When my husband and I decided to start our family, I went into hyper research mode. I’ve wanted to be a mommy my entire life, so the thought of finally becoming one had me really excited. We’re practicing Catholics, so we don’t use birth control (at least not in the typical sense), but rather, take steps to encourage conception when we feel ready. So when we felt it was time, I went online, figured out when my next period was expected and took note of the days I was most likely to get pregnant. I read up on tips about conceiving, like “have sex every other day so the sperm can be replaced,” and “lie on your back with your feet in the air for fifteen minutes after having sex.” While these things might sound silly, we actually did them…and got pregnant on the first try…with both of our children.
I’m not sure if those tricks played a role in my getting pregnant or not, but I would do them again. However, I know that for many women, infertility is very real, and no amount of tips on how to conceive can make pregnancy happen. But, I’m one who believes that anything is possible, and that’s it better to try and fail, then to do nothing and succeed. So, if you feel like you’ve “tried it all,” but you wonder if there’s more you could be doing, here are some very interesting (and helpful) facts about fertility that might surprise you.
1. Age Affects Fertility
This might be a no-brainer, but just to point it out clearly, age affects your ability to get pregnant. The older you get, the harder it becomes to conceive. To put things in perspective, here’s a breakdown of how high your chances of conceiving are, based on your age.
- 25 years old – approximately 90%
- 35 years old – approximately 70%
- 45 years old – approximately 60%
These percentages are just one factor to consider, and of course, each woman should take her own health and genetic makeup into account. But if you’re hoping to expand your family, the “sooner rather than later” philosophy is one to follow.
2. It Can Take 6 Months To Conceive
If you aren’t able to get pregnant right away, you don’t need to be concerned…yet. It takes about 75% of couples who are trying to conceive 6 months before they are successful. Only 20% are able to conceive within a month. If it’s been a year and you haven’t been able to conceive, then you should consult your doctor.
3. Nighttime Darkness Can Help You Conceive
In 2014, Fertility and Sterility published a study that found that when women are exposed to artificial light at night, it can affect their reproductive health. Darkness stimulates the release of melatonin, which can help protect eggs from damage. Women who are trying to get pregnant should have at least eight hours of dark per night. Additionally, the interference of melatonin levels in women who are already pregnant can affect the health of the unborn baby.
One way to make the transition from artificial light in the daytime to darkness at night is to decrease your artificial light exposure gradually as it gets closer to bedtime. Also, don’t use any electronic devices or watch television within an hour of going to bed.