Commonly Asked Fertility Questions
When am I most fertile?
The fertile period of each cycle is 6 days long. Five of those days are the days prior to ovulation, and the 6th day is the day of ovulation. In fact, the peak time for pregnancy is 2 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. If you are not sure when you ovulate, or have irregular cycles, you can easily track your ovulation by using two well proven methods.
1. Tracking your cervical mucus
2. Using ovulation kits that track LH
Tracking your cervical mucus
Cervical mucus is the discharge that is released by the vagina throughout each cycle. When that discharge becomes slippery, clear and stretchy, you are ovulating and fertile. That consistency is very similar to raw egg whites. I challenge you to play around with raw egg whites so you get more comfortable recognizing that consistency.
Using ovulation kits that track LH
This is especially important for women who have irregular cycles. When you ovulate, the LH hormone in your body goes up. An ovulation kit can track your LH and help you find out when you are ovulating.
How often should I be having sex to maximize my chances of getting pregnant?
Most research shows that the highest pregnancy rates occur for couples who have sex every 1-2 days. However, having sex 2-3 times per week after your period has ended guarantees that you fall into your fertile period and that the quality of the sperm is optimal. Giving the sperm 2-3 days in between each ejaculation is a good way to help build sperm quality.
Does my age affect my fertility?
The most fertile age for a woman is between 19-26 years old. After the age of 35, the quality of our eggs goes down and our chances for fertility go down with it. The risks of pregnancy also go up. It is important to consider this when planning for a family.
I have been trying but have not been able to get pregnant. When should I go to my doctor?
If you are under 35 years old and have been having regular unprotected sex for 12 months without success you should start fertility evaluations with your doctor. If you are over 35 years old, you should start after 6 months. If you are under 35, and have a history of irregular cycles, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, you should start looking into your fertility with your doctor right away.
What are some natural ways I can boost my fertility?
There are many natural ways to boost fertility. Most of these involve making lifestyle changes. Examples of lifestyle changes that can really increase fertility include stopping smoking, losing weight if overweight, regular exercise, a balanced and healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake, and staying away from environmental toxins such as BPA, heavy metals, and pesticides.
A few supplements have great research showing that they improve egg quality, and increase the chance of pregnancy. These supplements include NAC, myo-inositol, and coenzyme Q10. Acupuncture also has great research showing its benefits for fertility.
Dr. Shadi Tabaei, ND
Homstein, M., Gibbons, W. Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy. 2019. Uptodate