Infertility is defined as the failure to get pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse (or six months for women over 35), or the inability to carry a pregnancy to full term.
Women in their 30’s know that when they’re trying to have a baby, being aware of their biological clock is crucial; and your ‘clock’ isn’t concerned about your career or your lifestyle.
Below, Mark P. Trolice, M.D., board certified reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist and founder of Fertility CARE: The IVF Center, shares 5 ways to protect your biological clock.
1. A Borrowed Clock Can Still Tell Time
Egg donation has allowed women in their mid to upper 40’s and beyond, to be able to carry a pregnancy, deliver a baby, and become mothers.
When a woman’s eggs are no longer capable of sustaining a pregnancy, or when she has other reproductive disorders such as damaged or missing ovaries, the early onset of menopause, or difficulty getting or staying pregnant, receiving eggs from a donor can prove to be a viable option.
A fertility specialist will remove the eggs from a donor’s ovaries, and then freeze them for future implantation, or fertilize them right away and embed them into the beneficiary’s uterus.
Single men and gay couples are also eligible recipients of donor eggs, with a female third party acting as a surrogate to carry the baby. Semen from one of the men is typically used in order to fertilize the donor egg
2. Wind Your Clock Regularly
Exercise, proper nutrition and appropriate weight are invaluable ways to maintain and protect your fertility, as well as reducing pregnancy complications.
Lifestyle factors such as nutrition, weight, exercise, and environmental exposure can greatly impact your overall health and fertility. If you’re intending to get pregnant, being overweight, or even obese, can hinder your chances of conception. Obesity can cause hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation; being underweight can also negatively affect a woman’s hormones and impede regular ovulation.
Habits detrimental to health such as smoking, illicit drug use, alcohol and caffeine consumption have been proven to impair fertility in both men and women.
3. Don’t Overwind Your Clock
Multiple studies have shown the significant impairment on your reproductive system from stress. Excessive physical or psychological stress can cause absent periods in women and hinder their fertility.
Stress reduction techniques are valuable ways to protect your fertility and optimize your chances to conceive. From support groups, to yoga/pilates or Zumba classes, to regular massage therapy; all these can positively affect your state of mind and improve your chances of conception.
4. When to Have Your Clock Checked
These are numbers that you might want to jot down:
- For women under 35, we recommend a fertility evaluation if they’ve been trying to conceive for one year, as long as they’ve been having regular periods, and there are no other pre-disposing problems, with her or her partner
- For women aged 35 to 39, we recommend six months of trying before an evaluation
- For women above 39 years old, we only recommend about three months, because as a woman gets older, the quantity and quality of her eggs goes down
5. Keep Your Clock Safe
More and more women are deferring their fertility due to their careers, because they haven’t found a mate, or because of cancer treatment.
Well, those women now have options: what we can do is freeze their eggs, or embryos if they have a partner, and they can be frozen indefinitely; it’s an excellent method to preserve your fertility if you’re not ready to have a baby right now.
If you’d like to know more about how to protect your ‘clock’ or have any questions or concerns, our experienced and compassionate staff are here to help. Contact us today for a consultation, and take the first step on your way to starting a family.