How to increase your chances of conceiving

by
How to increase your chances of conceiving

Despite what Disney films and children’s books led us to imagine, we all stopped believing a long time ago that babies are delivered to families via a stalk carrier (you lied to me Dumbo!).  Whether you learnt about the birds and the bees from your parents, your older siblings or some ‘cool’ rebellious kids at school, I’m sure you’re pretty up to speed with how it all works. Something you might not know however is what factors might inhibit your ability to conceive or how to increase your chances. To get the facts straight, I speak to City Fertility Centre fertility specialist Simone Campbell, Dr Alex Polyakov and dietician, nutritionist, writer and educator for BioCeuticals Belinda Reynolds to find out all about the dos and don’ts of conceiving.

RELATED: Zooey Deschanel’s pregnancy diet

RELATED: Why we want to high-five Olivia Wilde

Conception myths

As with anything to do with health (and sex), there are a few myths out there parading as facts. Simone identifies the top three myths that you should ignore if you’re trying for a baby:

1) Every woman ovulates on day 14 of their cycle – WRONG! Simone explains, “The reality is that ovulation is individual dependent on how long the menstrual cycle is and will not always be on day 14. For example, a woman may not ovulate until day 21 if she has a 35-day cycle.

2) Fertility is a female issue– Believe it or not, some couples still believe this to be the case! Simone tells us, “When a couple is trying to conceive, the male’s reproductive health is just as important [as] the female’s and also contributes towards optimising the chances of a healthy baby.”

3) Age doesn’t matter – It seems unfair but fertility is yet another mechanism of your body that declines with age (when will it end!). Simone urges couples to keep their age in mind when planning for a child, as “a woman’s age is often the most important indicator of a chance of conceiving. A man’s fertility also declines from the age of 38.”

Fertility factors

For women, there are a number of factors that affect fertility. These include:

  • Weight – Simone explains that ovulation can be affected by being both under or overweight. If a woman’s BMI is within a healthy range, ovulation is more likely to occur normally, increasing the chances of falling pregnant.
  • Ovulation disorders – Dr Polyakov tells us that ovulation disorders occur in three out of 10 couples experiencing fertility problems. They can manifest themselves in a variety of ways from irregular to absent periods. The most common causes of these disorders are polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, hormone imbalance, weight management issues and excessive exercise. Thankfully, these can be treated.
  • Age – As mentioned above, age is an important factor in fertility. According to Simone, “Once a woman reaches the age of 35, her fertility begins to decline. By age 40, it is estimated that her conception rate is in the range of eight to 10 per cent per month and at age 43, the pregnancy rate is thought to be as low as one to three per cent per month.
  • Stress – Belinda tells us that stress can play havoc with hormone levels, including sex hormones, which can in turn decrease chances of conceiving.

For men, weight, age and stress also affect fertility, along with:

  • Sperm quality – Dr Polyakov tells us it’s often hard to determine why a male might have an abnormal sperm analysis. Simone explains, “Sometimes lifestyle factors can impact the sperm quality and if amended can result in improvements, however in some cases assisted reproductive technologies are required to assist in achieving a pregnancy.”
  • Lifestyle factors – Many men don’t realise that mature sperm take about two months to form. Simone tells us, “A male’s reproductive health is impacted by his diet, lifestyle, general health and environment of some two to three months prior.” This means that if a man is hoping to conceive with his partner, he must ensure he is maintaining a healthy BMI as well as avoiding drinking and smoking for a few months before trying.

Advice for conceiving

There are ways to optimise your chances of conceiving (hoorah!). The first, and probably most obvious (and certainly the most fun) strategy is to have lots of sex. I can practically hear men everywhere rejoicing. “Your likelihood of conceiving is substantially increased if you have regular sexual intercourse in the three days leading up to and including ovulation,” Simone adds. Other ways to help the process include:

  • Knowing your cycle, as the timing of your ovulation is critical to successful conception.
  • Being fertility fit! Simone refers to this as ensuring “you maintain your weight within the recommended BMI; eat a healthy balanced diet and undertake moderate exercise; limit caffeine and alcohol intake, stop smoking and any drug use.”
  • Taking a prenatal vitamin will ensure “the woman’s folic acid, iron and vitamin D stores are topped up in order to prevent birth defects,” says Dr Polyakov.
  • Belinda urges couples not to compare themselves to others as this can cause unnecessary stress. “Everybody and every couple is different. Try to enjoy the opportunity to improve your health in preparation for the pregnancy and the later journey through parenthood.”

So there you have it, happy baby-making!

What other myths or facts have you heard about conceiving?  

Share your thoughts

Comments 3

  1. GREAT LOVE SPELL CASTER (DR. DAVID) THAT HELP ME SAVE MY RELATIONSHIP. TEXT OR ADD HIM UP ON WHATSAPP:@ +2347040654140
    My name is MELISSA JAMES. I was married for 13 years. My marriage has been deteriorating for some time so it was bound to unravel. I was his loyal, faithful, supportive and trusting Wife. He had an additional wild side that went out of control. The last incident is when I found out that he was having an affair 2 weeks before our 14th wedding anniversary. Out of the blue my husband just sprung the divorce talk on me. I was so hurt and being an independent woman, I thought I could cope with being single. It was so hard to move on so I had to reach out for help online. Our marriage and family therapists thought that “something” was not right about my husband. I went online and I found out about Dr. DAVID and his good spell work reviews. I ordered for a Love spell on his website. 24 hours later in the morning around 09:34am I was totally shocked at how my Husband called me telling me how much he missed me. His spell worked on me so fast and my husband has been so loving, Natural and I’m having a happy marriage after using his love spell. If you are in a loveless and unhappy marriage that cannot be salvaged, believe me…There is light at the end of this tunnel. You can reach him on his contact details. email: awesomespelltemple@gmail.com You Can Also Call Him Or Whatsapp him on +2347040654140. or view his website for more review :http://awesomespelltemplem.website2.me and  https://www.facebook.com/Awesomelovepelltemple   …

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00