Last week was Fertility Awareness Week and 2nd November was World Fertility Day. As fertility is something we work with very closely, it is something we know a lot about. We were asked to write something for the Eastbourne Voice to raise awareness, which we have shared below. How much of this did you already know about fertility?
Approximately 84% of couples will conceive naturally within a year if they have regular unprotected sex, which means 16% won’t. 3.5 million people in the UK are struggling with fertility issues . . .This equates to around 5500 in Eastbourne alone.
There are 2 types of infertility. Primary infertility, where someone has never conceived and secondary infertility, where someone has been pregnant previously, but is having difficulty conceiving.
In ¼ of all cases no cause is found and unexplained infertility is diagnosed. In women, common causes of infertility are; lack of regular ovulation (the monthly release of an egg), blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis (tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (the endometrium) is found outside the womb). In men, the most common cause of infertility is poor-quality semen (sperm).
There are a number of factors that can affect fertility in both men and women, which include; age, weight, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), smoking, alcohol, environmental factors, and stress.
The major difference between men and women is that women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have and men continue to produce semen throughout their lifetime. Potentially lifestyle changes can significantly improve sperm count and quality in 12 weeks, whereas egg quantity is always in decline.
According to fertility network UK data indicates more women are now having children over 35 than under 25 and 50% of babies are born to women over 30. Given their 5 ages of female fertility; 14:ovukation usually begun, 21: at or reaching peak, 28: begun to decline, 35: drops steeply, 42: chance of becoming a biological mother vanishingly small, it is no wonder so many people are struggling to conceive.
Often after testing, whatever the cause, assisted conception is recommended. However, due to IVF Postcode lottery, rules about if you get NHS help depend on where you live. Here in Eastbourne, for example, you would be denied NHS help if your partner already had a child from a previous relationship.
Muma Nurture supports those experiencing fertility issues, please get in touch to find out how we can help.
Victoria Sparkes GQHP, MFHT, MNCS(Acc)
9 The Old Printworks,
20 Wharf Road,
01323 32 55 58
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