With rates of infertility affecting 1 in 6 couples there is no time like the present to polish up on one’s fertility knowledge and learn as much as you can about increasing the chances of falling pregnant naturally.
Ten factors to consider:
1. Dispel any information given to you by friends and family members with good intentions. Like many things there are truths and myths when it comes to fertility.
2. Understand that the menstrual cycle varies not only from women to women but from month to month. A normal menstrual cycle can range from 24 to 36 days. Point being, it doesn’t have to be 28 days to be considered normal.
3. Not all women ovulate in the middle of the menstrual cycle. Some can ovulate as early as Day 8, some as late as Day 22 and beyond.
4. The key to identifying your most fertile time lies within cervical mucus, not temperature.
5. A common misconception is that the quantity of cervical mucus relates to peak fertility. Rather it’s the last day that a woman senses or observes cervical mucus, no matter how little that correlates with the peak fertile time.
6. While standing on your head after making love may be entertaining, it unfortunately will not improve the chances of getting pregnant. If the cervical mucus is fertile, that’s all sperm needs to get them where they need to go.
7. How often – every day, every other day? Good question! This should be a combined decision based on a couple’s personal situation.
8. One in three people of reproductive age in Australia have a modifiable life-style risk factor that will affect their fertility (*)
9. In a typical cycle, the time between ovulation and menstruation (luteal phase) is usually fourteen days but this can vary between 11 – 17 days depending on the individual.
10. Be aware that any increase in exercise, any rapid change in weight, or stress may affect ovulation.
It is quite possible for a couple to have regular intercourse over a 12-month timeframe and still miss the most fertile time of the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, this could lead a couple to believe they have a fertility problem unnecessarily.
* Source: Clark A, Mackenzie C (2007) The National Fertilty Study 2006 (1): Australians’ experience and knowledge of fertility issues, 23rd Annual Meeting of the ESHRE, Lyon, France, 1 – 4 July 2007, Lyon France