Common Fertility Questions Answeredby Charlotte Lowes-Harris
How long does it take to conceive?
The standard response to this is always one year by health professionals – which I know can be frustrating! Generally, a Doctor will not refer you for any further investigation or prescribe anything to assist with conception until you have been actively trying to conceive for at least one year, even if you have a diagnosis that you know will affect your fertility.
There are also several factors to take into consideration such as whether you are ovulating, ovulation levels and egg quality, timing of intercourse, sperm quality, general health and wellbeing and age, it is a well-publicised fact that women become less fertile as they age.
How can I predict and track ovulation?
This is probably the question I get asked the most!
As a standard rule, most professionals will predict ovulation around day 14 of your cycle. So, Day 1 is the first day of your period and generally, ovulation is assumed around day 14.
Assumption is the key here. Many women don’t have a standard 28-day cycle therefore ovulation can vary and very often they can ovulate earlier or later than expected. Some women ovulate at different times each month, making ovulation extremely hard to pinpoint.
My recommendations for my clients who want to pinpoint, and track ovulation are:
- Buy ovulation predictor kits – Easily available online/supermarkets and pharmacies
- Buy a BBT thermometer- Easily available online/supermarkets and pharmacies
- Write everything down – your first day of your cycle, the last day of your cycle, ovulation test results, ovulation date, BBT and any days that you do the baby-making dance
What is the best position to get pregnant?
OK, so gravity helps!! The positions that allow for deep penetration are best, the reason for this is that the sperm is “delivered” as close as possible to the cervix.
So, I tend to recommend missionary position to people the most – I know it’s the oldest and most basic out there but what is great about this position is that afterwards, it's easy to stay still, place a pillow under your hips or even elevate your legs – again to allow gravity to do its job.
One thing I will say is that there is no research that favours this, so please do what you want to, how you want to and try to enjoy the process!
I REALLY want a boy, or I REALLY want a girl, what can I do?
Specifically want to conceive a boy or girl? Gender swaying has seen a huge boom the last 10-12 years, lots of people’s stories are published, lots of interviews are done. There are even gender swaying diets, exercises, and books available.
One piece of advice that comes up a lot and one of the only things I tend to mention to my clients is that if you want to conceive a boy, this is more likely if you have sex on ovulation day.
If you want to conceive a girl, the advice is that sex is best a few days before ovulation – the theory behind this is that the Y sperm (which makes a boy) is strong, swims fast but doesn’t live long. The X sperm (which makes the girl) isn’t as strong, doesn’t swim as fast but lives longer.
The reason that this is the only method I discuss with my clients is because they are both based around having sex leading up to and including ovulation – giving you the best possible chance to conceive.
The only way to guarantee conceiving a boy or girl is the gender selection process which is an IVF method and places the girl or boy embryo into the uterus. This is an expensive, lengthy process and is illegal in several countries.
My partner and I are struggling to get pregnant and its beginning to effect our relationship, Is this normal?
Relationships take a battering during the time we are trying to conceive and it’s just not happening. Frustration and emotion run high and arguments tend to happen eventually. Sometimes it’s not even arguments, it's feeling lonely, being distance and just not interacting with each other. it is inevitable and is more common than you think.
Assumption causes a lot of that. We assume that one of us cares more than the other because we show it more than our partner, we assume that they do not care because they don’t talk about it 24/7 like we do.
My top tips for couples who are experiencing infertility are:
- Have cut off times and designated times that you do not talk about fertility. You need to keep other conversations and interests alive otherwise it can consume your whole relationship
- Enjoy each other – as cliché as it sounds remember what you love about each other, tell each other, remember why you fell in love. Even after baby, you must keep working on that relationship. Don’t lose yourselves and the relationship you have and just become parents.
My Number One Relaxing Tips
Start every day/finish every night with a Shower Meditation – Think of all the worries you have, all the bad things, bad thoughts, the negative, the hurt, the things that have been said, the doubt.
Imagine it all placed on your arms, written in black ink (really make sure that you can visualise it), then take your shower gel/lotion and gradually wash each one away, feel them fading and washing away. You are in control of removing these and you do a great job.
Then you have got your clean slate, a fresh start.