Now you have decided to finally give a go and have a baby I expect you don’t need to read a manual or look at pictures to know how to do it.
BUT it is actually not that simple!
Many people don’t have any problem conceiving a baby, and some people are even having babies although they have used contraception. But some people are struggling to become natural parents.
Talking about my own experience and looking back on how I ended up with 3 kids, I can certify that it was not easy at the beginning. I always wanted children but I was quite attached to my kidless lifestyle. My partner was the same but she realised before me when we were 32-33 years old that we needed to hurry up and start really trying. That meant primarily to stop any form of contraception… Yep, no problem!
But then after about a year it was obvious that something was not working… And that I may need to slow down on having intense nights out and parties, to start wearing looser underpants to “cool down” a bit, and to focus a little bit more… Fast forward to one year later and we were having serious discussions and decided to consult specialists. We were short listed and I had my sperm tested.
It was a bit low in soldiers count and the percentage of damaged ones was quite high.
So from there I have to say that I felt quite miserable and my partner was also going through some medical troubles around her ovaries and had to get an operation to get rid of some cysts around there. So we started to really freak out, but thankfully we were for all these reasons quickly top of the list for an IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation ). We went through the conversations with the clinic to get ready for it.
The day we were supposed to start the treatment the routine scan showed that my partner was 6 days pregnant! We were stunned! We were thrilled with joy!
Although another sort of stress started from there but that is another story.
From then on we seemed to be unstoppable! Well we actually stopped at 3 and are not seriously planning for more.
Apparently an unexpected successful last minute natural fertilisation just before an artificial planned one is more frequent than we think. Still, we were so very happy to avoid the unpleasantness of an IVF treatment.
That was 2 years after we really started to be serious about getting a baby and I know that it can be even more, some wish-to-be-parents wait sometime more than that on a waiting list for IVF or other methods.
There are 3 big categories when talking about conceiving a baby:
Fertility: being able to have a baby naturally
Infertility: not being able to conceive a baby, to carry a pregnancy to its term.
Sterility: not being able to conceive a baby at all.
Both infertility and sterility are generally diagnosed after one year of unsuccessful trial and in some countries it is after 6 months if you are 35 years old or more.
Let’s take a closer look to what conditions are needed to conceive a baby at a biological level.
An egg inside a woman body must have grown to full size ready to go from one of her two ovaries.
This is called the ovulation and happens 14 days after the first menstruation for a menstrual cycle of 28 days (this can varies).
So this egg is released from one of the two ovaries by a follicle created during the ovulation phase of a woman’s menstrual period.
This egg then has to travel through the fallopian tube toward the uterus.
When the egg is on its way to the uterus, for about 3 days of the menstrual period, your female partner is fertile and probably quite horny.
Some says that particular pheromones are produced in relation to this ovulation period. Meaning that you also get horny man… Hormones are behind all of this, orchestrating man and woman’s behaviour. IF these two bodies are responsive to each other a bubble of love is created with some fluids exchanged in many parts of the two human actors. Heartbeats are going up and up, skins get sweaty, brains release powerful hormones like oxytocin and… finally so high up, bodies in a climax, the bouquet final, the orgasm (oh yeah!), and a bit more fluids exchanged in a burst of love…
If a man’s sperm fertilises the travelling egg by going through the egg’s external membrane something beautiful happen. That is when the miracle of life may occur.
Both the male sperm and the female egg shares their genetic luggage, a new being with a unique combination of you and her is now on its way to the woman’s uterus. This unique cell starts to divide into 2 cells, then 4, then 8, 16 and this process will go on and on forming a whole new human being. As you can see I have tried to explained in a very simplified way the “baby making” process.
This interaction between two human being can sometimes not produce any new human being at all. Voluntarily or not… If missing the natural outcome of this process is done purposefully then it can be the subject of many websites, videos stories and even history. Some call it making love…
Love stories and love itself has been very well documented all along human history and it has inspired many novels, songs and internet websites, some of them showing explicit close up videos to illustrate the process. Sometimes it actually has nothing to do with love but a lot to do with the sex protocol involved. I am sure you have seen some of these… If missing the procreation was not intentional, and that the aim of this reunion was to procreate a child, then you have two solutions:
Try again now or next month.
