A woman’s fertility is believed to decrease with age, although it does not mean older women cannot conceive at all. Even during her most fertile and healthy years, several factors can affect a woman’s chances of having a healthy baby. These include lifestyle choices and external factors such as medical issues.
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, you may be wondering about your fertility and ways to improve it. While some factors such as medical issues might be beyond your control, others can certainly affect your chances of getting pregnant.
Here are some answers to questions about female fertility that every woman must know
- What happens during conception?
At the start of your menstrual cycle, between one and three follicles begin maturing inside your ovaries. Each follicle contains an egg – the most mature egg is released into one of your two fallopian tubes during the process of ovulation. The egg lives for 12-24 hours after ovulation and needs to be fertilized during this time for the baby to be conceived. If your egg meets a healthy sperm during its journey to the uterus, a pregnancy will begin. If not, the egg ends its journey at the uterus and disintegrates. Your next periods will begin about 14 days after ovulation, if you haven’t conceived.
- When is a woman fertile and for how long?
A woman’s fertile window for conception is actually quite small. In order to get pregnant, her sperm must fertilize the egg after it has been released from the ovary into the Fallopian tube, where the egg will only survive for 12-24 hours. However, the sperm can survive inside the female body for up to five days, which means the pregnancy window lasts for about six days – the five days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. After an unfertilized egg makes its way into the uterus and breaks down, pregnancy won’t be a possibility again until the following month when the ovaries will release another egg. That’s why women who are trying to get pregnant often try to track their menstrual cycles to maximize their chances of conceiving.
- How to know if you’re ovulating?
Ovulation normally occurs around 14 days before your period. In theory, a woman with very regular 28-day cycle can expect to ovulate on day 14. However, many people don’t have very regular 28-day cycles and the best way to know if they’re ovulating is to track how far apart their periods are. For instance, if a woman starts her period every 32 days, the ovulation will occur on day 18 of her cycle, meaning that she will be fertile from day 13 through 18. Women can also use ovulation predictor kits to track ovulation.
- Do irregular periods indicate infertility?
Many women think that irregular periods may indicate infertility. It is important to know that ovulation is the key to fertility – without it, you can’t conceive. In fact, both regular and irregular periods do not indicate ovulation. Women with irregular periods can find it difficult to conceive because it is harder for them to track and predict ovulation. If your periods are irregular, it may be a good idea to see your doctor about underlying causes such as stress, medication or PCOS or endometriosis that lead to inconsistent menstruation and fertility issues in the future.
- Does lifestyle impact fertility?
Several issues such as PCOS or endometriosis are some of the things that are out of a woman’s control and can also impact fertility. However, things such as lifestyle habits can maximize their chances of ovulation. Small precautions such as:
– Eating a healthy diet and maintaining healthy weight
– Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol
– Limiting caffeine intake
– Practicing safe sex and getting regular checkups
– Regular exercise
All these can go a long way in improving female fertility and boosting your chances of conceiving.
- How long does it take to get pregnant?
There is no precise answer for it. You can get pregnant the first time you have unprotected intercourse or it may even take several months after you start trying. One study had showed that among women who were trying to conceive by timing their attempts with their ovulation, 81 percent became pregnant within six months and 92 percent after a year. As a general rule, visit your doctor if you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without any success (or six months if you are over 35 years of age).
- Does age REALLY affect fertility?
The age old belief that women over 35 cannot get pregnant, is completely untrue. Fertility does tend to decline in women when they’re in their mid-30s, but not at an alarming rate as people tend to think. Women over the age of 35 who have been trying to conceive without any success should see a fertility expert sooner than younger women. KIMS Cuddles has an excellent team of fertility doctors who have helped many women conceive even in their late 30s.
- How to know you are fertile?
There are several tests that your doctor can conduct in order to ascertain whether you are fertile or not. These tests may also help them examine the problem areas. Some of the tests may include hormonal testing, ultrasound testing, taking x-rays of your uterus, or taking surveys about your lifestyle. There is also a screening available that checks for premature ovarian aging (POA), a condition where women lose eggs more quickly than women typically do at that age.
- How to treat fertility issues?
Depending on the cause behind infertility, there are several fertility treatment options. These are:
– medical approaches that use drugs to stimulate ovulation;
– intrauterine insemination (IUI)
– in vitro fertilization (IVF)
– egg freezing
There may be times that despite several tests and trying for months, the cause of infertility is never found. A combination of many factors in both partners can cause unexplained fertility problems. Although it’s frustrating, it is important to see a doctor about it. The doctors at KIMS Cuddles can help explain more about female fertility in detail.