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Female Fertility

Female Fertility

It is estimated that at any one time around 10% of women aged between 15-44 have impaired fertility and may have difficulty conceiving.
Female fertility is affected by many factors, some of which are modifiable by lifestyle changes and some that require specialist help.
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Lifestyle Factors that may reduce female fertility

The following factors may impair a womens ability to conceive:

Trying at the wrong time

This is more common than you would think. With increasing numbers of couple working long hours, shifts or one partner working away sometimes it can be difficult to have intercourse at the right time. The fertility window each month is fairly short and if intercourse does not take place on the right couple of days of the month then it is unlikely that conception will occur. It is important to know when you are ovulating. For some women with regular cycles this is easy but other may need to use ovulation predictors such as ovulation tests or basal body temperature monitoring.
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Fertility declines with age in both women & men but the sharper decline is seen in women. Over the age of 30 years a women's fertility starts to decline quite rapidly. The ideal age for women to have babies is in their twenties, but many women put off trying for a baby until they are well into their thirties and then have difficulty conceiving. A women who is over 35 years of age and has been trying for a baby for 6 months or more should see her doctor to be referred to a gynaecologist for infertility investigations.

Being overweight

This can reduce a womens fertility. Losing weight and getting to a healthy weight can help increase the chances of conceiving and means you will start your pregnancy at a healthy weight which is better for you and the baby.
Groups such as Weight Watchers, Slimming World or Rosemary Conley can help you and have good success rates or talk to your doctor as some GP's have dieticians or slimming groups at the surgery. Losing weight in a supportive group is often easier than trying to do it by yourself and much more fun.

Being very underweight

This can reduce fertility and may in extreme cases stop periods. Gaining weight by eating a healthy balanced diet and being at a healthy weight will improve your chances of conceiving if you are very underweight. You may need to see your doctor if you think you may be anorexic or bulliminic for counselling & support. Sometimes illnesses such as an overactive thyroid, or diabetes can present as being underweight so it is worth seeing your doctor if you think you are underweight or that being underweight is stopping you conceiving.
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Some medicines may reduce fertility. if you are on a prescription or over the counter medicine you should check with your doctor or pharmacist whether this may reduce your ability to conceive and also whether this would be harmful in pregnancy. If you are trying to conceive you need to make a doctor or pharmacist aware of this before taking any drugs or medication. Also worth noting is that decongestants taken for colds may alter cervical muscus and so reduce fertility


Studies have shown that women who smoke may reduce their fertility level.Smoking is also harmful in pregnancy to both the mother and child. If you are trying to conceive give up smoking. You can get advice on giving up smoking at the government website


Recent studies have shown that alcohol consumption even at low levels may be harmful in pregnancy and so it seems sensible to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum if you are trying to conceive and to stop completely when you are pregnant.


Last but not least is stress. Chronic stress affects our health in lots of ways and most of them are bad. Learning to reduce or manage stress will benefit your health in many ways and may greatly increase your chances of conceieving of stress is a factor. This may alter the periods making them irregular or anovulatory or in extreme cases stop them. Studies have shown that exercise is a great stress reliever and it need not be anything to complicated. Simply going for a walk, cycle or swim when you feel stressed can help to reduce the damage that stress does.

Infertility in itself is a great source of stress and so having coping strategies that help you to manage your stress symptoms is very important. Write up a list of things that you can do that make you feel better and do them regularly. This list is individual and different for everyone.
My list would look like this:
-Have lunch / coffee with a friend who makes me feel better
-have a hot bubble bath
-go for a walk with a firend
-go shopping for new underwear ( I love to get new underwear) or a new outfit
-watch a chic flick
-read a magazine in bed
-read a good book
-do some gardening
-go shopping with a girlfirend
-go on a date with my partner

A very good book on the subject is 'The art of extreme self care by Cheryl Richardson'

Home Female Fertility Tests

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Female fertility issues that have been in the news

Here are some of the news issues concerning female fertility & infertility that we have come across recently

Fertility News

Putrescine water may be Fountain of Youth for eggs (EurekAlert, 26 November 2012)

Fertility 'predicted by mother's age at menopause' (BBC News Online, 7 November 2012)

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