Are you at risk of fertility problems? If you are, how do you know, and if you know, what do you do? How do you address it? You may never know if you have fertility problems until you’re trying to have a baby.
The reason for this, according to a renowned gynaecologist and obstetrician, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, is that infertility issues don’t always have symptoms. So whether you’re actively trying to have children or just planning to, in the future, it’s good to know if anything you or your partner are doing might reduce your chances of getting pregnant.
Infertility is how long you have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully. There are possible early warning signs of infertility as well as risk factors but you may not have any signs or symptoms of infertility. It is very much possible that you may not be in a position to control everything that might affect your fertility but there are some things you can do.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for one year without success or for six months and you are 35 years or older, your doctor will likely diagnose you with subfertility.
You may wonder whether you need to try to get pregnant for a whole year before you can tell if there is a problem.The first thing is to know your risk factors for infertility. No doubt, men and women are equally at risk for fertility problems, and in about 35 per cent of the cases, both men and women together have issues, or doctors can’t find a specific cause.
Factors that affect your ability to have a baby, whether you are a man or woman include age, lifestyle, and your general state of health among others. Some of these risks are within your capacity to be controlled, others are not.
If you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive, it is normal to wonder why you can’t get pregnant. There are many possible reasons why you aren’t conceiving and many possible solutions.
You may have ovulation irregularities or structural problems in your reproductive system. It could also be a result of low sperm count or an underlying medical problem. Or it could simply be that you haven’t tried long enough.
Not trying long enough is more common than you probably realise. Some couples will get pregnant after trying for a month or two. But, for most, it takes longer.
The first thing to consider is that many couples don’t conceive right away. Most couples actually conceive after six months of trying, and about 90 per cent will be pregnant after 12 months of trying to get pregnant, all things being as they ought to be.
So keep in mind that it may take many months to get pregnant and that one in four couples will experience infertility. The good news is that there is help.
One of the recommended ways of getting pregnant quickly is to have sex at least every other day during your fertile window. But even then, if you are doing everything right, getting pregnant quickly won’t happen for every couple.
You could aim to have sex every day of your cycle, but for most people, this will lead to burnout, and it’s really not necessary. If you are only aiming for ovulation, you could miss the timing, and you may lose that month.
It’s helpful to know when you ovulate. Normally, your ovulation period lasts for 12-48 hours, and as sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for about 72 hours, you can get pregnant from five days before you ovulate to 24 hours after you ovulate.
This is a six-day period of your fertile window. Timing sex during this six-day fertile window makes you significantly more likely to conceive.
Pregnancy isn’t something that can be planned exactly or precisely, if you can’t get pregnant as quickly as you’d like, keep trying. Be consoled by the fact that the vast majority of couples will conceive within a year.