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I’m 27 and all of a sudden I can’t stop thinking about my fertility.

Honestly, I’ve never really thought about my fertility from any other perspective other than ‘I still have plenty of time’. Well that was until I recently came across an article published in the journal of Human Reproduction, telling me that at the ripe age of 27 my fertility rate was already starting to gradually decline. With children still far off into the distance of my life plan, I decided it might be a good idea to do a little more digging about this looming biological clock that seemingly overnight has become a pressing issue in my mind. 

Fertility is dynamic, with a myriad of elements needing to align for us to successfully conceive and carry a healthy baby. From the number of swimmers your partner has to your hormone levels and everything in between, there is a lot to consider when taking a look at our fertility but here are a few things that all the research seems to agree on. 

Staying away from nasties is a good idea.

Doing our best to stay fit and healthy is a very common theme I’ve found when looking into ways we can support our fertility, but there is a particular aspect of this that’s really piqued my interest, and that’s toxins. Endless research is continuing to tell us that many of the toxins we come into contact with in our daily lives are having an impact on our fertility and abilities to conceive, especially as we get older. With many of these toxins disrupting our hormone levels, which are crucial to maxamising our fertility, as well as causing harm to a number of other important biological functions. We all know that these nasties aren’t great for us but the link between them and our fertility is certainly less well known. So be conscious of where the things you come into contact with come from and what chemicals might be in the products and produce we put in our bodies and our homes. It’s one way I’ve discovered we can easily try to maximise our fertility as we age. 

We can get medicine involved.

If the state of your fertility is really bugging you, there are a few more proactive things you can consider like testing how fertile you are. Keeping in mind that testing your own fertility is only one piece of the conception puzzle so it’s not always a great indication of your likelihood of actually being able to fall pregnant.  Considering freezing your eggs, also known as cryptopreservation, is also an option if it’s looking like you won’t be having kids until you’ve passed your mid 30’s. Choosing to freeze your eggs doesn’t mean you’ll end up needing to use them to fall pregnant. According to Monash IVF, plenty of women who freeze their eggs never use them because they’ve later fallen pregnant naturally. It’s just a great potential insurance policy if you do need some younger, more viable eggs when you do try to fall pregnant when you’re older.

You’re only half the package.

At the end of the day, there is only so much you can control when there is biologically someone else that’s going to be in the mix, your future child’s father. Boy was I surprised when male infertility entered this conversation. Male factor infertility is the primary medical issue in 30 – 40% of all infertility cases. A much higher number than I ever would have thought! So in some cases giving your partner a little nudge to consider his own fertility could be just what the doctor ordered. 

There is no need to panic just yet. 

It can be alarming when you first hear that as of 27 it’s all downhill on the fertility front but it’s not really as dramatic as it seems. Most studies show that fertility rates don’t really seem to decline rapidly until the age of 35 and couples aged between 35 – 39 still have more than an 80% chance of conceiving within a year of starting to try. Which really isn’t a far cry from what you’d expect in your 20’s. It’s also playing in our favour that medical advancements continue to evolve in leaps and bounds, by the time you’re ready to start trying your chances of having even more medical intervention options to increase your likelihood of conceiving are pretty high. 

So maybe take some time to consider what you could be doing now that your future, fertility maxamised self might thank you for. 

x Alice

(guest blog, Alice Armitage @Nativ Haus)

 

References 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/study-shows-fertility-dec/

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/body/health/a13133830/when-to-have-a-baby-ivf-fertility/

https://carolinasfertilityinstitute.com/every-20-something-know-fertility/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/age-and-fertility

https://www.fpnsw.org.au/factsheets/individuals/fertility-and-infertility/maximising-natural-fertility