Fertility

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IVF Dubai, Fertility

If you’re trying for a baby or are thinking of doing so in the future, knowing the basic facts about fertility can be helpful. This section contains information about fertility, the female reproductive system and conception.

Lifestyle factors play an important role in increasing your likelihood of having a baby. Small changes can make a big impact. The Difficulty Getting Pregnant page highlights potentially modifiable risk factors that can increase the chance of infertility and affect a woman’s ability to conceive.

For those who have been trying to conceive, we’ve included tips to help improve your chances to fall pregnant. Finally, if you’re worried about female infertility, this section also includes information about the signs and symptoms of infertility.

Conception

IVF treatment DubaiMaybe you’ve been trying to get pregnant for years, or perhaps, you’ve just begun. If you’re trying for a baby or are thinking of doing so in the future, knowing the basic facts about fertility can be helpful.

The monthly cycle

The ovaries store a woman’s lifetime supply of immature eggs – approximately 400,000 of them. Every month, hormonal changes in a woman’s body cause the ovaries to release a single egg. This egg passes into the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus (womb). At the same time, the lining of the womb thickens to prepare for the possibility of receiving and nurturing a fertilised egg.

If fertilisation does not occur, the womb lining will break down and will be shed through the vagina. This is known as a woman’s period. Women of childbearing age have a period typically every 28 days, although the length of the cycle can vary.

How conception occurs

If a woman has unprotected sex with a man around the time of her egg being released, the sperm and egg may meet for fertilisation in the fallopian tube. An egg can be fertilised by sperm within 12 to 24 hours after it has been released from the ovaries. As sperm can survive in the fallopian tubes for up to seven days, fertilisation can occur even if sperm entered the fallopian tubes before an egg was released.

During conception, a single sperm from a man penetrates the egg of a woman. Once the egg has been fertilised by this single sperm, no more sperm are able to enter. The fertilised egg continues to move down the fallopian tubes, until it reaches the womb. It will then attach itself in the lining of the womb, where it will start to grow.

Difficulty falling pregnant

Once you've set your heart on having a baby, difficulty getting pregnant can be hard to come to terms with. It’s important to know, however, that lifestyle factors play an essential role in increasing your likelihood of having a baby. Small changes can make a big impact. Below are potentially modifiable risk factors that can increase the chance of infertility and affect a woman’s ability to conceive:

  • Age: With increasing age, the quality and quantity of a woman's eggs begin to decline. Female fertility declines sharply after the age of 35. This makes conception more challenging and increases the risk of miscarriage.
  • Smoking: Smoking damages your cervix and fallopian tubes, and increases your risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
  • Excess alcohol: Moderate to heavy drinking is associated with an increased risk of endometriosis and ovulation disorders.
  • Stress: Depression and stress may have a direct effect on the hormones that regulate reproduction and affect ovulation.
  • Excessive exercise: Too much exercise, to the point of lowering your weight levels below the healthy range, can contribute to infertility in women. Amongst others, research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows that the body may not have enough energy to support both hard workouts and getting pregnant.
  • Being overweight or underweight: If you're overweight or significantly underweight, it can hinder normal ovulation. Getting to a healthy body mass index (BMI) has been shown to increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy.
  • Sexual history: Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause fallopian tube damage. Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners increases your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that may cause fertility problems later.

Way to improve Fertility

Falling PregnantTrying to conceive a baby can be more difficult than it sounds. If you’ve been trying to conceive and haven’t gotten pregnant, here are must-try ideas to help improve your chances to fall pregnant:

  • Control your weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can help with conception, while being underweight or overweight can delay the time it takes a woman to conceive. This is because your body fat produces hormones that affect your menstrual cycle, and being under or overweight can disrupt your natural cycle.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes can affect how receptive the uterus is to the egg and can impair both a woman's and a man's fertility.
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol: Drinking too much coffee or too much alcohol can also impair a woman's fertility. To be safe, try to consume no more than a cup of coffee or glass of alcohol a day.
  • Don’t stress: Reducing stress in your body has been shown to increase ovarian activity. Therefore stress management techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can play a role in a woman's ability to get pregnant.
  • Know when you’re most fertile: According to Baby Center , the biggest secret to getting pregnant faster is knowing when you ovulate (release an egg from your ovary). There are only a few days out of each cycle when sex can actually lead to pregnancy, and knowing when you’re ovulating allows you to plan to have sex during your most fertile days: from three days before ovulation through to the day of ovulation. You can use an ovulation predictor kit or learn to keep track of ovulation yourself.
  • Lie on your back: Although no definitive studies have proven this, many experts believe that having sex in the missionary position, and lying on your back afterwards, increases your odds of getting pregnant.
  • Focus on your diet: Reduce soy in your diet. Soy acts like estrogen in the body, and can make it more difficult for sperm to swim and fertilise the egg. In addition, start increasing folic acid in your diet by taking a daily prenatal vitamin. This can help protect against some types of serious birth defects.

Symptoms of Infertility

FertilityInfertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year. Therefore, the main symptom of infertility is the inability of a couple to get pregnant. There may be no other outward signs or symptoms.

Symptoms can also depend on what is causing the infertility. Many health conditions, such as hormone or ovulation problems, can make it hard to get pregnant. Symptoms of health problems related to infertility can include:

  • A menstrual cycle that's too long (35 days or more) or too short (less than 21 days)
  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Abnormal periods, such as when bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual
  • Painful periods, including back pain, pelvic pain and cramping
  • Pain during sex
  • Changes in sex drive and desire
  • Dark hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin
  • Skin changes, including more acne
  • Loss of hair or thinning hair
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Milky white discharge from nipples unrelated to breastfeeding

Difficulties with fertility may be complex and can be caused by a number of factors. Both male and female factors can contribute to infertility. Female infertility may involve problems with ovulation, the reproductive organs, or hormones. Male infertility often involves problems with the amount or health of sperm. Seek help from a doctor if you and your partner would like to begin fertility testing or treatment.

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