Fertility Check for Women

Final weeks of pregnancy
You're carrying the most precious thing with you (Photo credit: storyvillegirl)

Can’t wait for the pitter patter of little feet on the floor? Or do you simply coo and gush whenever you see babies being paraded everywhere? If  you plan to have your own kids, here’s  what you need to be mindful of:

Are you over 35 years old? A woman’s child-bearing years is from 20-35. After the age of 35, fertility starts to decline. The quality of eggs that are released by the ovary declines as you get older. Around a third of couples’ fertility problems arise from the age of the  woman. The decline is more  dramatic  when the woman is over 40.  A woman older than 40 may not only have problems with conceiving but the outcome for both mother and child becomes poorer.

Do you have irregular period? Every month,the lining of the uterus thickens to prepare in receiving a fertilized egg,and if the egg is not fertilized, hormonal changes signal the lining to break down.  Your monthly bleeding or your period bleed is  an indication of this breakdown.

This cycle happens approximately every 28 days, but it can range from  23-35 days. An irregularity in your period may be caused by weight loss or weight gain,poor nutrition, eating disorders, smoking, excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine, stress, hormonal imbalance, medications or other medical conditions.

Do you know when you’re most fertile? Normally, a woman is most fertile two weeks after the start of her menstruation period but if you want to be more exact, keep track of your body’s time-table. You can easily keep track of the ovulation if you have a regular cycle. If you have a 28-day cycle, ovulation usually happens 14 days before you expect your period. Take note of the last day of your menstruation, then count the days. Having unprotected sex from Day 12  to Day 16  has 99% chance of getting pregnant and the chances would lessen as you’re nearing your period.  Say for example, your first day of menstruation is the first day of the month and you have a regular cycle of 28 days,chances of pregnancy on  day 4 is 1% gradually moving to a higher percentage; on the 12th to 17th with 99% and waning down until you get your period again.

You can have frequent sex for one week, but not necessary multiple times a day as the egg  can last from 12- 24 hours while the sperm can live in the cervix and uterus for up to 5 days.

Make a fertility calendar to track down the days when you are most fertile.

Do you have any known medical conditions relating to reproduction? One common problem with  ovulation is the diagnosis of Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome in women. PCOS  is characterized by multiple cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are not harmful but can cause hormonal imbalance. Aside from the absent periods because of the absence of egg, PCOS may also manifest as acne, extreme gain and loss of weight, excessive hair, heavy bleeding, and can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease over time.

What’s your history? Have you had cases of ectopic pregnancies before? These pregnancies cannot continue to birth as the fertilize egg implants itself outside the womb. If you have had ectopic pregnancies in the past, the chances of recurring is raised from 1% to 8%.

Ectopic pregnancy by R. de Graaf in the monogr...
Ectopic pregnancy by R. de Graaf in the monograph De Mulierum Organis Generationi Inservientibus, Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you contracted any sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea? These infections can  damage the fallopian tubes and can cause problems in conceiving. If you have, then it’s best to see the doctor to consult conditions that may affect your fertility.

If you’ve been trying for almost a year with no luck and if you’ve answered yes to almost all the questions, then I recommend seeing your gynecologist. Just remember that babies are the most wonderful thing in this world; you and your partner should be prepared before you have them.

References:

  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/30737.php
  • http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Fertility.aspx?Tag=Female+health
  • http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Ectopic-pregnancy/Pages/Introduction.aspx?url=Pages/what-is-it.aspx&r=1&rtitle=Ectopic+pregnancy+-+Introduction
  • http://www.ovulation-calculator.org/ovulation-calendar.php?month=4&day=1&year=2012&period=28
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