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Women's Fertility: All You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner


Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated Jan 30, 2023

Women's Fertility: All You Need To Know

The majority of couples around the world wish to start their own families. But thousands of women may find it hard to get pregnant. For those who wish to get pregnant, understanding women’s fertility can significantly help you conceive.

When it comes to fertility, the health of both partners must be considered to increase their chances of getting pregnant. By understanding women’s fertility in general, partners can determine the best time and method to have a baby. Interestingly, understanding it can be equally beneficial to those who do not wish to get pregnant. 

To make the best choices for your body and health, whether you would like to conceive or not, it is best to understand your fertility. 

What is Women’s Fertility?

Fertility is a person’s ability to conceive a child. Most concerns about fertility only arise when a couple is unable to get pregnant, especially if they were trying to conceive for more than six months already, especially for women aged 35 and up.

Different factors affect a woman’s fertility, such as their general health and lifestyle choices. However, while women may adopt changes in their lifestyle to boost chances of getting pregnant, there are some factors that are beyond the couple’s control. In these moments, an expert’s help is necessary.

When Can A Woman Get Pregnant?

Women are able to conceive once they start ovulating in their adolescence. Once a woman gets her period, and engages in sexual activities with the opposite sex, she may get pregnant.

There is a common belief, however, that a woman can get pregnant any day of the month, except when she starts her monthly period. This is false. Here are some points to better understand women’s fertility:

  • A woman can only get pregnant during her fertile window,” which spans around 6 days, starting on the day that the egg cell is released from the ovary. This is also known as the ovulation period. 
  • For couples who wish to get pregnant, having intercourse during this period increases the success rate of fertilization. Sperm cells can live within the body for up to five days, while egg cells can only be fertilized within 24 hours after they have been released.
  • Even if a woman was intimate with a man before the egg cell was released, they still have a chance of getting pregnant when her ovulation starts within 5 days after their contact. This is the reason why some women get pregnant despite having sex on their periods. As an example, a woman who had unprotected sex on her last day of period may get pregnant.
  • However, the fertile window changes from woman to woman as it is determined by how long a woman’s typical period/menstrual cycle lasts.
  • How To Know If You Are Ovulating

    A period tracker is a great way to assess when a woman is ovulating. They can do this by checking the pattern of their menstrual cycle, and then using it to determine their fertile window.

    For those who may have difficulty calculating their ovulation period, various apps and online ovulation calendars are available.

    There are also over-the-counter (OTC) ovulation kits available. These are easy-to-use and can give the result in a few minutes. Combining these OTC kits and a period tracker can help couples figure out the best time to get pregnant. Consult your OB GYNE as well for guidance. 

    When Does A Woman Lose Her Chance of Getting Pregnant?

    A woman can naturally lose her fertility as she grows older. Although it differs for each woman, menopause can start as early as your late 30s and as late as your early 50s.

    It happens gradually, but as time passes, menstruating can become irregular. Women may also notice that they skip periods, because ovulation can also skip. By the time they hit their menopausal stage, ovulation and periods stop. 

    According to experts, a woman is in menopause when she has not ovulated and has not had her period in a year. By this time, there is no chance of getting pregnant. With that said, the ideal time to get pregnant is during your late 20s and early 30s.

    Meanwhile, some women, regardless of age, are infertile or cannot get pregnant at all. Some are also prone to suffer miscarriages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of women in the US, aged 15 to 44, are infertile.

    Infertility in women is often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), and other reproductive health problems.

    How to Boost Women’s Fertility

    There are different ways to boost women’s fertility naturally, and all of these are connected to keeping the body healthy and strong. Here are some tips to boost one’s fertility:

      • Maintain a healthy weight. Check your body mass index (BMI) score. It should be between 19 to 24, which indicates a healthy weight. Anything below or over that is considered unhealthy.
      • Too much or too little food intake can affect the body, including its reproductive system. Switching to healthy vegetable proteins such as beans and nuts may increase fertility compared to animal protein. Also, switch to high-dairy compared to low-dairy, as this may help boost women’s fertility. However, further studies are still needed.
      • Stress can also have negative effects on overall health Manage stress by trying yoga or meditation, as well as getting enough sleep every day.
      • Exercise moderately. Any heavy and strenuous exercise can impact a woman’s menstrual cycle and overall health.
      • Avoid drinking and smoking, which both have negative effects on one’s health. Interestingly, both of these vices decreases fertility for both men and women.

    Key Takeaways

    For a couple to get pregnant, they need to be in tip-top shape. But regardless of whether both are perfectly healthy or not, if they do not understand the basics of fertility, it can still be difficult to get pregnant. Nevertheless, the best way to increase the chances of pregnancy is to consult your OB-Gynecologist and commit to healthier choices.

    Disclaimer

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner


    Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated Jan 30, 2023

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