There are other factors that will effect how successful you are at conceiving, so let’s have a brief look at each of these, and how they contribute to the factor of conceiving.
The trend today is for women to complete their education and establish their careers before they think of settling down and starting a family. However, for a woman over the age of 35, conceiving becomes a problem. Infertility increases with age. Fertility peaks for both sexes in their mid-twenties and then appears to decline steadily in women over thirty and men over forty. Tubal infections, fibroid tumors and endometriosis are more common in older women and are a common cause for infertility.
The Male Sperm Count
Naturally, if your partner has a low sperm count, the chances of falling pregnant are going to be much lower than if your partner has a high sperm count. There are several factors that may cause your partner to have a low sperm count.
- Your partner’s age: Younger men tend to have a higher sperm count than that of older men. Men generally tend to reach their sexual peak between the ages of 18 and 30.
- Loose fitting clothes: Loose fitting underwear or clothes will increase your partner’s sperm count. This is because the testicles will be allowed to be further away from his body and help keep them at a cooler, more optimum temperature.
- Drugs and smoking affect sperm and may impair male fertility
- Stress is also one of the leading factors in a low sperm count
If you or your partner are concerned about sperm count, a good place to start is a home screening test. This can determine whether your sperm concentration is above or below 20 million sperm cells per milliliter.
Cysts are formed when the follicle fails to rupture at the time of ovulation and begins to grow instead. This condition occurs due to hormonal imbalance and is marked by absent or infrequent menstruation. Women having this condition have a chronic tendency to have their periods at intervals ranging from every six weeks to six months.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Naturally, the type of lifestyle you lead will also have an effect of the chances of successfully falling pregnant. Eating the correct foods is one of the ways to ensure that your body is healthy. Drugs, alcohol, smoking and caffeine affect your body in many ways that will prevent you from falling pregnant. Let’s take a brief look at how each of these affect your chances of falling pregnant, and how they can affect your pregnancy.
Women who are frequent drinkers are at risk of having babies with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This only usually occurs with higher levels of drinking, but even moderate alcohol intake (more than three units per day) can lead to mental and growth retardation, behavioral problems, and facial and heart defects.
Reducing your alcohol intake:
- Try sticking to fruit juices and water
- Ask your partner not to drink in the house
- Don’t keep alcohol in the house
Smoking increases your chances of a miscarriage during the first trimester. Mothers who smoke are also more likely to go into premature labour, have a premature rupture of membranes, experience third trimester bleeding, have slower fetal growth, and deliver underweight babies.
Prospective fathers who smoke should also quit, as exposure to “passive smoking” during pregnancy is also harmful. Smoking also impairs a woman’s fertility. Smoking affects sperm and may impair male fertility too. You can’t count on quitting smoking overnight, so it’s best to start trying to withdraw from cigarettes well before attempting to conceive.
Pregnant women should limit themselves to the equivalent of one cup of coffee daily. Caffeine may increase the risk of late first or second trimester miscarriage. So start weaning yourself before conception.
Illegal drugs are bad for your health, whether or not you are pregnant and they can only harm a baby. If you use them, it’s imperative to stop before trying to conceive. Even over the counter drugs can do harm when trying to conceive and can even cause miscarriages.
Naturally, eating a healthy diet is going to benefit you whether or not you are trying to fall pregnant. Sticking to a healthy diet that gives you all the nutrients that you require will help create a healthy body. This, in turn, will improve your chance of falling pregnant more than if you were unhealthy. It is also very important to increase your intake of folate before you get pregnant. Folate is needed before and in the first weeks of pregnancy and can help reduce the risk of certain serious and common birth defects called neural tube defects, which affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
What are the Best Sex Positions to Increase Chances of Conception?
There are sex positions that do favour conception, and there are also positions that should be avoided if you are trying to get pregnant.
Experts do tend to suggest that the missionary position is one of the best positions and this is for a number of reasons. This position gives you deep penetration and places the sperm closer to the cervix. The female may also choose to elevate her hips with a pillow. For a change of routine, rear entry and lying side by side are also very effective positions.
The positions you should avoid when you are trying to fall pregnant are having sex while you are standing, sitting or with the female on top. Couples who are trying to conceive can experience stress around the time of ovulation. As this can lead to vaginal dryness, some couples use special moisturizers to relieve this dryness.
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD