Once you’ve found your Mr. Right, and you are both ready to become parents, you may find yourself trying for a baby. And sometimes, this process takes a little longer than you had expected. So what are the kinds of things that could prevent a woman from getting pregnant? Here are a few recommendations and suggestions from Professor René Frydman, a specialist in reproduction and in the development of medically assisted reproduction.
Getting pregnant: more difficult after 35
Young women spend their lives hearing advice such as “work is important”, “you need to be independent”, “get established in your career before you get pregnant”, “you need to be really sure of the father before you have a baby with him”. All of this is certainly very good advice, but it may incite some women to wait a little too long… However, after 35 years of age, it becomes more difficult to have a baby.
Generally, when a couple are having difficulties, a doctor may suggest in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), but other couples prefer to go for adoption, surrogacy (although the legislation in the UK is unclear) or decide to abandon the idea of having a family.
Faced with the difficulties encountered by women and couples, Professor René Frydma suggests in her most recent work that “all women can benefit from a fertility test before the age of 35”. This involves an ultrasound and a blood test, as a preventative measure, “in order to make a woman’s options clear to her: either to realise her desire to have a child immediately or later on, and to take appropriate measures, such as stopping smoking for example, or starting treatment”.
What are the possible causes of fertility problems?
The following are the principle factors that can reduce a woman’s fertility:
- endometriosis: the lining of the uterus can start to migrate and develop outside the uterus, for example, in the Fallopian tubes, in the ovaries or in the abdomen. Hormonal treatment or even surgery, if it is carried out in time, can reduce and limit its effects.
- obstructions in the tubes: these prevent the egg from descending into the uterus and becoming fertilised. In the majority of cases, such obstructions are due to infections that may have gone unnoticed (chlamydia, etc.).
- ovarian cysts or other problems with the ovaries
- lifestyle also has a huge effect on fertility, such as smoking, obesity, or diet (as a result of the effects of endocrine disruptors).
According to Professor Frydman, it is possible for a woman to conserve her eggs in the case that she discovers she may not have many or may have other fertility problems. The laws are different in various countries surrounding egg freezing.
Take a fertility test
If you want to know more about your fertility levels, and have decided to take a fertility test, ask your GP and explain that you would like to do so in order to maximise your fertility and make informed decisions about your options.