We tend to focus on the female when trying for a baby, this is possibly due to the fact that we have the menstrual cycle, as women we get used to our bodies monthly rhythms. So it’s us that tend to get checked out first.
However recent studies show that Male fertility is the cause of 35-40% of infertility in couples. Many of our patients find a stumbling block when we mention that we would like the man to get his semen analysis done. This is often the case when perhaps the woman wants to actively try for a baby, and the man is more laid back, and wanted to leave it a bit longer. It isn’t the most pleasurable thing to do, in a sterile room, in a fertility clinic. But communication is key here, make sure you as a couple want to take the next step, and if you have been actively trying for a baby for over a year if under 35, and 6 months if 36 plus, then it is vital to get a semen analysis done, along with blood tests for the woman, testing FSH & LH and progesterone.
Here at Clonmel Acupuncture & Therapy Centre we have come up some of our top Super Duper Sperm creators!
Sperm cells take 11 weeks to mature in the testicles before they are ready for ejaculation. If you adjust your diet today, along with any of the other tips that apply to you it will thus take three months for the better sperm to be ready for fertilisation. You must therefore keep the diet or supplement on an on-going basis – ideally until your partner is pregnant.
Baby sex (Timed Intercourse to conceive a baby) – love it or hate it, many of us have done it. Over the last 16 years treating couples trying to conceive, I’ve come to the conclusion that baby sex doesn’t work.
We spend our late teens, early 20’s doing everything within our power not to become pregnant. Early 30’s come along, we fall in love, find “the one” (or thereabouts), we decide to go un-protected. At first it’s exhilarating, liberating, we feel like naughty teenagers. That’s the first few months. Job done, delighted, we start looking out for signs of early pregnancy, that we googled. Yes we have tender breasts, nipples have changed colour (maybe).Then our good friend period arrives, just a day late.
Little do we know that a healthy 30 year old trying to conceive only has a 20% chance of conceiving each month. But we think it’s going to work right away – sure look at Mary in accounts, 4th baby on the way, she says she only has to look at her man, and boom, another baby comes along.
All of a sudden making love becomes staged, forced and sometimes painful. Here’s the thing, a woman’s monthly cycle is pretty amazing, but sometime ago many of us lost the ability to listen to it.
Day 1-5 generally for most women is menstruation, after this every woman’s cycle varies. We reach for the ovulation sticks to show us a smiley face, instead of listening to our bodies, watching for our body to tell us when it’s fertile. For example our cervical mucus changes, becoming clear, our sex drive increases, but putting a stick with a flashing smiley face in front of your partner, chances are he may do two things, run a mile, or fail to perform.
David shares his story …
“ My wife and I got married young, we bought a house, and 5 years later we decided to try for a family. Both of us come from fairly large families. The first 6 months were great, but I saw a different look start to appear in Helen's eyes. She began to scare me coming up to mid-cycle. I dreaded the text at work telling me her stick said she was at her most fertile. And even if I was exhausted after a particularly busy day at work, I was expected to be in the mood, as soon as I stepped through the front door. It killed it for me I began to have erectile problems, which really worried me. Helen would be a very caring person, but this she didn’t take well, and got more and more frustrated with me. We began to row, especially leading up to mid cycle. When her period came, Helen wouldn’t talk to me to a few days.
Helen's friend told her about Katie at The Clonmel Acupuncture Centre, so we met Katie for a consultation. She recommended that we got basic blood tests done, all came back OK. She asked Helen to get rid of the temperature charts, and ovulation kits, and diary for a few months. And explained that we needed to go back to basics, having sex only when both of us wanted, for both of us to exercise, to make sure Helen had orgasms again, to go and have great sex, and re discover each other.
It felt strange at first then one night Helen broke down she said she just wanted me. I believe my wife let go of something, not sure what but our son Jack was born 10 months later.”
See here’s the thing that I see time and time again. When we don’t get pregnant – fear creep’s its ugly head in, fear is the enemy, as is frustration. I believe the way we have sex as a couple has a huge impact on the result.
Baby sex – normally “performed” after the couple have come back from work all day. Its quick, forced, and 9 times out of 10 the woman doesn’t climax, we lose the love. Many women report back to me that they begin to dread mid cycle sex, because there’s a feeling of complete anxiety that they don’t miss the right days, hours.
I firmly believe that female orgasm pre or post male ejaculation increases sperm retention and helps increase chances of conception.
Interestingly longer foreplay and a higher level of sexual arousal before ejaculation have shown to increase sperm counts in some research studies.
So what’s the answer?
There is no simple answer. I believe that once you start “trying” for a baby, you can never fully stop. But what you can do is alter your approach.
Intimacy as a couple is paramount. This is often lost when trying for a baby. Keep communicating as a couple. Intimacy isn’t just physical it is emotional contact too. Discuss how you are both feeling. Remember it takes two to tango, make sure you are both on the same page.
This is very hard but try not to compare yourselves to couples around you. It can be very painful to see friends conceive quickly when you are actively trying. I remember personally seeing 3 couples that were our friends have 2 children each before we had our first. I found it very hard not to feel resentful towards them all. I found myself avoiding their company.
Go back to basics, re connect to each other. Spend quality time together in and out of the bedroom. One of my most successful tips for couples has been to go hill walking together. For some reason this really does seem to work!!!
Until you get a positive pregnancy test do not put your lives on hold. Enjoy sex again…
Katie Murphy Lic AC MTCMCI
When a couple decide on some level that they want to have a baby, the early stages of “trying” are fun. But after a few months and no sign of a positive pregnancy test, fear starts to creep in. Fear along with its friends worry, and doubt. Then things aren’t so fun, sex can become a chore, an almost desperate experience for some. Men find they are put under enormous pressure to preform, here, now, the ovulation kit says so!
We see this pattern 70% of the time, the relationship can become strained and from that moment that the woman wants a baby so badly, that she will do anything to get it, well that’s not a healthy place to be. Our bodies release stress hormones, our sleep patterns become erratic and our fertile bodies let us down.
At The Clonmel Acupuncture & Therapy Centre we address all aspects of getting the body, mind and soul ready to conceive and carry a beautiful, healthy baby into this world.
Think of your garden for a moment, to plant a vibrant flower, how would you prepare the soil? You would use the richest, most fertile soil, full of nutrients, watered and warm, ready for that flower to grow in this wonderful, nurtured environment? Yes you would.
Working out when you are at your most fertile can be very confusing, especially when you have few fertile signs to begin with.
My job is to help teach couples to recognise any imbalances, and treat them to increase energy into their fertile window. Listening and responding to your body's signs is really the key to conceiving. Bear in mind that given the right environment sperm can last inside you for up to 5 days, whereas when an egg is released from the ovary it needs to be fertilised within 24 hours. Over the last 16 years working with fertility I have found these tips very useful. Here are some on our top tips to increase your fertile signs & make your fertile window even longer;
Katie Murphy Lic Ac MTCMCI