17 April 2018
If you are trying to get pregnant you might be keen to know what you can do to improve your chances of it happening. When you look for information about fertility, a lot of what you find will be about how age affects fertility and the chance of conceiving. Details may vary but the main message is that female fertility declines quite rapidly after the age of 35 and that male fertility decreases after the age of 45. But, you can’t change your age so if you don’t have age on your side, it’s useful to look at what you can do to increase your odds of having a baby.
To have the best chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby both women and men should strive to be in the best possible health. This means eating a healthy well-balanced diet which has all the nutrients they need, exercising regularly, and reducing exposure to environmental chemicals. For those who carry some extra weight, losing some will improve their health and prospects of parenthood. Women should avoid alcohol and men limit their intake and smoking is of course a no-no for both partners. Timing intercourse to the ‘fertile window’ in the menstrual cycle will also boost the chance of pregnancy. You can learn more about the ‘fertile window’ and calculate your own here.
If you try to get pregnant but it doesn’t happen, it’s easy to start to worry and wonder if it ever will. Well-meaning people often give the advice that to get pregnant a woman just needs to relax and not worry. But, the fact is that stress and worry doesn’t generally affect your chance of getting pregnant, unless it stops you from having sex. Finding ways of reduce anxiety and stress in your life will help you feel better and enjoy life more, but is not likely to increase your fertility.
If you are trying for a baby and haven’t already done so, a preconception health check with your GP will ensure that you are in the best possible health to embark on parenthood.