"Don't have sex. Because you will get pregnant and die!"
This is a line spoken by the extremely intense gym teacher in "Mean Girls" during a sex education class. While it may seem like a ridiculous parody, the sentiments expressed by the teacher might not seem like such a joke to anyone who had to undergo American sex ed.
It is obvious why the our teachers wanted to scare us off sex. But older people who are ready to have kids might not be well-educated on what factors could affect their fertility. Take a look at a couple of the elements that might be impacting your reproductive health!
- Age: Age is the number one factor when it comes to determining your chances of conceiving. Starting at the age of 32, your chances of getting pregnant begin to decrease gradually.
- Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to your chances of successfully conceiving. Other lifestyle choices, like smoking or excessive drinking, could affect your reproductive health as well.
If you are struggling to get pregnant, you should discuss your options with your doctor. In the meantime, here are some techniques to optimize your fertility.
- Track your cycle: The modern woman may spend most of her adult life on some form of birth control. Consequently, many women don't know much about their "natural" cycles or are aware of when they are ovulating. Try tracking your cycle to figure out which days you are at your most fertile. If you don't feel like doing this manually, there are free period tracking apps you can use on your phone.
- Eliminate stress: Stress can have a negative effect on your reproductive health. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Eliminating stress in your life doesn't mean you have to quit your job. Even making small changes, like practicing deep breathing or taking a ten minute walk, can have a positive impact on your fertility. Prioritize your mental health and you'll reap the rewards.
Fertility rates are at a historic low in the United States, but that doesn't mean you have to panic. Getting pregnant might not always be as easy as we are led to believe when we were younger, but it certainly isn't impossible. The best thing you can do is to start exploring your options early with your doctor and family. In the meantime, stay healthy and relax. By educating yourself on your reproductive health, you are already ahead of the curve.