Copyright © Carolyn N. Berger, LCSW. All rights reserved.

The hard fact is that a woman’s fertility peaks in her twenties, starts to decline significantly at age 30, and dips again at 35. The biological clock ticks, too, for men, whose semen volume, sperm counts, and testosterone levels gradually begin to decrease in their thirties.

How can you up the odds of getting pregnant? If you’re a woman younger than 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year, it makes sense to see a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor). If you are 35 or older, you will want to see a doctor after six months of trying to get pregnant. Regardless of age, it makes sense to see a fertility doctor sooner rather than later if you have irregular menstrual cycles or chronic health issues.

Women have gotten most of the attention when it comes to fertility, but in 40% of all cases the problem stems from the man and in 40% of all cases the problem stems from the woman. In the remaining 20% of all cases the problem is idiopathic (unexplained) or a combination of male and female factors.

So it’s just as important for the man to be checked. If he has a less than optimal semen analysis, he may need to consult a urologist specializing in male infertility. A man should also seek medical advice if he has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.

It also makes sense for both men and women to get checked if they have a history of surgeries, treatments such as chemotherapy, exposure to environmental hazards, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

There are steps a couple can take on their own to help them get pregnant. Using an ovulation predictor test will let you know when ovulation is imminent so you can time intercourse correctly. (Up to 20% of all couples miscalculate the best time for intercourse.)

There are lifestyle factors you can adjust. Cut down on caffeine, eat healthier foods, quit smoking, and cut out alcohol. Lose weight if you are overweight or gain weight if you are underweight. Reduce stress with mind/body relaxation techniques and yoga.

When trying to get pregnant, there are many things you can do to stack the cards in your favor. Hopefully, by being proactive and working with a reproductive endocrinologist who uses cutting-edge technologies, your concerns will soon shift from which day you are at in your cycle to how to prepare for the birth of your baby.

See more information on the Resource Page.

Trying to Conceive