Or if it has been too long without any success, consult a specialist, and don’t be afraid to do it.
I have to say that my virility took a big hit when I was first declared as potentially infertile. But being too proud and refusing to accept that my sperm were not that good would have brought me into more depressing situation. Take it this way, in a natural environment without any physical, emotional stresses generated by polluted environment, toxins, psychological blockages, tight boxer pants, cheap booze, and the list is endless… I think I would have been OK straight away. I was still a man and the real manhood was to endure this and to go ahead with anything that would work in favour of my tiny friends baring my genetic code. I was going to do everything that would help their number to increase and their flagella to have a better shape.
No medicine was required at this point, just a better lifestyle and to accept planning for IVF in case the natural way was not going to work.
The malfunctions that are responsible for infertility or sterility are numerous and can happen equally on the female side and on the male side.
For example on the female side 2 common medical reasons for infertility are endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I am not pretending to understand fully these malfunctions and I let you crack it in your search engine if you want to learn more about it.
For try-to-be daddies there are medical reasons like low sperm counts, blockages in the reproductive system, hypogonadism, retrograde ejaculation, impotence, even some men can develop antisperm antibodies. Again, I am not giving medical explanations of these complicated terms.
Medical treatments can help with all of these reasons, and your fertility specialist will help you with that.
One important thing is to seek for advice if you have been trying for more than a year after improving your life style by eating more healthily, stop smoking, reduce drinking and other bad habits that are known to reduce fertility.
There are also alternatives like using sperm donor bank, the Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) or the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
But we generally don’t talk about other reasons that might be why a couple is not able to conceive. I am thinking about emotional stress. There is a bit of controversy about existing studies linking stress and infertility: some scientists say there is a definite link but we don’t know exactly how it works, some other scientists say we can’t prove it so there is no link. To me it makes sense that a worried and overstressed woman can have difficulties to conceive. There has been great results of relaxation and meditation therapies helping women to finally be pregnant. Above all it is surely very good for a couple to learn relaxation techniques or even better to start meditation. Food is of course a very big actor as well. The proof is that eating disorders like obesity and anorexia are common cause of infertility.
It is definitely easier to tell it than it is in reality. And one common reason why a couple will start to stress out is that in our western modern countries we are trying for babies at a much older age. This is for good reasons and allows women to study longer, to access better career, to travel the world freely, etc… But in a lot of cases when the time is right, a couple in its mid thirties or older might feel pressure to procreate and the passion and love can be reduced to a sort of technical obligation (sorry for the horrible term!). And that can generate a lot of stress which in return may not help at all with fertilisation if this couple is already having problems…
So I believe that starting early is good, but that you should not be stressed to start later than 35 or even around 40. The main cause for the stress generated is to have a miscarriage or an abnormal foetus with down syndrome. Even if that risk is greater when a woman is on the half end of her thirties or after, don’t stress because of it, you will benefit far more by understanding the risks clearly and by enjoying the process, being relaxed and excited about it.
A relaxed body with a healthy diet generally works very well and this thriving body wants to reproduce!
Free radicals are the enemy of sperm! These molecules like to damage cells by oxidising them. Alcohol, cigarettes, junk food are massively responsible for creating free radicals. The electronic unbalance created in your cells and sperms molecules can be repaired by antioxidant like Vitamin E or C, but often when there is a lack of anti-oxidant molecule able to bring back an electron to a cell, then unbalance is destructive!
A diet rich in antioxidant is what you need to have strong sperm then!
And the best way to do achieve a good diet is to have a natural and regular intake of fruit and veg!
Among the best ingredients for your sperm doctor menus:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- All sort of berries
- Dark Chocolate
- And plenty of Water!
On the contrary, processed meat, soft and diet drinks are not good fuel for your little flagella soldiers.
Trying for a baby is your best opportunity to change things that are going in a non-natural direction, that are stressing your mind and body. It is a new step in your life for sure and therefore deserve special actions. My own experience showed me that the ‘business as usual’ mind did not work, and a proper switch had to be done. This is how I became Super busy daddy and I don’t regret it at all!