Chances of Becoming Pregnant

Christopher V. Steer, MD London | Kent UK

By having intercourse timed to 2 to 3 days before ovulation (release of the egg usually at the middle of the menstrual cycle) each month, then a fertile couple will have approximately 90% chance of becoming pregnant in 1 year. For this to happen the sperm needs to swim through a receptive cervical mucus through the fluid in the womb and into the fallopian tube. The egg needs to be released from the ovary, picked up by the tube and then transported down the fallopian tube where it will meet the sperm. Fertilisation needs to take place in the tube. The fertilised egg needs to be transported down the tube into the womb for it to implant and grow. Not surprisingly there are several problems that can occur in this complex process, most of which are treatable or by-passable.

However evidence suggests that lifestyle also plays a part. E.g. both the chances of becoming pregnant, and the chance of miscarriage (losing the baby before it becomes viable) are made worse by both excessive alcohol and smoking. The recommended level of alcohol is less than 14 units per week for a woman, and less than 21 units per week for a man.

Prescribed medication can also have an adverse effect on fertility; but there is a balance between the advantages of treating a medical condition and deteriorating health if it is stopped. However if a couple are considering becoming pregnant or having difficulties, it is a good idea to ask their doctors if any medication they are taking may have an effect on fertility, or if any changes in tablets are possible to something with a lesser effect.

Improved fertility can be achieved by the addition of Vitamins. The most important are folic acid, Vitamins C (1000mg per day), Vitamin E (400 IU per day), Zinc Picolinate (25mg per day) and in addition for a man Selenium (200 micro grams) and the amino acid L-Carnitine (500 mg) all taken as individual tablets at maximum dosage. Vitamins C, E and Selenium are antioxidants and help reduce any free radicals in the diet, which will harm fertility potential.