City Fertility Medical Director of New South Wales clinics Dr Georgiana Tang shares conception tips for couples looking to conceive a baby during this auspicious year
25 January 2020 marks the beginning of the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Dating back to the Shang Dynasty (around 1700 B.C.), the calendar follows the moon’s rotation in a 12-year cycle, each year symbolised by a different animal representing personality attributes.
The first sign in the Chinese zodiac, the Rat is associated with new beginnings and fertility due to the animal’s impressive reproduction rate. According to astrologers, children born during the Year of the Rat are thought to possess intelligence and great health and vitality.
Other characteristics associated with people born under the Rat sign include high levels of energy and optimism which makes them highly likeable. They also tend to be clever and quick-witted, quick to adapt to new situations and generally successful when it comes to their careers and building wealth3. They are family-oriented and enjoy an organised and happy home.
To begin your journey towards parenthood on a lucky note, book your appointment with one of our highly accredited specialists for 2.02.20 by contacting our friendly fertility advice team today on 1300 354 354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For those couples hoping to take advantage of the Rat’s fertility this year, Dr Georgiana Tang, Fertility Specialist at City Fertility, provides tips for maximising your chance of falling pregnant.
- Get the timing right
While 28-day cycles are the norm, with ovulation occurring on day 14, only 13% of women have 28-day cycles. It is therefore important to monitor your own cycle. Sperm will live for up to 3 days and eggs have a 12-hour period to be fertilised, so it is ideal to have sperm waiting for the egg to be released. This translates to having unprotected sex every second day on average when trying for a baby, especially between days 8-18 of a woman’s cycle.
- Maintain a healthy weight through moderate exercise
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most influential factors on fertility for both men and women. Both partners should ideally aim to maintain a healthy BMI of between 18 – 25, as this is a healthy weight range in which the body functions best. While being overweight can be harmful when trying to fall pregnant, being underweight can be equally as problematic as the body needs some fat stores to support a healthy pregnancy. A BMI of less than 18, especially for women, can reduce the body’s ability to maintain regular reproductive cycles and ovulation. To achieve or maintain a healthy weight, light to moderate exercise and a healthy balanced diet should be incorporated into both partner’s lifestyles.
- Eat well
It is recommended that people trying for a baby eat a healthy balanced diet that minimises processed food intake. This means avoiding food that is packaged where possible, as well as highly sugary or fatty foods. There is some evidence that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial, known for the region’s emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, as well as healthy fats and oils.
- Take prenatal vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins is a good idea as they ensure that the female body has all the nutrients needed for healthy foetal development should pregnancy occur. Fertility supplements for men are also available, although there is less evidence that these are effective.
- Avoid smoking, recreational drugs or excessive alcohol consumption
Smoking (including recreational drugs such as marijuana) is highly detrimental to both eggs and sperm. As a result, it is highly recommended that smoking is avoided completely. For Australians looking to quit smoking, it’s best to talk to a GP about quitting strategies. While moderate alcohol consumption is fine before pregnancy occurs (roughly 1-2 standard drinks, 2-3 days a week), drinking in excess should also be avoided by both partners when attempting to fall pregnant. Similarly, moderate caffeine intake (1-2 cups a day) should have no adverse effects before pregnancy occurs.
When to seek medical advice
As a general rule, if a couple has been having unprotected sex regularly for a period of six months (for women over 35) without a resulting pregnancy, it is a good idea to speak to a fertility specialist and undergo some initial tests, even if it’s just for peace of mind. Ultrasounds and semen analysis are relatively inexpensive tests that can rule out any potential concerns or provide further information regarding your options.
While fertility issues can be very difficult to spot without thorough testing, one indication that something may be amiss is an irregular menstrual cycle. A normal menstrual cycle occurs every 25-35 days, with day 1 being the first day of bleeding5. When trying for a baby, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this and make note of any major irregularities.
To find out more about maximising your chances of conception, please visit our page on preconception care or consult with your local fertility expert.
So if you are hoping to have a baby this year, contact our friendly fertility advice team today.
Phone: 1300 354 354
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