When all you want is to see a big fat positive on a pregnancy test, any little blip in your journey can make you anxious. If you’ve been tracking your ovulation and getting busy at the right times, you might be increasing your chances of pregnancy. But if you come down with the flu or other illness during your ovulation days, you may be concerned about the impact it will have on your fertility. Can being sick during ovulation affect your chances of getting pregnant?
Romper reached out to fertility expert Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, the Director of Fertility Preservation with Fertility Centers of Illinois who says that being sick during ovulation should not affect your chances of conception. Whether your sickness is a stomach bug or flu caused by a virus or a tooth or skin infection from bacteria, Cytron says that ovulation should not be impacted by most viral or bacterial infections.
There are some chronic illnesses that will affect your fertility, however. Dr. Edward Marut, fertility specialist with Fertility Centers of Illinois, tells Romper that certain systemic illnesses can disrupt the normal ovulation cycle and therefore decrease odds of conception for that cycle. Systemic illnesses are diseases that affect the multiple organs and tissues, and in some cases the whole body, explained Medline Plus, and include conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes. So if you are suffering with an illness more complicated than your run-of-the-mill cold or stomach bug, you should consult with a fertility specialist to evaluate your specific situation.
The one thing that could affect your chances of getting pregnant? Not feeling well enough to have sex. Cytron says that sickness could impact sexual desire and other components of getting the “deed” done. When you feel congested or nauseated, sex might not be as fun as it usually is, but feeling sick while having sex won’t decrease your odds of getting pregnant.
If you do have an infection, you might have been prescribed antibiotics or you may need to take other medications. Cytron says for the most part, antibiotics or cold medications should not impact your odds of getting pregnant, but they should be avoided if you are pregnant. Marut says that in certain cases, aspirin and ibuprofen can impair ovulation while high fevers can cause miscarriage. If you are concerned about any medications interfering with your ovulation or fertility, make sure to voice your concerns to your doctor or fertility specialist. They can give you the answers and options best suited for your condition.
You may run into a bit of a bind if you have been tracking your ovulation according to your basal body temperature. When you have an illness like a cold or flu that results in a fever, it may throw off your temperature readings, making it more difficult to track your most fertile days, noted Stork OTC. The website also suggested avoiding pain killers containing Naproxen, which may reduce fertility, and they also recommended steering clear of antihistamines and cough suppressants that can alter the quality of your cervical mucus, making it harder for the sperm to travel to your egg for fertilization.
If you are trying to conceive, talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot, which can give you some protection against flu viruses during conception and through your pregnancy. The best thing you can do if you find yourself sick during your ovulation days is to keep yourself healthy and hydrated with a nutritious immune boosting diet, while keeping your doctor or fertility specialist in the loop. With a little patience and persistence, hopefully you’ll get that positive pregnancy test you were waiting for.
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