There is a lot more to baby making then the simple act of having sex during the presumed ‘fertile days’ and at that there is still only a 20-25% chance of getting pregnant each month for a perfectly healthy couple at prime reproductive age.
Many couples do not know the basics of fertility and therefore deprive themselves of having the chance to have a healthy pregnancy.
When you are trying to conceive there are a number of elements that need to work in harmony to give the egg and sperm the best chance of meeting!
There are two important sequential events that most take place for conception, an active sperm finds its way to a mature egg and this fertilised egg then implants into the lining of the uterus and begins to develop. This seems straight forward however it is all dependent on hormone releases firstly from our brain and then our reproductive systems.
The menstrual cycle process is controlled by four major hormones: FSH (follicle stimulating hormone); LH (luteinising hormone); estrogen; and progesterone. The menstrual cycle has three stages: the Follicular stage, Ovulation, and the Luteal (or premenstrual) stage. Not all menstrual cycles are regular. The length of a menstrual cycle can vary from 23 days to 35 days. Everybody is different, so the length of your own menstrual cycle may be shorter or longer.
According to data from the AIA, 20 percent of couples seeking infertility treatment are not timing intercourse correctly. Finding out when you ovulate is the key:
Having sex on the two days prior to ovulation offers the greatest chance of conception. The mature egg, once released, will only survive for 24 hours where as a sperm can live for up to 5 days in a favourable environment. Therefore timing intercourse a couple of days prior to ovulation and on the day of ovulation is key. There are a number of physical changes to be aware of to help identify ovulation. These include
- Changes in cervical fluid from thick and sticky during the start of your cycle, to a clear and stretchy substance due to oestrogen levels rising for ovulation
- Small aches or pains felt on one side of the abdomen
- Increased desire to have sex, our innate mating drive
- Breast tenderness
If you have a ‘regular 28 day cycle’ it is believed that ovulation occurs between Days 10 to 18. However a study conducted by the US National Institute of Environmental in North Carolina suggested that even in healthy women who have no fertility difficulties only one in three ovulates between days 10 and 18 of their menstrual cycles. There are also some research that suggests women may experience hormonal surges that could release an egg at random times during the menstrual cycle.
So, what have we learned!
To maximise your chances of getting pregnant, try to have as much sex as possible. Preferably on alternating days, to allow semen to build up.
Sex helps regularise your periods and will help produce higher quality sperm. It will also help increase your emotional connection as a couple and finally it adds to your NEAT!!
If you are trying to conceive, or thinking about starting a family in the near future let us help you – join our course and we will help you boost your fertility through specific meal plans and moderate exercise. You will also join a supportive community of women who are going through a similar experience to you.