There are many young couples that want to start a family immediately after tying the knot; others want to enjoy each other’s company, become more grounded in their careers and wait before adding children to the picture. No matter which side you and your partner are on in the “when to have children debate, there are several things you must do before beginning the baby-making process.
Most couples believe they simply need to remove birth control and they will have a baby shortly after that. But planning a family has several steps before, during and after, to make sure you have a happy, healthy baby and are calm, educated parents.
Let’s Talk About Fertility
There are many factors regarding fertility and a couple’s ability to become pregnant at any given time. A major concern is the age of the female wanting to become pregnant. A young woman in her early 20s has a better chance of being fertile and not experiencing any issue with becoming pregnant, especially if she is fairly healthy.
When a woman enters her thirties, her chances of becoming pregnant decrease of around 5 percent each month. Women over 40 have an even harder time with fertility and are often discouraged from having their own children because there are several other options open to them.
Smoking, excessive weight, illnesses, environmental issues, and excessive exercising are a few of the major concerns that affect fertility and should be talked over with a fertility specialist.
Begin charting your ovulation to better your chance of becoming pregnant. Ovulation typically happens in a very small window, about 12 to 24 hours within a six to seven day time before your period. This may not sound like a long time, and in actuality, it is not. There are special thermometers as well as charts that will help a woman keep track of her optimum day to get pregnant.
Ovulation is the dropping of an egg that is ready to be fertilized, in other words, a mature egg. Not all eggs are ready to become fertilized, that is why it is important to track your ovulation.
The good news is, even if you have intercourse outside the time of ovulation, say before, sperm have a longer shelf life than the egg. They are able to wait up to six or seven days for a viable egg to fertilize.
If you are a woman and want to start a family, you will need to get your body ready. You will need to become healthy by eating better, quit smoking and stop drinking. You may not have to get to an “ideal” weight, as long as you are healthy with regular blood pressure numbers. You will also need to make sure your cholesterol is within the normal range.
For men, there are also a number of things that need to change in order to help your partner have a healthy baby. Your age and overall medical condition are a factor when contributing sperm to the making of a baby. You will also need to quit smoking and cut back or quit smoking.
Becoming a healthy individual is the best way to become pregnant and bring a healthy baby into the world. It is also the only way to give your baby the chance it deserves to survive the nine-month growing period.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
This procedure is often the first one attempted by doctors for patients who are experiencing difficulty conceiving. It is safe, cost-effective and has a relatively high success rate.
From the retrieval of an egg from the woman, and sperm from the man, to fertilization and implantation, IVF has been used to create pregnancies since 1978.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination or IUI is also known as artificial insemination and was once used exclusively to help infertile couples to conceive. Today it is not used as much as IVF for many reasons, the most prevalent being it doesn’t work as well as other options.
Third Party Reproduction Options
Using a third party to help you have a family is a growing option for many couples who cannot conceive a baby on their own. There are several options for using a third party to have a baby.
When a couple is unable to conceive using their own “equipment” such as eggs, sperm or uterus, the option is to contract another person to provide one or more of these items.
A donor can provide eggs, either fresh or frozen, sperm, also either fresh or frozen, or a place to grow the baby. This could allow a couple to have one or both of their DNA as part of the child.
Some couples do not care if the baby they are getting has half or no DNA of theirs. The important thing to them is they are getting the family they have been trying for and the baby is healthy. Other couples deem genetics a priority and would rather do whatever they can to create a baby with both parent’s DNA.
This is a personal choice and should be discussed between the couple before investing time and money in getting a third party’s help with having a baby. It is also worth noting that finding donors and surrogates should be done through your doctor and not through want ads from online places. Your doctor is able to provide all necessary testing, as well as paperwork, to insure a safe and healthy baby.
If starting a family is important to you and your partner, and the age of the children is not a factor, consider adoption. There are millions of children in foster care around the world that are waiting for a loving family.
It is important to choose the best and most effective treatment for infertility. You should discuss all the different options with your doctor and your partner. There are many variables to consider such as your health, cost, time and success rate for the different procedures.