According to recent reports, Nigeria has one of the highest birth rates in the world at 37.3 per 1000 people with an average of six children per woman. Yet, there’s an estimated 25% of couples that have infertility issues. Usually, the woman is considered responsible for this challenge, however, fertility is not dependent on the women alone. These are top 10 common fertility mistakes couples make that can interfere with their ability to conceive.
High levels of stress can induce an increased level of cortisol, the stress hormone which can adversely affect ovulation and fertility. If you are trying to conceive, we advise you exercise patience as it takes about 6 months to a year to conceive. Putting yourself under pressure by worrying too much actually causes more problems. In fact, most couples testify that, when they weren’t thinking about getting pregnant, that’s when they eventually took in.
Not having baby-making sex
Having too much sex or having too little sex can both be detrimental. Having too much sex can deplete your partner’s sperm count, which may need a few days to be replenished. Men are equally advised to limit masturbation as this can also lower your sperm count and reduce chances of impregnating. Having too little sex could result in missing the fertility window.
We suggest that couples engage in enjoyable, intimate intercourse four to six days before ovulation and four to six days after ovulation. Note that, sex positions have a very little effect on fertilization and implantation. Avoid anal sex and oral sex prior to intercourse as they increase risks of bacteria being carried to the vagina.
The importance of keeping a calendar to track your ovulation cycle cannot be overemphasized. You can use over the counter ovulation predictor kits or mobile phone apps such as; Clue, Glow, Fertility Friend and many others. Even though, the typical woman has a 28-day menstrual cycle, with ovulation occurring on day 14. It still varies among women thus, we recommend an individual calendar tracking. This involves, timing intercourse based on the statistical average day of your ovulation. For many women, the most fertile days are usually a day or two before ovulation.
Taking Harmful Substances
If you are trying to conceive, why jeopardize your chance of conception by smoking, drinking alcohol or too much caffeine and taking harmful drugs? There is really no safe amount of alcohol prior conception and during pregnancy. Limit caffeine intake and avoid extremes in weight. Keep a healthy balanced diet and skip artificial sweeteners and junks.
Waiting too long to talk to a specialist
Although the general rule is to wait for one year if you’re under 35 or 6 months if you’re above 35 before seeing a doctor but, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have very painful, irregular or heavy periods, or if you’ve had a record of infections in the past. Then, it might be time to schedule an appointment.
Hormonal imbalance which could cause problems with ovulation. If an egg is not released, there can be no ovulation and no pregnancy. A good example of hormonal imbalance is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Symptoms of PCOS include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne and obesity. If this condition is not treated on time, it could result in infertility.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Fallopian tubes are two tiny tubes, located on each side of the uterus. They are the pathways which the egg uses to travel down to the uterus when the ovaries release an egg each month. During fertilization, the sperm swims from the cervix, through the uterus and through the fallopian tubes to get to the egg. Fertilization usually occurs in the fallopian tube.
A blockage in either or both of your fallopian tubes can prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg, this interference results in a condition known as tubal factor infertility or increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Usually, very few women with blocked/partially blocked fallopian tubes experience any symptoms since most of them have regular periods. Blocked fallopian tubes can be traced to; Pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis.
Not Taking Enough Supplements
Every aspiring mom should have a generous amount of folic acid in her system at the time of conception. Taking a daily dose of multi-vitamin will help you to obtain all of the vitamins that you need to keep your body healthy and your hormones properly balanced. You’d need to create a vitamin routine to prepare your system for pregnancy. Also, if you’ve previously been on contraceptives /birth control pills, you might need to have a fertility cleanse to get rid of the residue of the pills.
Lack of adequate amounts of exercise
A good start to increase your fertility chances is to start exercising regularly. Developing a workout routine would help maintain a healthy body weight and get your body ready for conception. Being overweight can cause irregular menstrual cycles, decreased ovulation and overall reduces any possibility of becoming pregnant.
On the other hand, being underweight is equally detrimental. Lacking sufficient body fat disrupts the production of hormones that are needed to ovulate monthly. We recommend you eat a balanced diet packed with loads of protein, vegetables and vitamins. Proper nutrition and hydration would drastically increase your possibility of successfully conceiving.
Generally speaking, how you think has a huge impact on every area of your life including how your body functions. Regardless of how long you’ve been trying to conceive, it’s important you maintain a positive outlook on events. There are several cases of infertility that cannot be medically backed. In cases like this, it is best you remain positive and have faith. Be happy and grateful for what you have already. Make sure you smile often. Good luck.