If you are planning to start a family, here are some tips that may help you:
- It is very important to be as healthy as you can be before pregnancy – this will help you to conceive and will ensure baby has the best start possible. Cutting out cigarettes & alcohol, taking folate supplements and being in a healthy weight range are an excellent start for mothers to be. It is important that your partner is healthy too – he should also quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
- Ovulation occurs 14 days before the first day of your period – so if you have a regular, normal 28 day cycle (with day one being the first day of bleeding) then ovulation should also occur 14 days after your period begins. Therefore the window for fertilisation should be between day 10 and 18, and intercourse every other day around this period should give you the best chance at conceiving. If your cycles are regular but shorter for example every 21 days start intercourse from day 7 to day 15 of your period or if your cycles are longer for example 35 days then your likely chance of conception would be from day 18 to day 25. (When you count days then first day of your period is the day 1 of your cycle)
- Of course if your cycle is longer or shorter you will have to adjust these dates, using the general rule that ovulation occurs two weeks prior to your period.If your periods are irregular you need to see your doctor for advice.
- Chlamydia can affect the fertility by blocking the tubes hence it’s important to have safe sex practices. Also another factor that could affect fertility is Endometriosis. Timely diagnosis & treatment can improve the outcome. If you have painful period or painful intercourse it’s advisable to have referral to the gynaecologist through your GP.
- If there is sudden gain in wait then it’s important to see your GP to exclude hormonal problems. PCOS is another common cause of fertility & if you have irregular cycles/ unwanted hair growth/ gradual weight gain it’s advisable to organise referral to gynaecologist through your GP.
- For couples with no fertility problems, women aged under 30 have approximately a 25% chance of falling pregnant naturally each month. By age 33 this falls to 18% and at 13% at age 36. By 40 it is 6%.
- If you are 30 year old and have not conceived within 6-12 months of trying, it is time to see your GP to look into any possible fertility problems you or your partner may have. By 35 it is a good idea to see your doctor after 6 months of trying, as if you need IVF or other fertility treatments it is best to start as soon as possible to optimise the chance of pregnancy.
- As always, if you feel you need more advise then don’t hesitate to talk to your GP.
If you need more information on fertility please refer to the website www.flindersfertility.com.au