decision.
It may turn out that the embryo develops so that the fetus cannot exist outside the uterus. Or a woman will have a disease that will make childbirth a mortal danger to her.
In the end, life circumstances may suddenly change – a woman will be left without a job or without the support of a partner or husband.
Photo author, Getty Images
Although the world’s population is growing, in almost all countries women have on average fewer children than in the past
Fertility may fall. But this does not mean that the growth of the world’s population will suddenly stop (the current pace will lead to the fact that by 2100 there will be 10.9 billion people in the world).
Women may still want to have several sons and daughters, and the mentality of a society where many children are traditionally expected from a family is not so easy to change.
But if you add up all the advantages, it turns out that the changes that we are considering here purely theoretically will be better for both women and society as a whole.
“If you take away the main reason why so many women cannot get a proper education, make a career, and so on (I mean constant childbearing), then the world will open for them in a way that has never been opened before.” – emphasizes Suzanne Mayhew, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
According to Mayhew, better educated women who are more successful at work will help the global economy, especially in developing countries, to grow at a more sustainable pace.
Indeed, now the only countries that have managed to achieve great economic success without lowering the birth rate are the oil-rich Arab states.
If more educated women who have achieved much in the professional sense come to the public sphere, they will be able to claim those leading roles in society that were traditionally given to men in the past.This will radically change the world in which we live – and, according to a number of experts, for the better.
“We will have a more compassionate, more peaceful and satisfied society, the main goals of which will not be making as much money as possible or owning as many nuclear missiles as possible,” Mayhew says, referring to the results of a large-scale study that showed that women – Leaders are characterized by such traits as empathy and a tendency to give priority to social values.
Photo author, Getty Images
By deciding for themselves when and from whom to have children, women will be able to get the education they want and work where they want
We may also see that women decide to give birth at a more mature age. Already, many are putting it off. The certainty that you will be able to give birth later will further ease the pressure of age-old ideas about giving birth young.
Of course, such a decision will help to get an education and make a career, but it’s worth saying that by postponing childbirth until the age of 40-50, we risk an increase in the percentage of children born with Down syndrome, Mayhew says.
And yet, she emphasizes, it is much more dangerous for a woman to give birth at the age of a teenager than at 40. In addition, a woman who gave birth at 40 can give her child much more – both materially and spiritually.
What if we take our thought experiment to the extreme? What if females have the powers of the females of certain animals? For example, will they start saving the sperm of their partners in order to choose the most worthy one later?
This raises serious ethical questions regarding agreement on both sides and is likely to fuel the debate over men’s rights over sexual partner pregnancy.
Meanwhile, the sperm of those men who will be considered donors of the highest quality (based on their intelligence, appearance or some other traits) can become a resource for the possession of which competition will begin.
“Perhaps some women will start to assume that there is always someone better to be the father of your children,” suggests Rene Ferman, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
Photo author, Getty Images
Until the whole world begins to treat a woman as an equal man, we are unlikely to see a society in which women have complete control over when and from whom they want to conceive a child
As a result, however, men may become more responsible in their use of condoms.Knowing that women can store the sperm of multiple partners, men can become paranoid – is this their child? Paternity tests will become even more common.
Over time, it may also happen that men develop new qualities in their sperm – for example, the ability to kill the sperm of rivals.
All of this, of course, will change the dynamics of the relationship. And some men may very much dislike the ability women have acquired.
They will see it as a threat to their power and will try to develop responses to limit the fertility of women, reduce the degree of their control over their own body and their own lives, Chavkin said.
“Or they will do their best to portray the woman as a selfish creature seeking to harm the fetus,” he adds.
All this, in truth, resembles some kind of fantastic dystopian novel.
But even leaving these fantasies aside, one thing is absolutely clear, Mayhew says: we are far from a world in which women decide for themselves when and from whom to conceive a child. Because we are still far from the world in which women and men are equal.
“Even in rich countries, what we have just discussed will entail a radical departure from the status quo. The worldview of the whole society will have to change,” she says. imagine such a fundamentally different world. ”
To read the original of this article in English, visit BBC Future .
Childbirth may be possible without the participation of an egg
- James Gallagher
- BBC Science and Health Correspondent
Photo by SPL
Successful experiments testify that science can achieve the birth of children without the participation of the egg.
Studies published in the journal Nature Communications have already achieved the birth of healthy mice by “convincing” sperm that they fertilize a normal egg.
This means, according to scientists, that in the distant future, the process of childbirth may be possible without the participation of women.
At this stage, the experiments carried out help to better understand the fertilization process.
Without mom and dad?
Scientists at the University of the British city of Bath began their experiments with an unfertilized egg.
Using various chemicals, they managed to “trick” her into a pseudo-embryo.
These pseudo-embryos are a lot like normal cells such as skin cells. They can share and control their DNA.
Scientists have suggested that if by injecting sperm into such pseudo-embryos of mice, it is possible to achieve the birth of healthy mouse offspring, then this means that in the future a similar result can be achieved in human cells not obtained from an egg.
In experiments on mice, the probability of achieving a successful pregnancy was 25%.
“For the first time, it has been proven that sperm in conjunction with other cells not associated with the egg can produce healthy offspring,” one of the researchers, Dr. Tony Perry, told the BBC.
“This is turning all our age-old ideas upside down,” he added.
The mice born as a result of the experiment were healthy, had a normal lifespan and were able to give birth to healthy offspring.
Photo by Tony Perry
The purpose of the experiments was to investigate the exact mechanism of fertilization. What exactly happens at the moment of the fusion of the sperm with the egg has not yet been fully clarified.
