When you're trying to conceive, even the smallest details can feel like potentially massive roadblocks. For example, what if those tight pants your partner loved to wear negatively impacted his sperm? What if you waited "too long" to start trying? Is getting pregnant easier when you're younger, or is age just a number? Of course, every person is different, but from the physical side of things and according to science, fertility generally decreases as a woman grows older.
A woman's fertility has a lot to do with her eggs. According to Parents, a woman is born with about a million eggs and the fastest and most sensitive eggs ripen and are released more quickly. As a woman ages, the fast, agile eggs start to get used up and, as a result, a woman is left with the slower eggs. This means that it might take you only a few months to get pregnant in your '20s, but conception could potentially take longer as you age and as the number of fast eggs decrease in your body.
Being pregnant in your '20s is considered to be a trade-off for most women. According to Baby Center fertility is higher in your '20s, but 20 is, let's face it, rather young. In your '30s and '40s, however, you're likely more settled in your career and have found a partner, but your fertility has been decreasing for a decade or two.
And to add insult to injury for those of us trying to conceive, Fit Pregnancy says women in their '20s are less likely to have certain pregnancy complications, like gestational diabetes or a baby born with chromosomal abnormalities. Placenta previa, or what Baby Center defines as a condition where the placenta grows too close to the cervix and can cause bleeding and other pregnancy complications, can become more likely as you have more children, which typically means it's a problem for older women who have had children previously.
So what can you do to help increase your fertility, especially since you can't exactly turn back time? Well, start by trying to get your BMI under control if you are currently overweight or underweight. According to WebMD, the best body mass index for fertility seems to be between 19 and 25. Anything above or below that seems to correlate to increased rates of infertility.
WebMd also says a woman trying to conceive should limit their caffeine and alcohol intake. One to two cups of coffee, or one to two alcoholic beverages, a day seems to be the best limit for those trying to conceive. Both alcohol and caffeine can cause fertility to drop. Cut out smoking altogether if you're trying to conceive, too, as it affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg implanting.
Finally, make sure your lube isn't affecting your fertility. The Bump says some lubricants can mess with sperm and their ability to move around, so make sure you choose one that doesn't have any spermicidal effects. After all, when certain details can make a difference, you want to do everything you can to help your body do something as difficult, and incredible, as pregnancy.