It’s easy to conceive a baby – if you and your partner are fertile. But how can you know if you are?
Fertility is your ability to conceive and reproduce offspring. When a fertile male and a fertile female engage in sexual intercourse, the woman can get pregnant and consequently give birth to a baby 40 weeks later. Unfortunately, for some couples, baby-making does not happen so easily.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year and not succeeded yet or if you are unable to carry a pregnancy to live birth, you may be considered infertile. Infertility is a common problem that affects one in six couples. There are many factors that influence fertility, from age, to weight, and even how much stress you’re under.
What Affects my Fertility?
Fertility is ageist. As we age, our fertility declines. A woman is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have. As she ages, the quantity and the quality of her eggs decline. From age 32, her chances of conceiving start to fall. By the time she is 40, her fertility has decreased by half. A man’s age will affect the quality of his sperm, as well as the health of his unborn child. The risk of miscarriage is higher if the father is over 45 years. Children of older couples are also more likely to have birth defects or genetic abnormalities.
An estimated 12% of couples have difficulties getting pregnant because of their weight. While being overweight can affect fertility, being underweight can also hinder conception. Excessive weight can cause hormone imbalances. These in turn may affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation. In a male, healthy sperm production can be affected.
Eating right can improve your chances of conception. Reduce fat, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Choose unrefined carbohydrates like whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal, bran), fruits, and uncooked vegetables (wash them well before consumption). Supplements like folic acid and other B vitamins are also beneficial. Folic acid helps promote ovulation, and also helps to prevent neural tube deformities such as spina bifida. The added benefit of eating clean and healthy? When you do get pregnant, you know that your body is in its best state to house a growing foetus.
You’ve probably had well-meaning friends tell you to “relax, stress less” while trying for a baby. They’re right. While research is still ongoing, scientists believe that up to 30% of fertility problems are caused by stress. A woman who is under stress may ovulate less regularly. Stress could also lead to a loss of libido – that’s not what you want while trying to get pregnant!
What Can I do to Help Improve my Fertility?
In general, if you are planning on having a baby, been trying to have baby or had multiple miscarriages, the first thing to do? Get a fertility screen!
This may sound like a typical ‘kiasu’ Singaporean move but rest assured that it’s not. In fact, planning ahead for the results you want can help you achieve your goals faster. So if you want a baby, getting a fertility check is the right way to start. And it’s not just the woman who needs this. The man does too.
The Fertility Screen for Couples ($450, including GST) at Thomson Fertility Centre includes a full blood count, Rhesus factor screen, hormonal studies, Progesterone test, pelvis ultrasound, and even a semen analysis for the man. A specialist will also review your results to let you know what steps you can take to fulfil your baby dreams.
From then on, it’s just another 40 weeks till you’re holding that precious bundle of joy in your arms!
This is a sponsored post.