If you are wanting to have a baby, educating yourself on female and male fertility can go a long way toward boosting your ability to conceive.
It comes as no surprise that men and women differ when it comes to fertility. Healthy women, for instance, experience a peak in fertility at around 20 years of age. Around 27 years of age, fertility decreases before dropping dramatically around 37.
For healthy males, although sperm count and movement decline with age, there is no upper age cut-off that makes it impossible to impregnate. However, researchers at Bristol and Brunel Universities found that starting after age 35, after one year of trying, 15% of men were not able to impregnate their partners.
It may come as a surprise that overall good health does not impact fertility. In fact, one in ten healthy couples experiences fertility difficulties.
The timing of intercourse is one of the most important things a couple can consider when trying to conceive. First, it’s important to note that sperm lives in the female reproductive tract for up to three days. Second, women are fertile on the day an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation) and during the five days before ovulation. Current research shows that a women’s ability to conceive does not extend past the day following ovulation. Using an ovulation calculator and having intercourse on the two days before you ovulate have been shown to dramatically increase your chances of conceiving.
Being under or overweight can affect fertility. For instance, when a woman is underweight as a result of malnourishment or over-exercising, amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) can occur. Being overweight can result in hormonal issues that interfere with fertility.
Studies suggest when a women’s body mass index (BMI) is higher than normal, compared to women with normal BMI, the time it takes to become pregnant doubles. Overweight men can also experience fertility problems.
However, research shows these effects are not permanent. Once women either gain or lose the necessary weight, over 70 per cent of them are able to conceive.
The use of birth control can negatively affect fertility. For example, women who utilize injectable forms of birth control such as Depo-Provera or Lunelle may have to wait six months to a year for their menstrual cycle to return to normal. In contrast to this inability to conceive, women who use the pill may experience a super fertile period immediately after ceasing oral contraceptive use.
For women, experts recommend they talk to a fertility specialist if they have been trying to conceive for 6 months and are under the age of 35. Women who have been attempting to conceive and are between the ages of 37 and 40 should wait no longer than three months to speak with a specialist. Contact the experts at Advanced Fertility Care, or visit www.azfertility.com to learn more about fertility and available treatment options.
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