Fertility and Pregnancy Planning
Learn the issues around fertility & conception. Find out how to better your chances to conceive & the various types of contraception.
Tell me about fertility
Many couples believe that it is easy to become pregnant (conceive), and are often surprised when they are not successful as soon as they start trying for a baby. However, eight out of ten women trying for a baby conceive in the first year of trying, and most generally do so within two years of trying.
During normal conception, the woman ovulates, (which is when the egg is released from the ovary), around 14 days before the start of their period. This is the optimal time to conceive, if the egg is fertilised by a sperm and implanted in the lining of the womb, then the woman is pregnant. This is a relatively small window of opportunity. However, intercourse and ovulation don’t need to be at exactly the same time as healthy sperm can survive for about 48 to 72 hours inside a woman’s body and a woman’s egg lives for about 12 to 24 hours after ovulation.
This can be predicted if the woman’s cycle are normally regular, but may be very unpredictable if their cycle is irregular. Most cycles last between 25-35 days. The first day of a woman’s cycle is counted as the first day of her period, and ends on the day before the first day of her next period.
How long will it take me to conceive?
Most women who are having regular intercourse (without contraception, obviously) will generally conceive within two years.
30% of women will conceive within one month
30% of women will conceive within six months
25% of women will conceive within one year
If a woman is over 35 then it may take a little longer to conceive. Women over 35 who haven’t conceived after six months of trying for a baby would benefit from advice from their Doctor.
How can you increase your chances of conceiving
A balanced diet will keep a woman’s body healthy enough to conceive and nourish a baby; a healthy diet will also optimize sperm production in men.
Being over or underweight can disrupt the menstrual cycle.
Alcohol can affect a woman’s fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage; alcohol adversely affects sperm quality in men.
Smoking is linked with infertility and early menopause in women; it is also related to problems with sperm in men and with erectile dysfunction.
Couples trying to conceive should avoid recreational drugs; however, some prescription medicines may also reduce fertility, so if either partner is taking regular medication it’s worth checking with your Doctor or pharmacist whether they are likely to be affecting their fertility. Also, there are many medicines that do not affect fertility but should be avoided as they may negatively affect the foetus in early pregnancy.
Regular moderate exercise will enhance your general health and will help to ease stress.
How can we help you?
You can talk to your Alphega pharmacist in confidence if you are planning for a baby or you have concerns regarding your fertility:
Understand how can you maximise your chances of conceiving.
Which vitamins and minerals are recommended while trying to conceive and the ones to avoid.
Help to identify if there is an underlying condition that is Reducing your chances of becoming pregnant like Endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
When to visit your Doctor.