What is the best age to start a family? Noone knows for sure, with proper information and awareness, we can work towards preventingseveral causes of infertility.

For generations,women married early, stayed at home and had babies. But today’s reality isquite different — women are pursuing careers, marrying later and postponingmotherhood. The messages aboutunwanted pregnancy are clear – you can control that with contraception.But when it comes to getting pregnant, things are less clear. For most people,its complex lifestyle changes over the recent years such as smoking and unhealthyextremes in body weight that has affected fertility.

Age and Fertility

At birth,women have 1-2 million eggs, which sounds like more than enough, but the numberdeclines through life and more so in 30s. And, while today’s infertility treatments are very successfulin helping women of all ages get pregnant, it is most likely that women intheir 20s and early 30s will achieve pregnancy, with or without treatment.

Education about the decline in fertility withage is important as this may prevent the later heartache of infertility. Fertilitychecks sometimes help couples who wish to plan pregnancy later in their lives.Women can have ovarianreservetesting with an ultrasound scan check to look at the how many follicles there are in the ovaries, and ablood test blood test for levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) which studiesshow is correlated to fertility. Although some women might find the testreassuring, it can only give a snapshot – it can’t predict what will happen tofertility in the future. Another big predictor of fertility can be yourmother’s age of menopause: if this was early, then so could yours be.

Maintaining Healthy Weight and Diet can help improve menstrual regularity and overallhealth in women. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and Endometriosis, that areimportant causes for delayed fertility significantly improve with exercise. Makingtime for leisure with your husband is healthy step to take to lower stresslevels and improve your mental and emotional health.

Schedule an overall body health check to diagnose and treatdisorders such as thyroid problems that could lead to fertility problems

What about the Men?

Infertility is not just a female disease, butaffects men equally — nearly half of all diagnosed cases of infertility areattributed to the male partner. Recent studies suggest that as men age, thequality of their sperm may decrease, making conception more difficult. Smoking,prolonged exposure to high heat (hot tub) and long hours of sitting or tightunderclothes can also lead to male infertility. Men could have a semen analysis to know the sperm count and quality.

If lifestyle adjustmentshave not resulted in a pregnancy in a year’s time, it may be time to consult afertility specialist to determine if there are other causes for your difficultyconceiving.