What To Know Before Pregnancy
According to recent data, about 19% of women are unable to get pregnant after 1 year of trying. About 26% of women who struggle to get pregnant experience an impaired ability to carry a pregnancy to term. Since fertility declines with age, women over age 35 often report challenges conceiving. Women who experience such issues should consider meeting with an endocrinologist to determine a future plan of action. Before attempting conception, every couple should have a working knowledge of factors impacting fertility, including age, testosterone and estrogen levels, weight, and underlying health conditions.
1. Every year counts
As a woman ages, the quality and number of eggs decline. Around age 35, follicle loss speeds up, resulting in fewer eggs overall. Research notes that by the early 40s, most women can no longer conceive without the use of auxiliary donor eggs. As a result, women looking to conceive at an advanced age are at a higher risk for miscarriage and other potential complications.
2. Get your levels right
A recent study reveals that testosterone levels have notably dropped over the past 40 years. While fertility problems occur in both men and women, a full assessment of both partners by a gynecologist can quickly get to the heart of any issues. From malfunction of the pituitary gland to enlarged veins, male infertility comes from a variety of sources. By pursuing an immediate assessment, patients looking to conceive can speed up the process and target any problems.
3. Heredity maters
A patient’s given level of fertility partially hinges on heredity. Women with a family history of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, or premature ovarian insufficiency are at a higher risk of infertility. Specific preexisting health conditions cause women to have periods without ovulation, known as anovulation. To address any additional challenges, patients should plan to meet with primary care doctors to map out a plan for fertility treatments.
4. Watch your weight
When experiencing infertility, couples can boost the likelihood of conception by maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy weight is vital to the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). According to a recent study, overweight men were 11% more likely to have a low sperm count and 39% more likely to have ejaculate containing no sperm. Obesity is the cause of fertility struggles in 6% of women who have never been pregnant before. In fact, excessive weight affects fertility by changing the way a woman’s body stores sex hormones. For both men and women, a healthy weight boosts fertility.
Moving forward after infertility
Infertility can be isolating, frustrating, and discouraging. At any given time, an estimated 10-15% of couples in the United States are experiencing difficulty conceiving. After a year of trying without conception, couples under age 35 should contact a healthcare provider to determine a plan of action. Combating infertility is tough, but a baseline knowledge of relevant factors can help many patients improve the chances of getting pregnant.