Struggling With Fertility? Here's What You Can Do

Most of us spend early adulthood actively trying to prevent pregnancy- while we travel, work on our careers and enjoy a carefree life. It’s easy to have the impression that one little slip up with birth control can lead to an unplanned baby, which can be really quite scary when you’re not ready for one and is something you’ve probably tried to avoid for many years. So when the time comes to settle down and you’re ready to start a family of your own, it can be confusing and frustrating when it doesn't happen right away. As many as one in eight couples will struggle with some kind of fertility issue, and so if you’ve found yourself in this position don’t panic- there is plenty that can be done. If you’ve been trying for a while and nothing has happened yet, here’s what you can do.

 Image via Negative Space


Image via Negative Space
Get your body into ship shape 

Getting your body in ship shape is one of the best things you can do for your health and your fertility. Lose excess weight and exercise which can regulate hormones, take vitamin supplements so that you’re not missing anything important. You could even speak to a macrobiotic counselor to check that everything is in balance.

Start tracking your ovulation

Conception can only happen when a sperm meets an egg, but there might be lots of reasons why your body isn’t ovulating each month (or isn’t ovulating on a regular basis). One of the best ways you can get an insight into what’s going on is to start tracking your cycles and your ovulation, as if you find that you’re not releasing an egg each month then this is something you can speak with your doctor about. One of the best ways you can tell if you’re ovulating is by a process called BBT (basal body tracking). It’s very simple and just involves you taking your temperature with a sensitive thermometer each morning before you get out of bed. The reason for this is after your body releases an egg, it starts producing the hormone progesterone, which causes your body temperature to rise slightly. If you’re ovulating normally, you’ll find that half of your monthly cycle your temperatures are lower, and for the other half (after ovulation) your temperatures are higher. On a chart, this will show ‘bi phasic’ te/mperatures. It’s very easy to do, there are apps that allow you to pop in your temperature each morning and they plot it all out for you. If it sounds a little complicated, there are fertility monitors that you can wear to bed and these take your temperature and sync automatically to an app for you. Temperature tracking is non-invasive, inexpensive (if you’re using an app and a thermometer) and can really let you know what’s happening inside your body. There’s lots of advice about this online with pointers and tips, so it’s well worth a try if you want to know what’s going on. Fertility apps like this get to know your cycle so you can give you insights into when your most fertile days will be. They can also be used along with ovulation tests, these are simple urine strip tests which can detect a hormone called luteinizing hormone. Once a surge in this has been detected on the strips, you can expect to ovulate 24-48 hours later.0

Have some tests done

Later on if you’ve still not conceived naturally it can be worth having some tests done. A sperm analysis can let you know if there are any issues on your partner's side. A HSG test can be conducted to see if your fallopian tubes are open, and tests into hormone levels can give doctors a clue as to why you can't get or stay pregnant. This is useful knowledge as it can let you know what the next step is, and if any treatment is recommended. Many couples can get pregnant without the need for methods IVF even if they’ve struggled for a number of years. But IVF can be a good choice for those with certain kinds of infertility.

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