Men's Articles

Having A Baby

Becoming a mother is one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. It can be joyous. It also can be a time of uncertainty and worry. So getting informed is the first step to having a healthy pregnancy. We speaks to Dr Ann, an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

What Can My Partner And I Do To Improve Our Chances Of Conceiving?

Simple things to do:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid excess processed carbohydrates.
  • Concentrate on eating at least six to eight different fruits and vegetables daily.

Are There Any Supplements That Might Help?

All women thinking of conception should be taking folic acid - we usually recommend 5mg daily. In addition, a B-complex or multivitamin, and vitamin E, evening primrose oil, or mercury and contaminant-free fish oil capsules provide a good source of essential fatty acids.

Could The Length Of My Cycle Affect My Fertility? When Am I Most Likely To Become Pregnant?

A woman with regular cycles ovulates, and is therefore fertile 14 days before the next menstruation. If it is a 28-day cycle, she ovulates on day 14. For a 35-day cycle, she probably ovulates on day 21. However, some women with long or irregular cycles may not be ovulating each month, and so may be unable to conceive in the months they are not ovulating. All other factors being equal, a fertile ovulating woman is able to conceive from about three to four days prior to the ovulation, until two days post-ovulation - in a 28-day cycle this means from approximately day 10 to day 16 - as a rule, intercourse every alternate day during that six-day period should lead to pregnancy within three to six months.

How Can 1 Tell If I'm Ovulating?

There are a variety of ways to tell: Natural ways - first, most women who are aware of their bodies will notice the clear stretchy raw egg white-like discharge as they enter the fertile time usually about day 10 to days 14 to 15 in a 28-day cycle; after ovulation, the discharge will change to a thick sticky mucus, showing ovulation has occurred, and the body is now producing progesterone, hopefully to support a pregnancy. This should continue for another 12 to 14 days. In addition, many women will notice a slight abdominal fullness, bloating or sensitivity during the peak fertility times, as the ovary swells and releases the egg.

A basal body temperature chart will show a rise in temperature 24 to 48 hours after ovulation, but as this is retrospective, it can be frustrating. There are also a variety of more sophisticated kits available to detect ovulation - urine tests that detect the hormone changes 24 hours prior to ovulation, and give information before the peak fertile period. Mini computers that track the cycle are also available.

Could A Previous Abortion Or Having Been On The Pill Affect My Getting Pregnant?

A previous abortion can affect fertility only if there have been complications or infections leading to scarring of the uterus or fallopian tubes - usually if this has occurred, the woman will notice menstrual changes, or pain. The Pill can sometimes lead to menstrual irregularities in the short term after stopping. However, the Pill also protects from many of the diseases which can cause infertility in the long term.

How Can I Prepare My Body For Pregnancy?

Sensible eating, regular exercise, and vitamins for at least three months prior to trying to conceive. Also, ensure you are up to date in vaccines for rubella and hepatitis B. Check immunity to toxoplasmosis, and avoid uncooked beef and coming into contact with cat faeces if you are not immune.

If 1 Have Been On Diet Pills For Some Time, How Long Do I Have To Stop Before Becoming Pregnant?

At least six to eight weeks - with vitamins and healthy eating during that time.

How Long Should My Partner And I Try For A Baby Before Seeking Help?

After six months of regular timing without conceiving.

What Can Be Done To Improve A Low Sperm Count Or Poor Quality Sperm?

One can treat the man by identifying the causes of the low count, and treating the specific causes if found, and by focusing on diet, vitamins and a healthy lifestyle. If this is unsuccessful, we treat the sperm - find the best quality in the ejaculate, and use these for artificial insemination; or in severe cases, a form of in-vitro fertilisation called infra-rullularsperm injection is extremely effective, with pregnancy rates of up to 60 to 70 per cent.

How Do We Know Which Fertility Treatments Are Best For Us?

First, you must identify the reason for the infertility problem. In the woman it could be a problem with the egg or ovulation, the fallopian tubes, the uterus or the cervix. In the male, it could be sperm quality, erectile dysfunction or general health issues. In a couple, it could be related to timing, penetration or mechanical issues. Overall, about a third of couples will have a male-only factor, a third will be a female-only factor, and a third will be a combined male and female factor.


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