As a fertility specialist, I really want to see you, but it would be great if you could conceive on your own. The following are the updated recommendations from ASRM (September 2013) in order to optimize natural fertility.
1. Fertility declines with age
Women should recognize that fertility declines with age, with a significant drop at age 35. Sperm parameters for men also decrease with age – conceiving after 50 years of age is significantly more difficult.
2. Chance of conception
Doctors usually say there is a 20 percent chance of conception per month. However, daily intercourse is associated with a pregnancy rate of 37 percent per month.
Having sex every other day has a pregnancy rate of 33 percent per month. However, the stress this may place on a relationship may “backfire” and lower success rates if daily or every other day sex causes too much strain on the relationship.
If you only have sex once a week, the pregnancy rate is 15 percent per month.
3. Fertile window
The fertile window is the six days before – and including – the day of ovulation. According to several studies, the greatest success comes from intercourse on the day prior to ovulation. The second highest success is on the day of ovulation.
4. Cervical mucus
The best way to monitor ovulation may be checking cervical mucus. On the day with the most abundant and slippery mucus, a woman is most fertile. However, some women have little or no mucus production or have “waves” of mucus production and not a continuous increase. For these women, urinary ovulation predictor kits may be the best indicator. A positive urinary ovulation predictor kit is wrong seven percent of the time, so ensure to cover your bases with more sex.
5. Sex position
There is no evidence that the sexual position increases successful conception. Sperm deposited in the vagina from intercourse are in the tubes within 15 minutes, being drawn to the side with the mature follicle.
Therefore, lying in bed for more than 15 minutes is not necessary after sex.
KY jelly, astroglide, olive oil and even saliva may impair sperm motility (as shown in studies in the lab). Use canola oil, Pre-seed or ConceivEase lubricant if necessary.
7. Fertility diet
Regarding diet: being underweight (BMI <19) or obese (BMI>35) is associated with a two- and- four- fold increase in time to conception.
Smoking, consuming more than two alcoholic drinks a day and drug use is all associated with increased likelihood of infertility. Drinking one alcoholic drink a day may help you conceive faster than normal.
Exposure to dry cleaning solvents, printing industry solvents, pesticides and heavy metals may affect sperm or pregnancy outcomes.
Lead exposure and use of industrial microwaves may have reproductive consequences and are best avoided.
That being said, if you have tried all of the above recommendations and still aren’t pregnant, please come in and let’s have a chat!