The ovum, for example, completely changes the entire chemical membrane of the sperm DNA. As a result, the sperm ceases to behave as such and behaves like an embryo. But how this “reincarnation” takes place is not yet clear.
Removing the need for an egg from childbearing can have far-reaching social implications.
“One possibility in the distant future is that normal cells in the human body can combine with sperm to form an embryo,” says Dr. Perry.
In other words, two men can be equally biological parents of their child: one will give an ordinary cell, and the other will give sperm.
Or one man can become a parent of a child with the help of his sperm and his own cell.In this case, the born child will not be so much a clone as the fraternal twin of its parent.
For the time being, however, as Dr. Perry points out, such scenarios belong to the sphere of “speculative fantasies.”
This year, Chinese specialists succeeded in producing sperm from stem cells from mice and then using this sperm to fertilize an egg, resulting in healthy mice.
Combining these two experiments, Dr. Perry believes, could ultimately lead to fertility without sperm and egg cells.
“No wonder the authors of the experiments are excited about the results,” says Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Biomedical Research Center, UK.
“This is a very interesting study and an outstanding achievement from a technological point of view. It will be able to reveal many processes occurring at an early stage of the body’s development, which are very important for both fertilization and the transfer of the nucleus of a single cell [cloning],” he said.
“In a broader sense, it helps to identify the mechanisms of cell reprogramming in other situations. How this happens, we are not yet clear, but this study provides certain indicators in this direction,” says Professor Robin Lovell-Badge.
Typical mistakes that prevent pregnancy
Having decided to conceive a child, the couple begins trying to achieve pregnancy. But it is not enough to know on what day of the menstrual cycle unprotected sexual intercourse should take place.
Many factors affect the likelihood of conception. If pregnancy does not occur, you may be doing something wrong.
Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes couples can make when planning a pregnancy.
Make an appointment
Low calorie diet
The body perceives a lack of calories as a threat to existence.There is not enough energy and plastic material for the production of hormones, the normal functioning of the genitals and the maturation of the germ cells.
A prolonged calorie deficit is the easiest path to anovulation (no ovulation) and the inability to conceive a child.
In men, the normal process of spermatogenesis is disrupted. The amount of ejaculate and the normal forms of sperm contained in it decreases.
Therefore, instead of diets with a calorie deficit, it is worth making a complete diet, the calorie content of which covers the need for energy.At the same time, it is worth remembering that proteins, fats and carbohydrates must be present in sufficient quantities.
The structure of the body is based on protein. It is best absorbed from meat and meat products. In addition, the body receives the largest amount of iron from food of animal origin.
Vegetarianism, although it is considered one of the options for a healthy diet, the body’s need for proteins may not always be covered. Vegetable protein has a deficient amino acid composition.
Therefore, if pregnancy does not occur, the reasons for this may lie in vegetarianism. When planning a family, you should temporarily abandon such a diet. The same should be done during pregnancy if you do not wish to harm your baby.
Sauna improves blood circulation, which is very beneficial for any person, but not for the future father. After all, the male sex glands, which produce gametes, are located outside the body for a reason.
Spermatozoa are very sensitive to high temperatures, so nature made sure that the testes of men are in temperature conditions not higher than 34 degrees.
If your spouse does not get pregnant, you can increase your chances of conceiving by avoiding this pleasant wellness procedure while you are planning your pregnancy. After receiving the long-awaited result, he will be able to reward himself with a trip to the sauna, and it will be even more pleasant after a long break.
Shower after intimacy
You have conscientiously calculated the most favorable day for conception. We did everything to make the pregnancy test positive this time. But it turned out to be negative again. What is the reason?
One of the most common mistakes is to shower or take a bath immediately after making love. Wait at least two hours, or even longer, for the male reproductive cells to arrive at their destination. They can be “helped” if, immediately after contact, the woman assumes a position in which the pelvis is slightly raised.To do this, you can put a roller under the buttocks.
Incorrect frequency of sexual intercourse
The maturation of both male and female germ cells takes a certain amount of time. Everyone knows that it takes about 14 days for an egg to mature.
But only a few know that spermatozoa, previously going through the stages of spermatogenesis, “overgrow” with flagella and an acrosome in the lumen of the seminiferous tubule for another 3-4 days.
These organelles are very important in fertilization: the flagellum determines the motility of the sperm and their ability to reach the oocyte.The acrosome contains an enzyme that dissolves the protective shell of the egg, thereby fertilization occurs.
When planning a pregnancy, take a break between episodes of intimacy. 3-4 days is quite enough – at long intervals stagnation and sperm thickening occur, which negatively affects the viability and fertility of sperm.
With too frequent contact (for example, daily), the semen may not be enough or it will be too thin.Which also greatly reduces the chance of conception.
It is also important to consider the days of the menstrual cycle that are most favorable for conception. Most often this is from about the 10th to the 16th day of the cycle.
Fruitless attempts over a year
It is not so scary if the couple, who cannot conceive on their own for a year, are young. But often problems with conception lie in wait for spouses who are in an older reproductive age. And here it is important not to waste precious time.
With infertility, there is always a certain reason why conception is impossible.By postponing the search for this reason, spouses only exacerbate the current situation.
If pregnancy does not occur for a year, then the chances of conceiving a child without the help of doctors do not exceed 10-15%. Therefore, it is better to contact a reproduction center, get tested, identify the cause of infertility and, if possible, eliminate it. Only then can you get pregnant.