5 Frequently Asked Questions About Fertility
Plenty of factors come into play when discussing fertility. There’s timing, health, age, personal beliefs, and many others. Whether you’re taking an interest in it now or for the future, we’re kicking off an empowered discussion on fertility by answering some of your frequently asked questions below:
Is there a right time to have kids?
Your body, your choice. The right time to try to conceive children is when you are ready and willing. Medicine tells us that the body has a decline in the ability to conceive starting at the age of 35 years old. But that does not mean that you should force parenthood upon yourself. Everyone has a different timeline and all are equally valid and important.
I know I want kids in the future, but I’m not ready for them right now. Is there anything I can do to protect or preserve my fertility now?
Oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing has become a relevant topic recently, with more and more women taking charge and taking control of their lifestyle choices. There are several ways that you can preserve fertility, including:
- Using reversible birth control methods.
- Egg freezing, where oocytes or eggs from your ovaries are harvested and saved for later.
- In vitro fertilization wherein your eggs and your partner’s sperm may be combined and implanted onto your uterus. In other situations, a donor’s egg or sperm may be used, then once fertilized, will be transferred to you.
- Surrogacy is an option in other countries, but not yet available in the Philippines.
How often should my partner and I have sex to successfully conceive?
Fecundability, or the ability of normal fertile couples to conceive on a monthly basis, is approximately 20%. There are factors, aside from frequency of contact, which will determine the probability of pregnancy in every menstrual cycle. A few factors to keep in mind:
- the specific day of contact (you have to do it when you ovulate)
- sperm quality and quantity
- anatomy of the couple
- genetic factors
- menstrual cycle regularity
How long should my partner and I try to conceive before we seek medical assistance for a possible infertility issue?
Formal evaluation should start 6 months in for females aged 35 and up, while younger couples can wait up to 12 months of regular unprotected sex. The frequency of coitus plays an important determining factor. Couples in a long-distance relationship, for example, may not be able to perform coitus frequently and as such should not be automatically labelled as infertile.
We’ve been trying for years and still haven’t been able to successfully conceive. What are the options available to us?
These days, couples (and individuals) have more options thanks to the advances in science. The choices that are available to you may depend on your lifestyle or personal beliefs. In vitro fertilization, for example, is now available locally, but may not align with certain religious beliefs. Surrogacy is not yet available locally, but is a possible alternative in other countries.