Many different things can affect fertility
Age, weight, general health and past medical conditions can all impact fertility. However many couples will experience unexplained infertility, which though difficult to comprehend, can have good outcomes with fertility treatments.
The sooner you understand your own chances, the sooner you can achieve a healthy baby.
Seeking fertility information is one of the best things you can do – and if you need more clarity or are feeling worried for any reason, having an appointment with one of our fertility doctors is the best option.
We recommend the following areas as a good place to start when trying to understand your own fertility.
How age affects fertility is the most important factor when having a baby. Young women without fertility problems have a about a 25% chance per month of having a baby naturally if they try at the right time of the month. This falls to about 12% at age 37 and 5% at 42. Today, we are seeing more women over 40 wanting to have their first child. It is possible, but you are also more likely to need help. To work out your chances visit our biological clock – link to bio clock below.
- How long to wait before seeking help: The Online Biological Clock or App can also tell you how long to try naturally, before seeking help. For example if you are 39 years old you should consider seeking help after 5 months, and should definitely be seeking advice after 1 year.
- Helping your fertility along: There are a number of important changes you can make to boost your fertility. Eating well to maintain a healthy BMI, stopping smoking, and minimising alcohol are just some of these. Below you will find a link to our boosting fertility page with lots of useful tips. For women and men – as fertility issues can stem from either partner. 50% of fertility factors are male and 50% female.
- Fertility timeframe: Today we have the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) fertility test to estimate Ovarian Reserve. This fertility test can help predict how many eggs you are likely to obtain during an IVF cycle and can help identify who may experience early menopause. Like most tests AMH is not perfect, so you’ll need the help of a fertility specialist to interpret the results.
Timing is everything in fertility
Waiting and continuing to try naturally for a bit longer may be an option for some people where the woman is younger, infertility is unexplained or only mild factors are found, and also when the length of infertility is quite short. Importantly trying naturally means continuing to have regular intercourse around 12-15 days prior to the next period, which is when ovulation occurs giving you the best opportunity.
Commonly conception occurs when intercourse happens the day before ovulation followed by the day of ovulation. There are various methods to detect ovulation timing such as detecting cervical mucus changes, Apps to track your cycle, LH kits etc.
Our advice is to continue to have regular intercourse. However if this hasn’t worked after a year then please see a fertility specialist to understand what is going on.
Get to know your cycle so you can get the timing right: If you have a 28 day cycle, the best days to conceive are days 11, 12 and 13 or you could just time sex when you notice slippery clear mucus.
Other health conditions
If you have other conditions such as polycystic ovaries or endometriosis it is also recommended you seek advice early to understand their potential impact on your chances.
Not met Mr Right? Or not ready to settle down just yet?
You do have options, and the best place to start would be to meet a specialist or even booking a free fertility consultation. There is a waiting time for sperm donors, but if you approach your fertility clinic early, you are more likely to find a sperm donor within your time frame.
You are not alone
Having a baby is not always easy, and as many as 1 in 4 New Zealanders experience infertility when trying to conceive. To understand more about infertility and its causes please see our in infertility explained section, where we also talk about unexplained infertility. When a clear diagnosis cannot be found, this can be hard to accept, however fertility treatments can be very effective in these situations.