Two of Singapore's most experienced fertility specialists Dr Kelly Loi and Dr Suresh Nair from Mount Elizabeth Hospital share their tips and advice on how to get pregnant, faster.
Deciding that you’re ready to become parents is exciting. After all, after about nine months, you’ll be holding your sweet little baby in your arms and starting out a whole new exciting chapter in life as a family.
However, while getting pregnant can be simple for some, it can be challenging for others who try for many months, even years, to conceive without success.
When you do decide to start a family, it helps to have some expert tips on how to increase your chances of conception. Two highly experienced fertility specialists from Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Dr Kelly Loi and Dr Suresh Nair, bring you some crucial information about this.
A few things to keep in mind for getting pregnant faster
Start sooner than later
According to Dr Nair, the younger the woman is when she starts trying to get pregnant (ideally before age 34), the better her chances are. He explains, “In women between 20 and 35 years of age, where both partners are healthy, 90 percent of couples will conceive within 12 to 18 months of trying.”
Dr Loi agrees, explaining that the likelihood of conceiving falls from 20 percent per month for a woman in her 20s to just eight percent by her late 30s. With increasing age, the number of functioning follicles in a woman’s ovaries decreases similarly to the quality of her eggs.
Ageing is also accompanied with a general decline in general health. These factors combined may result in fertility problems, where conception is difficult and/or the risk of genetic abnormalities is increased.
Improve your health, improve your odds
Maintaining a healthy body weight, getting regular physical activity, and stopping smoking can all increase a couple’s chances of pregnancy success. Dr Nair explains that obesity in women can have a negative impact on their fertility levels and can result in irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles. What’s more, “research shows that obese men are three times more likely to exhibit a reduction in semen quality.”
But being underweight can be as damaging because low body weight (a Body Mass Index below 20) affects estrogen production, which interferes with ovulation.
Dr Loi also advises smokers to kick the habit. Smoking is harmful to a woman’s ovaries, accelerating egg loss and possibly advancing the age of menopause. “Studies indicate that smoking can predispose the eggs to genetic abnormalities and increase the risk of miscarriage,” she says.
Male smokers should drop the habit too, with abnormalities in sperm production, quality, and quantity and the possibility of impotence due to blood vessel damage high on the list.
Couples trying for a baby are also advised to limit alcohol intake to twice a day. Also, women are encouraged to limit coffee intake to one cup a day as high levels of caffeine are associated with decreased fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage
What tests can be done to check how physically ready you are for pregnancy? Find out on the next page…