WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

For a young cou­ple, your chances of con­ceiv­ing by hav­ing sex­ual in­ter­course around the time of ovu­la­tion are about one in five ev­ery month. Fer­til­ity prob­lems are not sus­pected un­til the cou­ple has tried and failed to con­ceive for at least one year

Women's Weekly (Malaysia) - - INSPIRE -

OVU­LA­TION MATHS

Work out the length of your men­strual cy­cle. Day one is the first day of your pe­riod and the last day is the day be­fore the next pe­riod be­gins.

If you have 28 days be­tween pe­ri­ods, ovu­la­tion typ­i­cally hap­pens on day 14, and the most fer­tile days are days 12, 13 and 14.

If you have longer cy­cles, say 35 days be­tween pe­ri­ods, ovu­la­tion hap­pens on day 21 and the most fer­tile days are days 19, 20 and 21.

If you have shorter cy­cles, say 21 days be­tween pe­ri­ods, ovu­la­tion hap­pens on day 7 and the most fer­tile days are days 5, 6 and 7.

TAK­ING CARE OF YOU

Not ev­ery­one ex­pe­ri­ences fer­til­ity prob­lems, but if you do, you are of­ten left deal­ing with feel­ings of anx­i­ety, worry, sad­ness, dis­tress and anger. Hav­ing fer­til­ity treat­ments like IVF can add to the stress.

YOUR EMO­TIONAL WELL­BE­ING

If you have dif­fi­culty get­ting preg­nant, you will likely ex­pe­ri­ence a mix of emo­tions:

Worry

Con­fu­sion

Anger

Stress

Sad­ness

De­pres­sion

Grief

You may also end up be­ing di­ag­nosed with a con­di­tion like PCOS, en­dometrio­sis or pre­ma­ture menopause, which can add to your dis­tress. Talk­ing to a doc­tor, coun­sel­lor or psy­chol­o­gist can help you to cope with th­ese emo­tions.

If you choose to un­dergo IVF, con­sider hav­ing fer­til­ity coun­selling, prefer­ably be­fore start­ing the treat­ment, to pre­pare you for the emo­tional times ahead as well as to cope with any un­suc­cess­ful treat­ments or other is­sues.

IVF RE­AL­ITY

About 35,000 women per year in Aus­tralia and New Zealand go through the emo­tional roller­coaster of IVF treat­ment. In the 40 to 44 age group, only 6.6 per­ent of IVF cases are suc­cess­ful.

CAF­FEINE

While the ev­i­dence is not con­clu­sive, stud­ies have shown that high lev­els of caf­feine con­sump­tion might pro­long the time it takes to get preg­nant. One study showed women who drank more than 500mg of caf­feine daily took 11 per­cent longer to con­ceive than those who had less. Pro­fes­sor Robert Nor­man, an ex­pert in re­pro­duc­tive medicine at the Uni­ver­sity of Ade­laide, ad­vises cut­ting out cof­fee and caf­feinated drinks if you are try­ing for a baby.

AN­TIOX­I­DANTS

Suf­fi­cient in­take of an­tiox­i­dants aids fe­male and male re­pro­duc­tive func­tion. Eat a va­ri­ety of fruit and veg­gies in a range of colours.

BET­TER FATS

Avoid trans fats, found in store-bought cakes, po­tato chips, fast food, pow­dered soups and mar­garine. In­stead, opt for ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, av­o­cado and co­conut oil.

FO­LATE

Spinach, as­para­gus and broc­coli are high in B vi­ta­min fo­late, which can help prevent neu­ral tube de­fects like spinal bi­fida. It has also been found to re­duce the risk of ovu­la­tion prob­lems.

ZINC AND SE­LE­NIUM

Th­ese are both im­por­tant min­er­als for fe­male and male fer­til­ity. Sun­flower seeds are packed with zinc. For se­le­nium, Brazil nuts are the best source.

VI­TA­MIN C

Cit­rus fruit, straw­ber­ries, broc­coli and toma­toes are all good sources. Vi­ta­min C can help your body ab­sorb iron more eas­ily, and iron is a par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant min­eral for women who want to be­come preg­nant.

LOW GI

Re­duc­ing the gly­caemic load may boost steril­ity. Re­place white foods like rice, pasta, bread and sugar with whole­grain op­tions. Find out more on gisym­bol.com or read The Low-GI Diet Hand­book by Jen­nie Brand-Miller.

LESS AN­I­MAL PRO­DUCE

Choose plant sources of pro­tein, eg. nuts, beans and seeds, and only go for an­i­mal pro­tein oc­ca­sion­ally.

VI­TA­MIN B12

Vi­ta­min B12 has been linked with pre­ven­tion of mis­car­riage. A de­fi­ciency in B12 can be an is­sue for ve­gans. Boost your lev­els with a sup­ple­ment.

VI­TA­MIN D

Re­cent stud­ies sug­gest vi­ta­min D sup­ple­men­ta­tion could be ben­e­fi­cial for cou­ples who are try­ing IVF. Vi­ta­min D is also im­por­tant for egg cell mat­u­ra­tion and sperm qual­ity.

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