Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. You don’t need to have a health condition to find getting pregnant a challenge: though issues like PCOS can reduce your chances of conceiving, sometimes sheer bad luck can mean you have a longer wait in store than you’d like.
Infertility isn’t a single medical condition with defined causes and a cure: it’s an observation. 84% of people who try to get pregnant through regular, unprotected sex succeed within a year. If you continue to try and can’t conceive, you’re considered infertile, whatever the cause and whatever your prospects. This makes it important not to give up, to understand the factors that are making conceiving a challenge and to look for help. Fortunately help is available.
The first thing you need to do is get a handle on ovulation: when you ovulate dictates when you’re fertile. If you’re not trying to have conceive in the four to five days around when you ovulate then you can’t succeed so identifying this key point is vital.
It’s even more important if you’re living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, as this makes the times you ovulate both rarer and less predictable, making each occurrence more important.
Ovulation predictor kits are widely available and can give you a quick indication on the day you ovulate, though if you’ve had difficult conceiving, it could indicate a hormone issue that makes OPKs less useful. If they’re not working for you, then measuring basal body temperature is a better indication.
There are plenty of simple lifestyle changes you can make to boost your fertility: if you smoke or drink giving that up can improve the quality of both sperm and eggs within three months so it’s probably the sole most important step you can take.
Improving the amount the green vegetables in your diet is better for your health in all ways, but your reproductive health benefits specifically: these foods are rich in B complex vitamins that regulate your menstrual cycle and make spontaneous ovulation (ie, without medical intervention) both more frequent and more regular.
If you’re planning to try to get pregnant the consulting your doctor is a sensible first step, however challenging you expect the journey to be. If you do have some health issues that could complicate the matter it’s essential.
A doctor can prescribe fertility drugs to help your body ovulate: one of the most common is called Clomid, which blocks your body’s ability to sense fertility hormones until they’ve been boosted to higher levels!
Whatever mix of techniques you need, from a change of diet to intrusive IVF, you shouldn’t write off your desire to have children until you’ve taken full advantage of the help on offer.