5 Things about fertility most women do not know
Trying to get a bun in the oven? Discover little-known facts of what you should and should NOT do to increase your chances.
The average woman is born with around one to two million eggs in her ovaries. This sounds like a lot, but in reality most don’t survive. For every egg that is ovulated, about 1,000 eggs are programmed to undergo cell death. Do the math and you’ll start hearing the tick-tock of your biological clock. Knowledge, patience, and keen observation can help you understand fertility and your body. So let’s start with knowledge. Here are some facts about fertility and ovulation that you may not know yet:
Being over/underweight affects fertility
Even if you eat well and exercise often, that itself does not guarantee your fertility, but it doesn’t hurt your chances. One out of every 10 healthy couples of reproductive age will have fertility-related problems. However, being overweight or obese can adversely affect fertility. Overweight or obese women are more likely to encounter difficulties with ovulating, conceiving, and during the course of the pregnancy. The same is true for women who are underweight or have a BMI of less than 18.
Age affects fertility the most
The number one detriment to fertility is age. For healthy women, fertility peaks in their mid-twenties, begins declining in their late twenties, and drops sharply in their late thirties. If you are concerned with your chances of conception due to your age, you should go for a fertility test or consult a fertility specialist. By their late-forties, most women are infertile, even if they are still ovulating regularly. In order to give birth in their forties, many women opt to use donated eggs.
You are fertile even before you ovulate
Many couples think that the day the woman ovulates is their one chance in the month to conceive. That’s really not the case. You’re more likely to get pregnant if you have intercourse up to five days before ovulation. This is known as the ‘fertile window’. Once the egg leaves your ovary, it is viable for 12-24 hours. Sperm can survive in the woman’s body for a few days; therefore, you increase your likelihood of getting pregnant by having sperm “ready” to fertilise the ovum.
Smoking hurts your chances
As well as just being bad for you generally, smoking can affect your fertility. Women who smoke reach menopause earlier than those who don’t. Even passive-smoking can affect your fertility, making it more likely for you to take over a year to conceive. However, it’s not a forever factor. Quitting the habit can reverse the effects in under a year. So, in order to give yourself the best chances, quit the habit and get your partner to drop his too.
Your sense of smell is heightened during ovulation
Although this is more often associated with pregnancy, women’s sensitivity to certain smells is also observed during ovulation. So, if you have been noticing smells more powerfully today, then it could mean that you are ovulating. Other signs of ovulation include Mittelschmerz, or middle pain which is a cramping pain in the pelvic area as the egg is released, heightened vision and taste, breast tenderness, and change in discharge.
About the Author:
Rebecca Booker writes for Koster Clinic, she graduated with a Master Degree in Journalism, Media and Communications, and writes for several publications in Australia and abroad. Rebecca also writes about health and well-being including women's health and parenting in the hope that she helps others like her better understand the world around her.
Disclaimer: The above is general advice only and not intended as medical advice. You should not delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information in this article.
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