Getting pregnant is something that can become a major issue, particularly for such couples who have been trying and failing with repeated attempts. The chances deteriorate with age and pregnancy can actually become a challenge. The fact is that though conceiving naturally is deemed to be an easy job for many, there are some who are evaded by this boon and such couples need to learn a lot to maximize their chances.
Here are 10 frequently-asked questions on how to maximize your chances of conceiving naturally:
Q1. How is the success rate of natural pregnancy dependant on the age of the woman?
The success rate of a woman conceiving naturally in a particular month depends upon her age, which has a direct bearing on the number and quality of oocytes (eggs) produced by her ovaries. The twenties are regarded as the magic years as far as unassisted pregnancy is concerned, while fertility deteriorates gradually in the thirties, waning drastically as she reaches the wrong side of the mid-thirties. On the average, the pregnancy success rate of a healthy 20 year-old woman is 25% in a month and this falls to 20% for the woman in her thirties and below 5% as she reaches the age of 40.
Q2. What is the influence of age on egg quality of a woman?
Egg quality is the parameter which is used to determine its ability to be fertilized and implanted in the uterus, and therefore, becoming a successful pregnancy. For a woman who wants to get pregnant unassisted, egg quality is of vital importance and it goes down as age takes toll of her ovarian reserve. This in turn, lowers the chances of her conceiving without medical assistance. Also, the eggs of an older woman score low in terms of becoming more susceptible to chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.
Q3. What is the best time of the month to conceive naturally?
Couples trying to have a baby naturally need to be aware of the best time of the month to have a sexual intercourse for improving their chances at it. Ideally, the 14th day in a 28-day cycle is the right time as this is when she experiences a surge in the luteinizing hormone. The egg is released 24 hours after this hormone reaches its peak level and survives for only a day after it. It is best for the sperm to be waiting in the Fallopian tube as the egg arrives therein and the sperm has the potential to live there for a four day period. Therefore, day 12 to day 16 comes up as the feasible period for a couple to make an attempt.
Q4. How often should a couple have sexual intercourse to improve their chances at natural conception?
As seen in the last question, day 12 to day 16 of the menstrual cycle are regarded as the most favorable days for getting pregnant unassisted. However, couples need to have intercourse every other day from day 12 to day 18, while they can also do it daily if they are up to it. There is a myth that daily intercourse can deplete the sperm, but it is not true. Another crucial thing is to relax as stress has a detrimental impact on a couple’s ability to conceive. Let sex be natural and stress-free.
Q5. Is there an ideal position for improving your chances of unassisted pregnancy?
Lying down with legs up is seemingly the most favorable position for improving the chances of pregnancy through natural means as it ensures that the sperms remain in the vagina. However, there is not much truth to it as almost every position works well enough. Even if the ejaculate spills out of the vagina after withdrawal, there is still enough as a single sperm is sufficient for successful fertilization of the egg.
Q6. Does ovulation tracking help couples looking to conceive unassisted?
Ovulation refers to that period in a women’s reproductive cycle when the ovaries, stimulated by the pituitary hormones, release the eggs. As the eggs travel down the fallopian tubes, they need to be fertilized and implanted in the uterus for a successful pregnancy. Ideally, the 14th day of menstrual cycle is the right time for ovulation, though it may vary from person to person. Ovulation tracking is necessary for women planning to get pregnant unassisted in near future, as they need to ensure that they time it right. While certain symptoms may give a clue that ovulation is in progress, women can also make use of ovulation tracking kits for this purpose.
Q7. What are the symptoms of ovulation?
A woman who wants to get pregnant naturally needs to be aware of ovulation symptoms so that she is able to hit the bull’s eye at the right time. These days, there are special ovulation kits available in the market to get the accurate information related to the timing of ovulation. At the same time, certain physical changes manifested at this time of the menstrual cycle, can also be used to predict ovulation. It causes hormonal changes, which may lead to breast tenderness, changes in cervical mucus (it becomes slippery at the moment and then thick or disappears after ovulation is over) and a slight increase in basal body temperature. This is the time when the woman’s fertility is at the highest level.
Q8. What lifestyle changes increase your chances of getting pregnant unassisted?
If you are planning a pregnancy, certain healthy lifestyle changes ca do you great favor. Start with taking a balanced diet, along with incorporating exercise in daily routine so that the couple maintains a healthy weight level. Limiting smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption also helps, and so does stress management. Consulting a physician for the right dose of pre-conception vitamins and folic acid, is also a wise decision.
Q9. How soon can a woman, previously on birth control pills, expect to conceive after discontinuing the pills?
The big question for a woman on birth control pills is the way her fertility is affected by this contraceptive method. Fortunately, most of the women are unaffected by them as far as fertility is concerned. Once the woman ditches the pill, she is likely to get back to the normal cycle within a month or two and ovulation becomes regular. This implies that she can conceive naturally like any other woman, except in case where there is some other fertility related issue.
Q10. When is the right time to see a fertility specialist if a couple is not being able to conceive naturally?
Normally, healthy couples indulging in regular unprotected sexual intercourse, may need as long as a year to conceive unassisted. For healthy couples in their early thirties, a visit to the fertility specialist is necessitated only after a year’s time in case pregnancy fails to occur. However, when the woman is past her mid-thirties, the warning bells ring sooner as her biological clock is ticking and she needs to visit the specialist sooner, within a six-month period.
Infertility in men and women is common these days and fortunately, treatable too. Gaudium IVF is a reputed infertility clinic for treating an array of infertility issues for both the sexes. A second opinion from Dr Manika Khanna, the award-winning fertility specialist, can be of great help for couples failing to conceive unassisted.