Facts About Female Fertility | AD

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One of the first questions I get asked when I talk about the boys is "That is a big age gap." It is a huge gap, 11 years to be exact however not everyone is fortunate enough to fall pregnant as soon as they start trying. We were lucky with big J, the pregnancy happened naturally but after having him we then faced 11 years of trying before we finally had a healthy baby in our arms. 

a woman walking through a puddle
Fertility is a vastly complicated aspect of human anatomy and unfortunately often considered quite a taboo subject. For that reason, young people aren’t really taught enough about fertility when they’re in school and therefore don’t know how to maximise their chances of a successful pregnancy in the future. After all, the way we treat our bodies can determine whether or not we are able to conceive a child, especially by natural means. I have teamed up with an IVF fertility clinic in London to share four fantastic facts about female fertility to help us girls understand what’s actually going on inside our bodies and help us prepare for pregnancy, either now or in the future. 

A Woman Loses 3000-5000 Eggs Per Menstrual Cycle
When a female baby is born, she has the most eggs she’ll ever have; around 1-2 million! Eventually, this egg reserve runs out as a woman loses many of them during each menstrual cycle. Once a woman is around the age of 35, her fertility rapidly declines, which makes it a lot more challenging to conceive a baby naturally. Many women choose to freeze their eggs when they’re still young to preserve their fertility, so that they can have a baby in the future, when they feel more prepared. A man’s fertility also declines as he ages, as their sperm loses its quality. In fact, around 30% of infertility cases are due to the male party. 

BMI Can Affect A Woman’s Chances of Conceiving
BMI either underweight or overweight can prevent you from conceiving. For example, extreme exercise and dieting can prevent a woman’s menstrual cycle and therefore make it impossible to get pregnant. Eating fatty foods can lead to high blood pressure and other diseases, like diabetes, which can make conception difficult. You should try and aim for a healthy BMI of anything between 18.5 and 24.9. 

Some STIs Can Lead To Infertility
Gonorrhoea and chlamydia are the two most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK. Cases that are left untreated can cause various other problems, including infertility in both men and women. For instance, chlamydia can leave scarring in the fallopian tubes which prevents the egg from travelling to the womb. If this has happened to you, you might want to consider IVF, as it essentially bypasses the need for viable fallopian tubes. 

Smoking During Pregnancy Can Cause Harm To The Baby
There are lots of potential health risks associated with smoking while pregnant. In fact, it can even cause fertility issues for the child when they grow up. Other issues are things like low birth weight, preterm birth and defects of the mouth and lip. If you need help with quitting smoking, don’t hesitate to contact your GP. 

When I was younger I just assumed I would grow up and have babies whenever I was ready but as we know this just isn't the way it works. Understanding your body and making small lifestyle changes can really help. 


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