Written By: Dr. Jennifer Bakkensen on September 5, 2023
Starting a family can be a magical and amazing time in your life - but it can also be stressful. One in eight couples in the United States is affected by infertility. And while it’s a fairly common problem, many women and men don’t know when or how to begin their infertility journey. So, we’re breaking down the steps to take if you’re concerned about your fertility.
When is sex most likely to produce a pregnancy?
Your likelihood is greatest when intercourse occurs the day before ovulation. It starts to decline on the day of ovulation.
How often should we be having sex?
A common misconception is that frequent male ejaculation decreases fertility. Studies show that men with normal semen quality, sperm concentrations, and motility remain normal. You could try to have sex every day of the fertile window, but not if this causes undue stress on the couple. Aim for every other day or every third day instead.
How do you know the days when you are most fertile?
There are many ways to track your cycle. Perhaps the simplest is a calendar. Although there are many apps that can help, too. The period of the menstrual cycle before ovulation is known as the “follicular phase,” whereas the period after ovulation is known as the “luteal phase.” The length of a woman’s luteal phase is typically 14 days. As such, the day of ovulation can be estimated by subtracting 14 days from one’s cycle length.
For example, the day of ovulation is cycle day 14 if your cycle is 28 days. For a woman with a 30-day cycle, it would be day 16. The fertile window is the presumed day of ovulation and the five days prior.
Do I need to change my lifestyle?
Treatment options include:
Underlying anatomic pathology such as uterine polyps, fibroids, or uterine anomalies may be treated surgically, and abnormal semen parameters may prompt referral to a male fertility specialist with further consideration of additional targeted therapy.
Ultimately, you will work with your fertility specialist to develop a treatment plan uniquely targeted to your needs, with the ultimate goal of helping you build your family!
Disclaimer: While I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. The content in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not serve as medical advice, consultation, or diagnosis. If you have a medical concern, please consult your healthcare provider, or seek immediate medical treatment.
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