When you have been trying unsuccessfully to have a baby for six months to a year, you probably spend your days thinking of little else. You are not alone. About 7.3 million women in the U.S. have difficulty getting or staying pregnant, as of 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You know that you could try fertility drugs, but you may only want to do that as a last resort.
Women have been taking fertility drugs safely and successfully for about 30 years, as of 2007, according to the Baby Center website. But women usually only take fertility drugs as a last resort. Fertility drugs stimulate your hormones to promote ovulation. You take some orally, such as clomifene and others, such as gonadotrophins, you inject.
You may want to avoid taking fertility drugs because of the risks and side effects they can carry. With clomifene, the chances of having a multiple birth are about one in 10. The chances of having multiples increase to one in three with gonadotrophins, according to the Baby Center website. Other side effects some women have with fertility drugs are vision changes, shortness of breath, swelling, nausea and excessive weight gain.
Before you consider going on fertility drugs, you should make sure that you are in optimum health in order to conceive, according to the Baby Center website. If not getting pregnant is stressing you out, you are in a catch-22. The fact that you are not getting pregnant could be making you more stressed, and stress can be keeping you from getting pregnant. If your focus is entirely on pinpointing your ovulation and if you are constantly taking your temperature, you may be doing more harm than good. Increasing your stress level trumps your calculations. The better plan is to have sex every two to three days if you are trying to conceive.
The age-old therapy of acupuncture could help you conceive. A team of German researchers in 2002 found that acupuncture significantly increased the chances of women who were going through in-vitro fertilization get pregnant, according to the Baby Center website. No one really knows how acupuncture works, but one theory is that acupuncture may increase blood flow to the uterus and relax the muscle tissue. Acupuncture can also help improve sperm counts.
If a fallopian tube blockage or other problem is making you infertile, laparoscopic surgery can often help, according to MayoClinic.com. If you have endometriosis, your doctor may treat that with ovulation therapy.
Assisted reproductive technology consists of several forms. In-vitro fertilization retrieves mature eggs from a woman, fertilizes them with a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish and then implants the embryos in the uterus. The intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure injects a single sperm directly into the egg. This is helpful if the man has a low sperm count.
Men and women share the same risk factors that make it harder to conceive, according to MayoClinic.com. Limit the ones that you can for more success. You should probably plan ahead, because fertility declines for women older than 32 and for men older than 40. If you smoke, you should quit. Men and women who smoke decrease their chances of getting pregnant. Both men and women need to be at the right weight. Being overweight or underweight decreases fertility. If you are a vegetarian, you may have problems with fertility if you don’t get enough vitamin B-12, iron, zinc and folic acid in your diet. You should exercise, but don’t overdo it. Men who exercise to the point of becoming exhausted may temporarily lower their sperm count, and women who exercise more than seven hours a week may have problems with ovulation.
- couple image by Kanisdha Buasri from Fotolia.com