As we all know, more and more people are opting to start families in their 30s and 40s these days. This is largely due to the fact that women have careers to pursue and also that birth control is more widely available and effective. There are pros and cons to having kids at this age. On the upside, parents are often more financially stable. On the downside, a woman’s fertility starts to wane quickly once she hits 30, which means, when you finally decide you are ready, it may be harder than you thought to fall pregnant.
We caught up with Dr Bohaira El Geyoushi, obstetrician, gynaecologist, IVF consultant and brand spokesperson for Clearblue to ask her for her tips on getting pregnant naturally. She said, “A woman’s fertility starts to decline in her late 20s when she’s left with fewer eggs, the quality of which is likely to be lower than when she was younger. After 35, the depletion of eggs is critical. After 40, the chances of achieving pregnancy are very low, with 50 per cent higher risk of miscarriage. However women – especially those in their early to mid-30s – don’t always need meds, therapies or an operation to get pregnant faster. Sometimes, all you need is a simple lifestyle change.” Here are her tips for boosting your chances of conceiving.
Read more: 'Why I wish I'd had kids earlier'
1) Eat healthily
“Follow a nutritious diet by eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking at home, reducing your intake of sugars and refined carbs, and avoiding processed foods. Not only will doing so help you maintain a healthy weight, it will also have a positive effect on your mood and energy. Being overweight and being depressed are two factors that negatively affect fertility, so fight both with proper nourishment.”
2) Exercise regularly
“This is as important as eating right and, together, they are the two most important factors which are under your control. Walking briskly, or other forms of light to medium exercise, three to five times a week is something you need to do if you are trying to get pregnant.”
3) Be patient but seek help
“Only a third of couples will conceive in the first month of trying, If you’re under 35 and in good health, it’s perfectly natural for it to take up to a year. If you’re over 35, try for 6 months before getting help. And if you’re in your 40s, it’s advisable to go and see your doctor as soon as you decide to try for a baby.”
4) Get the timing right
“The likelihood of getting pregnant dramatically increases if you have intercourse on the three days leading up to ovulation, or on the day of ovulation itself. Get to know your ovulation cycle, and track it. There are easy-to-use ovulation-prediction kits in your local pharmacy, or supermarket, that can help you with this. Women trust Clearblue Digital Ovulation tests because they provide accurate easy-to-read results.”
“Sleeping a full eight hours each night, acupuncture, meditating, swimming, reading, shopping... women have different ways of easing stress. Find out what works for you and go for it. Stress can interfere with ovulation, so the more relaxed you are, the better your chances of conceiving.”