Couples first have to prepare themselves mentally about the addition to the family. They have to work out their lifestyle and their schedules. Since most couples live in nuclear homes, a baby means a full-time help or some alternate kind of arrangement. So they get all prepared and set to have the baby. Then they start trying to conceive. Few months go by, and nothing happens, they keep trying. A year and maybe even two and no baby come along. This is when the panic buttons come on, and couples start getting concerned about their fertility.
What is the first most common reaction? You start reading up on how to get pregnant fast, and you get all kinds of tips from the best position to have sex to the right kind of food you should eat. All the advice is good, but you forget one thing here. There is a possibility of a medical problem which could be the reason as to why you are not able to conceive.
So what should you do? To every problem, there is a solution, and even this one has somethings that you can do to help yourself. The first thing you do is start keeping track of your menstrual cycle, get on a healthy diet, start exercising regularly and go for a fertility test. These are the main things that fertility is about.
TRACKING YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Every woman has a fertility cycle. Normally the cycle is 28 days, and this holds true for over 90% of the women. Some women may have a slightly longer or shorter cycle, which may span between 26 to 32 days. Anything that is out of this range is cause for concern. When a young woman enters puberty, she starts her menstrual cycle, which continues every month until she enters menopause. These years are known as the fertile years. During this period, a woman can conceive and have babies.
For fertility, a woman needs to ensure that she is getting her period on time. A slight delay occasionally is acceptable. An emotional disturbance can affect your cycle, like the death of a dear one or some other event that is shocking. But in general, you should have a 28-day cycle. Some women can find a slight disruption in their period due to factors such as stress. Workload and stress can hinder your menstrual cycle dates.
The menstrual cycle is a representation of female fertility. It takes place when a mature female egg is released by the ovary and is not fertilised by a sperm. When the menstrual cycle is absent, it means that a woman is not ovulating. Ovulation refers to the release of the mature female egg. When no egg is released by the ovaries, there is no ovulation, and pregnancy cannot take place. This is a condition of infertility.
Many women who suffer from PCOD or PCOS do not ovulate and are infertile. This condition involves a hormonal imbalance which disrupts the proper functioning of the ovaries and hampers the fertility cycle, ovulation and mensuration.
The food you eat has a direct effect on your fertility. This is applicable to both men and women. The male sperm responds to food in a very direct manner. If a man eats sperm enhancing food, he will have better quality sperm. If he smokes, his sperm quality will reflect a decline in quality and quantity. Sperm takes about 3 months from the time they are produced until they are fully mature to be ejaculated. To improve the quality of sperm by eating the right kinds of sperm enhancing foods, one must give it at least 90 days before they can experience the improvement in the sperm. The effect of food on women is a little different. The female egg quality cannot be improved with nutritious food but can decline with negative factors and wrong foods. However, there are foods that can help boost female fertility in other ways. So here is a list of foods that are good for fertility health. If you are keen to get pregnant, you should definitely include these foods in your diet, either daily or several times a week. Food can do wonders for health.
Food for female fertility:
- Green leafy vegetables
Food good for male fertility:
- Dark chocolate
Men who have a poor sperm count or poor quality sperm can improve not just their sperm count but also their sperm motility and the shape and size of their sperm by eating the right foods. Foods like banana can help to increase your sex drive. This is important not just for maintaining the quality of the sperm but also to get pregnant.
Foods like tomatoes and beetroot are known to increase blood flow in the body. This is important because blood flow can help to improve the fertility of the reproductive organs. In women a good blood flow can make the uterus more receptive, it can help the ovaries to function better, while improved blood flow in men can ensure that he does not suffer from any erectile problems. For ejaculate, a man needs an erection, which is fueled by a good flow of blood to the male reproductive organs. Hence a good blood circulation is important. The blood also supplies the required nutrients to different parts of the body.
Exercise offers multiple benefits for women who are keen to get pregnant. When you exercise, it boosts your metabolism, which means your body becomes more active internally. Your blood circulation improves, your BMI improves, your internal organs function more effectively, and the visceral fat that surrounds the internal organs is reduced.
