5 Factors That Affect A Woman’s Fertility

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Doctor or psychologist with patient couple consulting on marriage counseling, family medical healthcare therapy, fertility treatment for infertility, or psychotherapy session concept

A person has a higher chance of being infertile when they fail to conceive despite having frequent intercourse for at least a year. Infertility is a common reproductive disease that affects 9% to 18% of the general population. Although there are many available treatments, most of the time, female infertility can be difficult to diagnose. 

Furthermore, some couples may eventually conceive a child without treatment. About 95% of couples who reported having problems conceiving for one year eventually have a child after two years. If you have a hard time conceiving, talking with a doctor will help you understand the reason. 

To discuss fertility further, below are seven factors that affect female fertility and what you can do about it: 

1Age

When it comes to conceiving, age is a limiting factor. Women are all born with eggs, and as they age, the quantity and quality of the eggs decline. 

On average, fertility begins to decline around 35 years old. By the time a woman hits the age of 40, their chance of getting pregnant is less than five percent every ovulation period. Although in vitro-fertilization is one way of conceiving, the chances of conceiving are still low. 

Today, many women are not too keen on having kids at a younger age compared to the earlier decades. You may not want kids today, but will you be capable of conceiving ten years from now? This is the reason why many women choose to freeze their eggs. 

Cryopreservation of your eggs will prevent the eggs from aging inside your body. By the time you feel that you’re already ready to conceive, you won’t have a hard time finding a donor. 

2Genetics

Cropped image of woman holding a pregnancy test on her knees

Genetics also has a strong influence on fertility and the age of menopause. If you’re mother experienced menopause before the age of 40, you’ll more likely experience this as well. Aside from that, it was discovered that there’s a link between certain genetic markers and the hormones responsible for your reproductive lifespan. 

The best way to handle this situation is to understand your family history. When you have enough information regarding your family’s fertility history, you can proactively manage your reproductive health. You can also ask your gynecologist doctor about fertility testing and discuss a plan to help you conceive.

3Hormones

Hormones play a major role in the process of conceiving and making sure that you’re healthy while carrying a child. Hormones act as chemical messengers of the body so your organs can function efficiently. When there’s a disruption in your hormones, certain organs won’t function the way they should be.

Thus, in terms of conceiving, you need to check these hormones: 

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
  • luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone

To ensure that the conceiving process goes smoothly, these hormones must be present in your system at the right time and quantity. For example, progesterone is crucial for ovulation and embryo plantation. When there’s not enough progesterone in your system, it can lead to miscarriage or infertility. 

4Lifestyle 

In addition to age and biology, your lifestyle also has an impact on your ability to conceive. For instance, if you’re a smoker, take note that infertility may be attributed to cigarette smoking as it depletes the ovarian reserve. Smoking also causes genetic damage to the eggs. Aside from that, your weight and sleep cycle can disrupt the hormones relating to fertility. 

The good news is, lifestyle factors are mostly reversible. Making necessary changes in your diet and physical activity will have a positive contribution to your reproductive system. 

5Timing and Frequency Of Sexual Activity

Most women have a menstrual cycle that lasts for 28 days. Ovulation occurs on the 14th day of the cycle. Although, some women may not follow this cycle and will have different ovulation periods. You may not be getting pregnant because you don’t monitor your cycles. 

If you have intercourse every day, your chance of getting pregnant is high. Thus, couples need to have regular sex 2-3 times a week because this provides a good volume of fresh sperm present in the time of ovulation. 

However, if this is not possible, you need to time your intercourse according to your ovulation period. Here are the common physical signs that you’re ovulating: 

  • Basal body temperature increases
  • Breast tenderness
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Cervical mucus increases–raw egg white consistency

Final Thoughts

When you find yourself having a hard time conceiving, there are many things you need to consider. If you’re beyond the age of 35, it’s important to expect that there will be a decline in the quantity and quality of your eggs. You also need to be aware of your menstrual cycle and when you should time your intercourse. 

Fertility is a common issue among women, so proper OB-GYN care is essential so doctors can help monitor the causes of infertility and give you options on how to manage issues.

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