Achieving Your Pregnancy Naturally

Capacity to conceive

Fertility reaches its peak at about the age of 24 in both men and women. In women, the ability to conceive declines between 30 and 40, then rapidly as the menopause approaches. In men, fertility gradually diminishes from about the age of 50, although a man has the potential for fatherhood into old age.

Of those couples trying to conceive, fewer than a third will succeed within the first month, only 50% by 6 months and 80-90% by 18 months.

Infertility is usually defined as the inability to conceive after 12-18 months of sexual intercourse without
contraception. Approximately 15% of couples trying to have a child are unable to do so.

Recognizing fertility

The joint fertility of the couple is dependent on sperm, ovulation and the presence of mucus. Mucus which produces a wet/slippery sensation at the vulva is an indicator of impending ovulation.

Most women can easily learn to recognise an obvious mucus discharge at the time of fertility. For some women this discharge may be slight in amount and not easily seen. However there will be a subtle change in sensation produced by the mucus at the time of fertility. No internal investigations are necessary.

The Billings Ovulation Method helps women to recognize this time of fertility and maximize the chance of conception.

Billings Ovulation Method

When a woman learns the Billings Ovulation Method, she is taught to recognise and understand her signs of fertility and infertility. She does this by observing the presence or absence of mucus at the vulva. This mucus, produced at the cervix, is essential for fertility. Sperm cells depend on this mucus for their survival and their ability to reach and fertilize the egg.

Mucus that has fertile characteristics indicates the approach of ovulation. Some women experience very little mucus and not in every cycle.

A couple having difficulty in conceiving can be assisted by a Billings Ovulation Method teacher. The teacher can assist the couple to understand the subtle changes in the mucus secretion or sensation, alerting them to the most fertile time in the cycle.

If there are no psychological or medical conditions preventing pregnancy, advice about timing of intercourse to coincide with this mucus provides the greatest success.

The Ovarian Hormone Meter monitors the hormonal ovulatory pattern and has proved useful for those women who have only a slight mucus symptom. Access to the Ovarian Hormone Meter is available through Billings Ovulation Method Centres.

Some causes of infertility

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS can contribute to
apparent infertility in both men and women:

PHYSICAL FACTORS

In women sub-fertility or infertility may be caused by:

Some known causes of male infertility include:

Acute feverish illness, prolonged stress and very frequent intercourse can also lower the sperm count temporarily. A low sperm count does not necessarily indicate male infertility. A Huhners Test (examination of sperm motility in the mucus after intercourse) is more informative.

Achieving conception

The achievement of pregnancy involves special requirements and events:

Intercourse when the woman recognises the fertile characteristics of the mucus provides the maximum chance of conception.

Emotions affect the finely balanced functions of reproduction. In some cases the loving bond between the couple needs more nurturing before conception will occur.

It is essential that the couple have correct information about the requirements for conception. The Billings Ovulation Method can give this knowledge and may assist in identifying an infertility problem which may be amenable to correction. When this is treated by appropriate specialist management the couple can then use the knowledge of fertility recognition to provide the best chance for conception.