Pregnancy is a delicate matter. Some women conceive quickly, while others take longer to get pregnant. Some couples are able to have babies year after year, while others fail to conceive a baby even after a year of trying. If you have been trying for a baby but have not conceived, it would be a good idea to visit your GP so he or she can check for fertility problems and give suggestions that can help with your condition.
When trying for a baby, you have a number of options, from natural methods to surgical procedures.
Knowing when you are most fertile can help you plan your pregnancy. To keep track of your fertile times, you can use one or all of these three methods: basal body temperature method, the calendar method, and the cervical mucus method.
- Basal body temperature method – women are most fertile and likely to get pregnant two to three days before their temperature reaches the highest point in their basal body temperature, during which ovulation occurs; and 12 to 24 hours after ovulation.
- Calendar method – works best for women with regular menstrual cycles, this involves recording the cycles for a period of eight to 12 months and counting “fertile” days
- Cervical mucus method – involves an awareness of the changes in the cervical mucus.
Women can boost their chances of getting pregnant naturally by maintaining a proper weight, eating folic acid-rich food, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Men can also boost their fertility by keeping the testicles cool, managing stress, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and eating a diet high in zinc, selenium, and vitamin E.
Treatments and Procedures for Infertility
When a couple is diagnosed to be infertile, a number of treatments and surgical procedures may be recommended to help them conceive. These are the following:
- Acupuncture – encourages fertility and may also be helpful for couple who are trying to conceive naturally
- Fertility drugs – prescribed to women with ovulation problems, used to regulate the reproductive hormones and trigger the release of eggs
- Surgery – done to mend damage to a woman’s reproductive system, such as ovarian cysts, and blocked fallopian tubes
- Intrauterine Insemination – also known as artificial insemination, in which sperm is injected into the woman’s reproductive tract
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer – involves mixing the woman’s eggs with sperm from a partner or a donor and surgically inserting the mixture into the fallopian tubes to allow fertilization to occur naturally
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection – involves injecting a single egg with a single sperm; the resulting embryo is placed in the uterus
- In vitro fertilization – involves removing eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing these with sperm from a partner or a donor. The resulting embryos are placed in the uterus.
Couples may also try surrogacy, in which a woman carries another woman’s embryo to term. You may also consider adoption and foster care. There are many children in need of parental love; there could be a little boy or girl waiting for you to come and take him or her home.
These are just some of the options available to couples who are trying to conceive. As you can see, the key to a successful pregnancy is knowing when to try and when to seek help. See your GP and get a fertility workup to evaluate your condition now.