For some couples, the road to conception doesn’t come without its fair share of hurdles.
Fertility experts like Dr. Andrew Orr from Shen Therapies in Brisbane, sees common issues resulting in couples hitting more fertility hurdles than they should.
Sometimes, they are easier to fix than you might think.
Dr. Orr has a Masters of Reproductive Medicine as well as Women's Health. He also holds a Bachelor of Health Science and is a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
He says that by asking yourself these 9 important questions and addressing them, you could significantly increase your chances of conception.
So what are they? Lets find out:
Question #1: Is There Any Stress In Your Life?
Although you may hate to hear it (especially since people are known to tell those who are trying to conceive that they should just relax, and then it will happen), stress is a big factor that can impact on your chances of conception. Take a moment to think about these things:
- Is work overly busy?
- Are you worrying too much?
- Is your lifestyle hectic?
- Do you take time out?
- Do you know how to relax?
“Constant low-grade stress is the cause of a lot of fertility issues. If you don't know how to deal with your stress or relax, get some help. Stress can cause issues from low sperm count to endometriosis,” says Dr. Orr.
Question #2: Are You Having Enough Sex – And At The Right Time?
It sounds like a pretty obvious question, but this is actually a very common problem! If you don't have sex at the right time, how do you expect to fall pregnant?
Dr. Orr says, “There is a common misconception that women ovulate on day 14. Women can ovulate anywhere from day 7 right up to day 24 – and still have a 28 to 30 day cycle! If you’re only trying to conceive at around day 14, you could be missing your ovulation day. Because women are only fertile for a two-day window per month, make you have sex at least every second day, from around day 7 to day 24. Remember, you can't fall pregnant if you aren't having sex, and you can't fall pregnant unless you are ovulating.”
Question #3: Are You Having The Right Sort Of Sex?
Did you know that when a woman has an orgasm, it can assist with conception?
Dr. Orr says, “It is really, really, important for a woman to have an orgasm during sex, in order to increase the chances of falling pregnant. If a woman is not experiencing orgasm, this could be a crucial factor. Why? Climax for a woman does several things:
- It creates a more stable and protective environment in the vagina for the sperm
- It makes the muscles in the vagina contract to pull the sperm up
- It releases hormones that are needed to initiate pregnancy, in order to create the perfect environment for conception
It all goes back to taking your time and actually enjoying the whole experience of sex. The problem with most people is that we are too busy and in too much of a rush to do anything right these days. It's all about priorities.”
Question #4: When Was Your Last Holiday?
Many people who have been trying to conceive fall pregnant when they go on holidays. This is because they are relaxed, they tend to have more sex on holidays, and they are away from their usual environment. This all comes back to lifestyle choices and a build up of stress, which prevents you from falling pregnant.
Question #5: Have You And Your Partner Had A Full Check Up Lately?
A common misconception people have is that because you have been tested in the past, everything should still be okay. If it’s been 6 months or more since your last full check up, it’s a great idea to see a gynaecologist to get some tests done.
Dr. Orr recommends that women should have a pap smear and a full hormone count done, and a man should have a sperm test done. He says, “Always remember that even if you already have a child or have been tested in the past, it doesn't automatically mean that everything is still okay. Things can change, including stress, diet and lifestyle, which can all interfere with your fertility.”
Question #6: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Lack of sleep can throw out your body clock and cause fertility problems too. “It's a well-known fact that shift workers and those not getting enough sleep will have fertility issues. Make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours sleep and are getting to bed early enough,” Dr. Orr recommends.
Question #7: Are You Over-Exercising?
Too much exercise can be just as dangerous as not enough exercise. Gym junkies those who exercise too much can cause havoc to their body – and their fertility. Dr. Orr explains that by over exercising, you can secrete too much adrenalin, which causes a range of problems. “This is why many of our top athletes don't get a menstrual cycle or end up suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. They have over-taxed their bodies,” he says.
Question #8: How's Your Diet?
As the saying goes, you only get out what you put in. “If you put rubbish in your body, it will treat you accordingly. If you aren't eating enough of the right nutrients and essential components to sustain your body, then you won't be able to sustain a pregnancy,” says Dr. Orr.
Its important to cut out sugar, processed wheat/grains, soft drink, alcohol and other junk food. If you smoke, your body wont be healthy or working anywhere near its best until you’ve stopped. Learning how to manage your stress and relax is a big factor in successfully quitting smoking.
Question #9: Do You Truly Know How To Relax?
Be truthful to yourself and ask the question, ‘When was the last time I did something for myself?’
Many people never take time out, are always filling their lives with appointments and doing things for other people. Unless you know how to relax, you will never fall pregnant. “The body needs time to relax, to repair and restore. If you don't know how to relax, we can teach you, or send you to people who can show you,” says Dr. Orr.
For more information on Dr. Orr’s fertility clinic, visit the Shen Therapies website.