Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher

Fertility and Pregnancy


Fertility problems

fertilty problemsInfertility is an extremely common problem affecting more than 1 in 7 couples. It can be a stressful time trying for a baby but stress itself could reduce your chances of conceiving.

In a recent survey three quarters of the men questioned admitted that trying to conceive put adverse pressure on their relationship with their partner.

Many people put off trying for a family but medical research suggests that the older the woman is the more difficult it COULD be to conceive.

In this interview TV GP, Dr Chris Steele offers his advice on trying for a baby.

Do people worry about getting pregnant?

Yes, women are tending to put off their first baby until their career is a bit more established. They feel the pressure. There’s been a recent survey done which shows that nearly 72% of men thought that trying for a baby put pressure on their relationship with their partner. If you’ve been delaying your first baby and then you’re trying it is a lot of pressure. Patients come in and ask me how can they make sure they’re in good health and fitness so fertility won’t be affected.

Do people take it for granted that they will be able to get pregnant?

Diet and lifestyle are vital. The feeding of that developing foetus is paramount and people need to look more closely at nutrition and lifestyle. Women know about folic acid but that’s just one. There are many, many other supplements.

Do you have a plan for couples to follow when trying to get pregnant?

Look at diet. For men, foods that are rich in vitamin C and Zinc because of the beneficial effect on sperm count. For women, your greeny leafy veg for the folic acid but make sure you have a varied diet with your five portions of fruit and veg a day.

Take a supplement

The timing of intercourse is important. You ovulate 14 days before the first day of your next expected period. If you’ve got a regular 28 day cycle it is 14 days but if you’ve got a 32 day cycle well then you’re ovulating around day 18 not day 14.

You should have intercourse the two days before, the day of and the day after. After intercourse the woman should not get up and dash to the loo but stay in bed. The reason for that is to give the sperm a chance to get into the cervix.

You should also relax and avoid the bad habits like smoking and alcohol.

How long, on average, does it take to fall pregnant?

A few years back the advice we gave was keep trying for two years. Now it’s down to one year.


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