Will Extra Pounds Affect Your Fertility?
What you should know if you're overweight and trying to conceive
The NIH says you’re most likely to get pregnant if you have sex the day you ovulate or the five days before, so it is essential that you get to know and understand your own personal menstrual cycle. (If you find that your cycle is irregular, enlist the help of your physician in charting your ovulation days.)
Feeling good about your body and keeping a positive outlook will not only ease stress (which has been shown to have a negative effect on fertility), but will help you stay happy as you try to get pregnant. Many women hope to conceive right away, but in actuality there is only a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. Make time for your relationship and for yourself and try not to let all your hopes and happiness ride on that monthly pregnancy test. This is the time in your life when you should appreciate the amazing things your body can do and learn to love it for what it is.
When to Seek Help
According to the The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby, by Ann Douglas, author of more than 25 books on parenting and pregnancy, approximately 60 percent of couples who are actively trying to conceive (having intercourse two to three times a week) will conceive within the first six months of trying, 75 percent within nine months, 80 percent within a year, and 90 percent within 18 months.
The standard advice is to try for a year before seeking assistance, but overweight women should seek assistance sooner, since weight can impair ovulation. If you don’t ovulate (based on your BBT chart or ovulation predictor kits), call your physician immediately. If you are over age 35 you also should not wait a year, since your window of opportunity is getting smaller.
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