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Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
Whether you planned on waiting or it just happened this way, the decision to get pregnant after 35 can be a difficult one. It’s no secret you could be facing an uphill battle, but the advantages are undeniable as well. Chances are you are better educated and more financially stable then you were in your younger years. Let that be a comfort, and use these five tips to strengthen your case:
Besides supportive friends and family, there’s one thing that’s pretty important when you are preparing to have a baby: a great doctor. I don’t mean someone who is just good at what he or she does. In order to increase your chances and make the experience worthwhile, you need someone who is available if you have an urgent concern; someone who is a good listener and attentive to your worries; someone who is knowledgeable and encouraging. You may be more likely to prematurely stop treatments if you don’t have a decent relationship with your physician. If your doctor makes you feel stupid for asking questions, is unreachable or regularly forgets important details about your special circumstances, dump him or her and find someone better.
A healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. That number drops to five percent when she reaches age 40. So somewhere in between, at age 35, you have anywhere from a 10 to 15 percent chance of conceiving during each monthly cycle. Knowing the facts means you are aware you may have a longer journey than most, but you are prepared to stick to it until the odds are in your favor. Couples in their 30s are advised to seek help after six months of trying on their own. According to ReproductiveFacts.org, in about 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
The ideal time to conceive, also known as the “fertile window,” is the six days leading up to and ending on ovulation, according to ReproductiveFacts.org. Because of this, you should keep a record of your menstrual cycle to best time sexual encounters around ovulation. An ovulation calculator can help you with this. According to the Mayo Clinic, sperm can live in a woman’s body for three to five days. That means as long as you are having sex every other day, your chances are just as high as if you were having sex everyday or multiple times a day.
Lurking, undetected health issues could be preventing you from conceiving before you even get started. For example, some sexually transmitted diseases can cause pelvic infections and lead to infertility by damaging fallopian tubes, according to ASRM.org. Get a check up from all your doctors, including your dentist, optometrist and regular family practitioner.
Talk to your doctor about behaviors that could affect your chances of conceiving. Smoking, drinking, stress, exercise and sleep should be included in the discussion. According to ASRM.org, moderate exercise may help normal-weight women get pregnant faster, while excessive exercise can delay pregnancy for all but the overweight or obese.