When you decide you want to become pregnant, it may seem as if it is easy for everyone but you. It is sometimes difficult to know whether it just may take you a little longer than you thought, or if you might have a fertility problem.
Doctors typically define infertility as the inability to conceive after 12 months of having unprotected sex. If you are older than 35 and you haven’t conceived after six months of trying, you should seek medical help, according to Dr. Edmund Sabanegh Jr., director of the Center for Male Fertility at the Cleveland Clinic, in a CBS News online article.
Stressing out and being scared about not being able to get pregnant should not interfere with your fertility, according to Dr. Michael D. Benson of Illinois, writing for the Pregnancy Today website. But, fear and anxiety won’t help you conceive, either. The Dr. Ben Kim website says that when you are under emotional stress, your body converts progesterone into cortisol, a stress hormone. This could create an imbalance in your progesterone and estrogen balance, which could disrupt your menstrual cycle.
Visit Your Doctor
If you are so scared and anxious that you can’t function normally, go ahead and visit your doctor, who can give you a physical exam to rule out any major infertility causes, says Sabanegh. Keep in mind that 85 percent of couples do conceive after a year of trying. You might have more cause for concern if you have a history of cancer, have been exposed to certain chemicals, have a history of irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis. If you have concerns, it is usually best to catch them sooner rather than later.
You probably have heard about the biological clock and for good reason. Fertility starts to decline as early as when you hit your late 20s, according to “Glamour” magazine. Only 11 percent of women who are 15 to 29 are infertile. That figure jumps to 27 percent when you reach age 40. No fertility treatment can reverse the biological clock, so if you are in the position to plan, consider age.
Increase Your Chances
Instead of worrying about not being able to get pregnant, take active measures to help the process. You usually ovulate halfway between menstrual cycles. Have sex every other day starting a few days before the middle of your cycle and lasting a few days after. Keep yourself at a healthy weight, not too much under or overweight. Be physically active. The best activities to put your body in ideal condition are weight training, hiking, climbing, brisk walking, tennis, swimming, yoga, dancing and Pilates, according to the Dr. Ben Kim website.