How naturopathy can help you conceive. Struggling with infertility.

3 tips when you’ve been trying to conceive for a while…

So, you've started trying to conceive but nothing's happening...?

We hear you!

When having regular unprotected intercourse:

  • 80% of women <35 years will conceive within 12 months

  • and 90% within two years

If you've been trying for a hot while and nothing's happening, consider these 3 tips:

 

1. Are you sure you’re getting your timing right?

If you’re using a fertility app to tell you when to time intercourse for conception, you’re probably using flawed information - the days your app gives are a guide only, and are not an exact way to predict ovulation.

Fertility apps use a 'textbook' ovulation/menstrual cycle to determine your fertile times. When you input your menstrual cycle length, and after a few cycles when the app sees your 'average' cycle length, it simply counts back 14 days. This is because, in a 'textbook' 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs on day 14 with a post-ovulation phase of 14 days.

The problem is most of us aren't textbook, ovulation isn’t uniform, and none of us conform to a one-size-fits-all algorithm.

For example, you might have a 28-day cycle, but ovulate on Day 18. Or a 35-day cycle and ovulate on day 19. In these cases an app won't give you accurate timing information, and we see this a lot in clinic.

The best way to confirm ovulation is with your basal temperature or using an ovulation test kit.

Your fertility app could be misdirecting you…

Also, remember to have intercourse in the lead-up to ovulation, so sperm are up there ready & waiting when your egg is released. Digital ovulation test kits will let you know when you’re approaching ovulation, and your body will too! - pay attention to your cervical mucus and its change to fertile ‘egg-white’ mucus in the lead-up to ovulation.

2. Further investigations for fertility 

It’s time to visit your GP for some further investigations if:

  • If you’re under 35 and have been trying to conceive for 12 months,

  • or if you’re 35 and over, and have been trying for 6 months,

As we mentioned above, most women will conceive within those timeframes, so if you haven't it's well worth taking a closer look into why.

Your GP will most likely:

  • ask about your menstrual cycle history

  • organise some blood tests (eg. a full blood count & iron studies, to look out for anaemia / check in on your Vitamin D levels / look at thyroid function, blood sugar)

  • check your AMH (for ovarian reserve) and/or your baseline hormones (FSH, LH, oestrogen on Day 2/3 and progesterone 7-days post-ovulation)

  • do an infection & STI check for things like Hep B/C, HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, CMV, toxoplasmosis

  • review any medications you're on

  • review any underlying health conditions you might have, such as asthma, hypo/hyperthyroidism, depression, diabetes

  • discuss any genetic disorders in your family such as cystic fibrosis, or any birth defects

  • discuss any previous pregnancies, miscarriages, terminations

  • organise a pelvic ultrasound (to investigate ovarian cysts, fibroids, tubal patency)

  • maybe refer you for cycle tracking

  • maybe refer you to a fertility specialist

A good GP will also recommend a male partner have further testing too, including a full semen analysis.

3. Consider some dedicated preconception care to optimise your fertility

Preconception is the really valuable time before you conceive. Addressing any underlying health issues during this time, making dietary & lifestyle changes, and taking nutritional and herbal medicine where appropriate (at the very least a prenatal supplement), can positively influence both egg & sperm quality, and fertility outcomes (including IVF outcomes).

Ideally you’d focus on preconception care for at least three months - this is the time it takes to make a new sperm cell, and for egg cell maturation prior to ovulation.

In the three months before conception (natural or IVF)

  • eating a whole food diet

  • stopping alcohol and smoking or vaping

  • having a regular exercise and sleep routine

All these things can all positively impact your fertility.

Trying to conceive isn't always easy - we know this because we've been helping women and couples conceive for over 15 years. Put these three tips into action and reach out if you'd like some in-depth and personalised guidance to optimise your fertility.

The New Leaf Naturopaths, Herbalists and nutritionists are experts in supporting your fertility journey. We're here to help guide you with detailed investigation interpretation, personalised supplement prescriptions and an abundance of suggestions, including food & lifestyle advice. Book online for your virtual appointment today.

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