Boosts blood flow: exercise gets your heart pumping and boosts your blood circulation. There are several advantages to increased blood flow. Nutrition is carried to different parts of your body in the blood. With an increased blood flow, there is an improvement in your general overall health as different parts of your body are receiving the nutrition from the food you eat. Your organs become healthier and begin to work better.
Detoxification: When you exercise, you sweat. A large number of impurities and toxins are expelled by the sweat glands. So you can get rid of the impurities in your body with a good workout. Exercise is one of the best methods to remove toxins from your body naturally. Exercising induces you to drink water as you get dehydrated. Water also helps to flush out toxins.
Weight loss: Obesity or an excess of fat in the body acts as a hindrance to fertility. Obese people have a reduced BMI. Everything in their body works at a slower pace. Obesity leads to a number of health complications, including infertility.
Visceral fat: Visceral fat is a fat which grows around the internal organs. When a person is fat, they have higher quantities of visceral fat. This fat sometimes prevents the internal organ from functioning correctly. It also slows doesn’t the working of a number of internal organs making them sluggish.
Energy levels: People who are fat have reduced energy levels. Their movements are slow, and they do not have the energy to do much. Exercising helps to make the body active and boost energy levels. Exercising improves the BMI.
People who are obese tend to find it difficult to conceive. People who are energetic and exercise regularly will find that they can conceive easily. For getting pregnant, it is essential to be physically active and to exercise regularly.
A fertility test is definitely recommended when you are not able to get pregnant. Many men and women are not sure what to do when they are trying to have a baby but are not getting pregnant. A fertility test is a good way to figure out if you have a medical problem that is preventing you from getting pregnant. There are a variety of different fertility tests for women as the female reproductive anatomy is quite vast.
Female fertility test
There are a number of tests that are conducted to check the fertility of a woman. Some of the common problems that prevent pregnancy in a woman are blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, ovulation disorder, hormonal imbalance, reduced ovarian reserve. A blood test can help to determine the level of hormones in the body at a particular time during the fertility cycle. Usually, blood samples are taken on specific days of the fertility cycle to check for levels of various hormones in the body. The HSG test is used to check if the fallopian tubes are blocked. A vaginal laparoscopic examination enables the doctor to view some of the reproductive organs and check for cyst, endometriosis or any other abnormalities of the female reproductive organ. The ovarian reserve can be determined using the AMH test. If a woman has a low ovarian reserve, then the chances of conception reduce drastically.This means that she has very few eggs which are available for fertility. Usually, a low ovarian reserve also indicates poor egg quality. Poor quality eggs do not fertilise easily, and even if they do fertilise, many of them do not survive very long as the quality of the embryo is weak.
Some women who have blocked fallopian tubes can opt for surgery to remove the blockage. The kind of surgery depends on the type of blockage and the location of the blockage in the fallopian tube. In many cases, doctors recommend assisted fertility treatment to their patients. This is faster and offers a better chance of conception.
“I had fallopian tube blockage, which was preventing me from getting pregnant. My gynaecologist suggested surgery to remove the blockage. After the surgery, my doctor told me that I was okay. I was still not able to conceive even after two years. Then I went to Medicover with a friend. The doctors performed an HSG test and found that my fallopian tubes were fused together, and this problem could not be surgically rectified. We started IVF treatment, and now we have a lovely baby boy. We were very fortunate that we went to Medicover Fertility Clinic, where the doctors are very good and prescribe the right treatment. We are so thankful that today, we have a baby and did not have to undergo the hassle of further fertility treatments for my fallopian tubes, which would not even have helped. We wanted a baby, and we got our wish.”
Semen Analysis Test
The semen analysis test is conducted on a semen sample given by the male after ejaculating into a sample container. Usually, the semen sample is produced by masturbation. There are other methods of collecting the sample as well, such as using a condom during sexual intercourse and the pull-out method. Doctors find the best sample comes from masturbation. However, some faiths do not allow this practice, and hence, other techniques have to be used for collecting the semen. Some of these methods could result in contamination of the semen, thereby affecting the semen analysis test results.
