Age is not the only obstacle to fertility
If you’ve ever felt the pressure from a family member to get crackin’ on the starting-the-family song-and-dance, then your age is usually brought into question. While the number “35” is traditionally tossed around, Brian Levine, MD, the founding partner and practice director of the fertility clinic, CCRM-New York, says many women much younger than their mid-thirties could be infertile, but don’t discover it until they begin trying to conceive. As a general rule of thumb (that definitely varies by the woman, the couple, and family history), women who are under 35 years old should try to get pregnant for a year before seeking medical attention, while those 35+ should give it six months before buckling down, according to Dr. Levine. Here are 15 other factors that may be harming your fertility for both men and women.
Both quality and quantity of eggs decrease over time
The reason why our fourth decade—those pivotal 30s—receive so much attention for family planning is that, like it or not, the older women get, the less fertile they become and the more likely their infants will have health issues. “The number and quality of eggs decreases as women get older, more precipitously after the mid- to late-30s making it more difficult to conceive,”says Paula Amato, MD, associate professor of ob-gyn at Oregon Health & Science University. “In addition, the risks of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus increase as women get older.” Make sure you know these eight infertility myths you can finally stop worrying about.
Infertility isn’t just a woman’s disease
Though you might spend a lot of time stressing over how well you’re taking care of your body, Dr. Levine makes a note that while women tend to carry the burden of fertility, it takes two to make a baby. When you’re being tested for infertility, both partners will be examined to see what issues are going on. He says that approximately 40 percent of infertility is due to female disorders, another 40 percent is due to male disorders, and approximately 20 percent is of an unclear reason. Dr. Amato notes that certain lubricants, including KY Jelly, used during intercourse can decrease sperm motility or survival. It’s important that both you and your partner are doing all that you can to make getting pregnant easier, which means he should keep a careful look on his diet and life, too. Here are 13 things men should try to boost their fertility.