SURPRISING WAYS IN WHICH YOU’RE LOWERING YOUR CHANCES OF CONCEIVING.
Getting a bun in the oven is often a rollercoaster ride. While some people seem to have no trouble becoming pregnant, the process can be trying and long-drawn for many others. Most importantly, don’t sabotage your chances unknowingly, advises Dr Michele Lee Sook Ling, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Michele Lee Women And Fertility Clinic in Mount Alvernia Medical Centre. Find out if you’re hurting your fertility.
Don’t be fooled by celebrities who have healthy babies in their 40s – that’s a rarity, not the norm. We don’t mean to nag, but fertility does have an expiry date. “Statistically, women over 35 account for more than 50 per cent of all instances of infertility,” says Dr Lee.
“Healthy women between 27 and 35 have a 40 per cent chance of getting pregnant each month. Beyond the age of 35, that percentage drops to 30 and steadily declines. By the time a woman is 40, she only has a 10 per cent chance of getting pregnant each month, even if she’s healthy.”
“Smoking reduces your chances of conceiving, decreases the success rate of fertility treatments, and doubles the risk of miscarriages,” warns Dr Lee. Make sure your man isn’t smoking too. Second-hand smoke is also bad for you.
Yes, it does matter how much you weigh. “Being underweight can interrupt normal menstrual cycles and disrupt or even halt ovulation,” says Dr Lee.
“And while there are options available to help underweight women ovulate and get pregnant, these pregnancies are likelier to end in miscarriages or preterm births. These babies are also at an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease later on in life.” The best option is to attain a healthy weight before conceiving. Do so by eating regular meals and snacking on nutrient-dense foods throughout the day.
On the flip side, being overweight also affects your chances of getting pregnant. In fact, obese women are three times more likely to suffer infertility than women with a normal body mass index (BMI), notes a study in the
Above the BMI of 23.9, the relative risk of reduced fertility is significantly higher.
“Being overweight while pregnant can also increase your risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure,” adds Dr Lee. “Realistically, in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is only a viable option for most women until the age of 38,” says Dr William Ledger,