Yet, the adage that education is power holds true when it comes to learning important facts about how your own body works. These 9 facts about fertility you should learn in your twenties will ensure you go forward armed with knowledge and self-empowerment.
You can use this information for both avoiding pregnancy and achieving pregnancy when you hope to.
1. Being Super Health Conscious Doesn’t Guarantee Reproductive Health
You could be the most health-conscious person on your block, eating organic foods, lots of whole grains and avoiding processed food but still encounter fertility problems.
Good health is very important, that is a known fact, but, most young people take for granted that they will “just be able to have babies” when the time comes. The reality is that one in 10 healthy couples will have trouble conceiving due to infertility of some type. (Hunt, 2017)
2. Your Peak Fertility Age Might Surprise You
Our society has changed it’s views drastically on when to start a family, since many couples are now having children well into their 30’s and even 40’s.
Our bodies have not evolved as much. The peak age for a woman’s fertility is 27. After the age of 27, her eggs begin to deplete in quantity and quality, affecting the chances of becoming pregnant.
For men, time is also a factor, although not as drastically as for women. Men over the age of 35 will have a higher chance of infertility and/or sperm quality issues. (Van Dusen, 2007)
3. Your Choice of Birth Control Now Could Have an Impact
Most twenty-somethings are not looking to procreate right now, so the best wait to avoid this is to use some form of birth control.
The options out there are endless, making the decision a tough one. It is very important, yet, that an informed decision be made about which type to use.
Some forms of birth control could impact how long it takes for you to become pregnant once you quit, such as the Depo-Provera shot, or the shot called Lunelle.
Oral contraceptives are said to be the choice with the least amount of impact on future reproductivity. (Hunt, 2017)
4. Cycle Length Could be an Indicator
The average menstrual cycle is anywhere from 25 to 30 days long. If your cycle runs much longer than that, you may not be ovulating, or you may be ovulating much later than most women. This could have an impact on your ability to conceive later.
While it may seem fine now that you aren’t getting a period as often, it will be an issue that will need to be addressed in future in all likelihood.
You could see your doctor now and be proactive about any medical concerns with your reproductive health to avoid delays when you are ready to have a baby.
Short cycles can also be troublesome, since the egg will need time to implant after ovulation.
If your cycles are too short, the egg would not allow enough time to become mature enough and then implant into your uterine wall.
5. Don’t Skip Your Dental Appointments
Oral health is surprisingly connected to your reproductive health and ability to conceive in the future. There are many studies available which show gum disease causing problems with babymaking and making the process lengthier.
When you consider that oral health is part of your overall health, you can understand that it would have an affect. Gum disease can cause inflammation and if left untreated can allow bacteria to start roaming freely within your bloodstream.
This is not something you want to happen if you want to stay healthy. Gum disease and tooth decay can lead to pre-term labor and in some instances, miscarriage. (Paddock PhD, 2011)
6. Ovulation Day is Not Necessarily the Best Day
If you have decided now is the time to start a family, you should know that the day you ovulate is not necessarily the best day to have sex.
In fact, you are most likely fertile for up to 5 days before ovulation day depending on your internal conditions. Sperm will live for up to 5 days, so they will patiently wait for an egg if given the right environment.
7. Cervical Mucus is a Clue
There is not a lot of education or talk about cervical mucus in high school health classes. Many girls grow up thinking something is wrong with them when they see discharge of any kind.
Cervical mucus is a wondrous clue into your state of fertility. Although it may be an uncomfortable subject, it is important you learn about it and how your body works throughout your cycle.
This self-education should include learning about discharge throughout the month. There are different stages of discharge you will notice once you begin to pay attention. These stages range from dry to slippery and clear and even with a lotion-like consistency.
Each type of mucus will show itself at certain points. For example, the most fertile cervical mucus is clear, slippery and almost egg white-like. This type could state you are nearing ovulation. Educate yourself early to become an expert in your own cycle.
8. Size Does Matter
Size matters, but not in the way that you might be thinking. By size, this means your weight. It has been found that those who are overweight end up having to try longer to successfully get pregnant.
Equally troublesome, being underweight can also interfere with the outcome of trying to conceive. It is important to aim for a healthy weight range for you size and shape. Your doctor is the best resource to ask where you should be on the scale.
9. Even Healthy Couples Do Not Get Pregnant Right Away
If you are on the path to having a baby and are expecting to get pregnant the first month of trying, you may need to adjust your expectations.
While we have all endure countless sex ed classes where we were told “It only takes one time”, the reality is that conceiving usually takes the average couple about 5 or 6 months of actively trying.
There is nothing wrong with you even if it takes up to 12 months. Most doctors will not intervene until you have been unsuccessful after a year. Don’t fret and enjoy the journey—try not to stress if it doesn’t happen right away.
- Fertility Coalition. (2017). Fertility and a woman’s weight. Retrieved from YourFertility.com
- Hunt, S. (2017). 8 Surprising Facts About Fertility. Retrieved from Parents.com
- Paddock PhD, C. (2011, July 6). Women’s Fertility Linked To Oral Health. Retrieved from Medical News Today
- Van Dusen, A. (2007, November 4). Men’s and Women’s Fertility Facts–Explained. Retrieved from Forbes.com
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