The semen analysis test performs a total assessment of the semen. It lists the volume of semen, the sperm count per millilitre of semen, the shape of the sperm and the vitality of the sperm. The percentage of sperm that are moving is ascertained. Some sperm moves around in circles, but for fertility, the sperm needs to be able to move in a forward direction. This is called progressive motility. A certain minimum percentage of sperm with progressive motility is required for pregnancy.
Through the sperm analysis test, it can be determined whether the sperm is healthy and active. It also reports the sperm concentration. Many men suffer from poor sperm count, which prevents them from being able to impregnate their female partners and puts them in the category of the infertile. Poor sperm quality hinders conception. Men undergo the semen analysis test to check the different factors of their sperm and check if the sperm are viable to make their partner pregnant.
WHAT IS FERTILITY TREATMENT?
There is a lot of advertising for IVF treatment and hospitals are encouraging childless couples to have a baby through IVF treatment. Fertility treatment is a facility available to couples to have a baby with the help of medical science. In vitro fertilisation is a technique in which the female egg and male sperm are fertilised in the lab. If this process cannot take place inside your body, doctors can conduct the fertilisation in a glass dish in the lab in a controlled environment.
Who needs fertility treatment? Couples, who are not able to get pregnant and have been diagnosed with some form of infertility, are the ones in need of fertility treatment to get pregnant.
Sunil and Radha were both in their mid 30’s. They had been married for 5 years, and Radha had not got pregnant over the course of these years. They went for a gynaecological check-up. At first glance, the gynaecologist told Radha there was nothing wrong with her fertility. This made them hopeful, and they made a conscious effort to try and get pregnant. After a year, there was no sign of pregnancy. The family suggested they visit a hospital for a thorough check-up. It was found that Sunil had a slight decline in his sperm count. However, that was not enough to prevent pregnancy. All of Radha’s blood tests showed normal results. She didn’t have any hormonal problems or an issue with ovulation either. She had a normal menstrual cycle and had no signs of any kinds of problems with ovulation. Her ovarian reserve was fine, and the vaginal ultrasound probe showed no visible problems with any of her reproductive organs. The HSG test was the last one to be carried out when all other tests did not come up with anything substantial as to what was preventing Radha from conceiving. This test showed that there was a blockage in both the fallopian tubes. Radha had suffered from infection during her teenage years, which had probably led to this blockage. Somehow this had escaped the doctors. Once the cause of infertility was diagnosed, it was decided that the couple should undergo fertility treatment at Medicover Fertility Clinic, which is of international standard and has the latest technology treatment facilities. Sunil and Radha were keen to have their fertility treatment at the best fertility clinic in Delhi and selected Medicover.
FERTILITY FACILITIES AT MEDICOVER
Medicover Fertility clinic helps couples with the right kind of advice when they are not able to get pregnant. At Medicover, you can diagnose your fertility problems and get the required treatment. Usually, people visit fertility clinics for IVF treatment when they want to start a family or have another child. Couples can meet with fertility consultants at Medicover who can guide them with the treatment procedure and answer their queries and concerns. Medicover has a number of in-house fertility specialists who are highly qualified and have many years of experience.
Medicover offers state of the art facilities and services. It is a well-equipped hospital with advanced technology treatment options and the latest equipment. It has a modern infrastructure and offers patients comfortable care of an international standard. Medicover owns state of the art laboratory with a full CCTV coverage allowing patients to see what is happening with their embryo. There are 7 Medicover clinics in India, and each one is fully equipped to cater to the patient’s requirements.
Q: We have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years. I am 37 years. Should we try IVF?
A: Yes, you should visit a reputed fertility clinic for IVF treatment as soon as you can without much delay as conception even through IVF has a lower success rate as the patients' age increases.
Q: Can we improve our chances of conception with a change in our diet, if we switch over to foods recommended for fertility?
A: Yes, there is a greater likelihood of your being able to conceive if you switch over to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Q: My doctor says that I may have reduced ovarian reserve. Can I have a baby?
A: Yes, you can have a baby through IVF. Your ovaries will be stimulated to retrieve whatever eggs are still available.