How to get pregnant
Once you’ve decided it’s time to start your family, it can be daunting if it doesn’t happen as quickly as you expect and you have problems conceiving. In fact, the average fertile couple has just a 20% chance of conceiving in any given month of unprotected sexual intercourse.
There are two ways to significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally, if you are trying to conceive:
- Understand your fertile window, and have sexual intercourse one or two days before ovulation. Regular intercourse, two to three times a week, will boost your chances further.
- Improve the health, diet and lifestyle of both partners.
Healthy lifestyle tips that increase your fertility
Before you even start trying to get pregnant, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and health.
Both partners need to:
- make sure they eat a healthy diet
- maintain a healthy weight
- stop smoking and any recreational drug use
- only drink alcohol in moderation
- exercise regularly.
Women should also:
- take 500 ug of folic acid each day
- take multi-vitamins for general health
- visit the GP for antenatal blood tests, including checks for rubella and chicken pox status, blood group, Rh factor, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- review current medications and any implications for pregnancy with a GP
- understand your menstrual cycle.
Estimate your chance of falling pregnant
We have developed a tool that estimates the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant in any given month, naturally and via IVF. This is based on key factors such as the woman's age and important lifestyle questions. Please note that this pregnancy predictor is intended as a guide only and doesn't take into account any male factors or your personal circumstances.
The impact of STD’s on fertility
You may not know you have a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) as it can remain undiagnosed for years. But STD’s can put both a man’s and a woman’s fertility at risk. Fortunately, with advances in diagnosis and treatment, we can overcome these risks.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, most common in people aged 25 or younger. There are no major symptoms so it can go undiagnosed for a long time, but it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if untreated. This can damage the fallopian tubes, resulting in scarring and possible blockages. If you do fall pregnant, there’s also an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia can also affect male fertility, causing problems with the testicles and sperm.
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that can affect the vagina, urethra, rectum and penis. Gonorrhoea can also affect the mouth if passed on through oral sex. Because you may experience no symptoms at all, it’s possible to unknowingly carry and pass on the infection. If Gonorrhoea isn’t treated it can lead to future fertility problems in both men and women. Along with Chlamydia, it is a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal infertility and ectopic pregnancy. For men, if the bacteria spread up the urethra it can affect the prostate and epididymis.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can be treated easily with antibiotics, but it can cause serious problems to a foetus during pregnancy if left untreated. It can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage or congenital abnormalities.
What if we still don't fall pregnant?
Firstly, we encourage anyone who is trying to conceive to follow the Fertility Insights Program. Developed by our leading Fertility Specialists, this program outlines 6 clear steps that any woman trying to fall pregnant should folllow. You can start the program today and the first 4 steps are free.
If you are over 35 and you haven’t fallen pregnant after six months of trying to conceive, talk to your GP and ask for a referral to a Queensland Fertility Group fertility specialist. If you are under the age of 35, we would normally recommend that you speak to your GP if you haven't fallen pregnant within a year of trying to conceive. Of course, these are guidelines only and if you are concerned at all and think you need help getting pregnant, please call us on 1800 111 483.
We can then investigate any cause or problems that may be preventing you from conceiving, and help you make the best decision about your recommended treatment. For some couples, many fertility tests can be bulk billed – and almost all are carried out in our fertility clinics for your convenience.
To find out more about what might be involved in fertility treatment, register for one of our free fertility seminars.