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Fertility Facts

Pregnancy Facts
For most individuals who are trying to get pregnant and are under 35 years of age there is approximately a 25% chance each month of achieving a pregnancy. The chances of becoming pregnant increase to 60% within three to six months and up to 85% after one year.

Fertility Facts For Women

Fertilization of an egg normally occurs around day 14 of a 28 day menstrual cycle, but this will vary depending on the length of the cycle.

It is advisable to take Folic Acid .4 - 1.0 mg every day while attempting pregnancy and to continue doing so throughout pregnancy. Folic Acid is an essential building block for new cells. If taken prior to pregnancy it may increase the chances of having a baby with neural tube (nervous system) defects by 50%.

The chances for pregnancy decreases as a woman gets older.

Fertility Facts for Men

Avoid exposing the testicles to excessive heat as may occur in hot baths or saunas. Similarly, some sports activities involving the use of tight clothing should be avoided. It takes time for sperm to regenerate after damage from heat exposure.

Smoking cigarettes, anabolic steroids for body building, ulcer medication, daily use of marijuana, antimalarial drugs and some antibiotic drugs may decrease sperm production.

Fertility Facts For Women and Men

Eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise is beneficial for enhancing fertility and health. Regular exercise also helps to reduce physical and emotional stress. High levels of stress could lead to decreased sperm production in men and irregular egg production in women.

Excessive weight loss can affect hormonal messages from the brain, that in turn can affect egg production in women and sperm production in men.

Excessive weight gain can affect hormonal messages from the ovaries and the testicles which can affect a person's general fertility.

Ask a physician before taking any vitamins or food supplements.

The use of lubricants during sexual intercourse can interfere with sperm function.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can seriously affect the fertility of both men and women. Often there will be no obvious signs of infection. It is essential to see a physician for an evaluation if there is concern about a possible infection.

When to Seek Treatment

Generally, individuals should seek treatment if, after one year of having regular intercourse, pregnancy has not resulted or if there is a problem with repeated pregnancy loss. After a complete physical examination and hormonal study of both partners, the investigation may begin with daily recordings of the woman's basal body temperature and a semen analysis for the man. Also, it would be advisable to discuss the possibility of a referral to a fertility specialist.

Early diagnosis and treatment are very important, especially for individuals with the following:

· Women over 30 years of age
· Irregular or absent periods
· Previous use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
· A history of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in either partner, prostate, pelvic or genital infections in either partner.
· Previous abdominal surgery in either partner
· Reversal of surgical sterilization for either partner
· Endometriosis (women with this condition may experience painful menstruation)
· Breast discharge
· Women with excessive acne or hair on the body (hirsutism).

Consult a physician if any of these conditions apply and pregnancy has not been achieved after six months.