The Fertility Community
Welcome to our new community for those who trying to conceive.
The aim of this space is to create an environment of hope and positivity after what can sometimes be a difficult journey, and to help people connect through shared experiences to support you through yours.
The Fertility Community
A word from Zita:
"It’s always hard when you are trying month after month for a baby, and it isn’t happening. In fact, it takes an average of eight to twelve months to conceive and for most people there is more an impatience than an inability to conceive. In our experience, the important thing if you are at this stage is to take a comprehensive look at all the physical, emotional, psychological, and lifestyle factors that could be affecting you and your partner’s fertility alongside all the usual medical diagnosis and investigations."
We have a number of resources for you below, from stories from the fertility community, to blogs containing a wide range of topics from diet and nutrition during preconception to getting prepared for IVF.
Along your journey, you may come across a number of scientific terms of acronyms. Our aim is to make things as easy as possible for you, which is why we have a glossary of terms here.
Fertility stories from the trying to conceive community
If you would like to submit your story with our community for this page to help others understand the different roads in the journey, please click the button below. All stories will be treated with sensitivity and kept completely anonymous.
I have secondary infertility and I’m awaiting to go IVF.. I have been told I have a reduced AMH level for my age (I’m 28) it’s 4.8pmol. All my scans and everything are ‘normal’ they can’t work out why, and said I can still fall with a reduced AMH but it hasn’t happen since miscarrying my 2nd child in April 2020 so over 2.5 years
Our TTC/IVF journey has been tough. We have not ever been lucky enough to get a positive pregnancy test. At the start of our journey, my cycles were around every 22-23 days which is far from ideal. I started going for acupuncture and after 24 months of TTC naturally we had some tests done at the doctors. Mine came back all ok, my husbands came back with 2% morphology, we were then told that we would be put forward for IVF through the NHS. We did our first round in February 2021, we got 11 eggs, 9 of which were mature however only 3 fertilised. We did one fresh transfer which sadly failed and a second frozen which also failed. In the meantime we had my husbands DNA fragmentation tested as he also found that he had a varicele. It came back that he had moderate to high DNA fragmentation, so we opted to have the varicele procedure done to help, once this was done the result came back at 15% which is the higher.. End of normal and are now waiting to do our next round of ICSI in October. I have been taking Zita West IVF prep supplements for a while now along with inositol and folate, ever since I have been doing this my cycle has gone to a 28 day cycle and I feel so much better in myself! So I can't thank you enough really as I'm sure it's these supplements that have made the biggest difference. Fingers crossed for round 2!
Are painful periods a sign of good fertility?
Whilst there isn’t a link between painful periods and fertility, the regularity of your cycles is one indication of your fertility.
If you have long cycles you are reducing your opportunities each month to get pregnant and if you have irregular cycles the chances are you’re not ovulating. Having irregular cycles doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant.
If you are having irregular cycles or painful periods we recommend consulting your GP.
When am I the most fertile during my cycle?
You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation, this is when the egg is released from the ovaries. Depending on your cycle length this will occur at different times for everyone. Generally it occurs 12 to 16 days before your next period starts.
Sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to 5 days so having regular sex throughout your cycle can boost your chances of conception as the sperm will be
ready to fertilise when the egg is released.
What age are men most fertile?
Men will continue to produce sperm throughout their life however, as they get older the quality of the sperm will decline. The quality of a man's semen will peak between the age of 30-35. Diet, stress, alcohol, smoking and exercise can all affect the quality of sperm, so it is important a man is supporting his sperm health at least 3 months before trying.
Does stress affect my fertility?
Trying for a baby or going through fertility treatment can be a stressful time, however research does suggest that high stress may lower fertility chances. Whilst stress is unavoidable, try and find ways that help you unwind and relax like reading a book, mediation or going for a walk. Try and avoid hot baths or hot tubs when trying for a baby as this may affect sperm quality and increase the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy.
I have a yeast intolerance, can I take Kaneka Ubiquinol?
Whilst the Ubiquinol has been extracted from yeast, it doesn't actually contain any. The only allergen in this product is soy.
Do you have a specific supplement for iodine?
We do not have a specific supplement. However, both Vitafem and Vitafem Boost products contain 100% of your RDA of iodine within them, and have been formulated to be taken together.
Can I take Vital DHA along with other vitamins and supplements?
DHA is certainly safe, and in fact recommended throughout pregnancy with any of multivitamins
IVF & FET FAQs
How long does IVF take
IVF involves an initial consultation, starting treatment and embryo transfer. This timeline will vary between individuals and not everyone’s IVF journey will look
the same. Before you go through IVF you will have various appointments with doctors which can include tests and investigations, the time these tests and investigations take will vary between individuals. IVF treatment involves suppressing natural hormone production, hormone treatment to boost egg quality, egg collection, mixing the eggs and sperm for fertilisation and finally, embryo transfer.
Generally one cycle of IVF will take between four and six weeks. It is important to discuss timelines with your GP or healthcare professional so you have a realistic timeframe.
What age should you freeze your eggs?
Egg freezing is a method of preserving a women's eggs so she can have a baby in the future. It involves collecting a women's egg, freezing them and thawing
them at a later date for fertilisation.
There is no defined age you should freeze your eggs and it will depend between individuals and their situation. Egg freezing can be expensive so it is important to understand exactly what is involved.
The younger you freeze your eggs the more likely you will have a high number of eggs and they will be the highest quality. Most women will have 15 eggs
collected however, this is not always possible for those with lower ovarian reserves. It is still possible to freeze your eggs later in life however, you need to be prepared you may harvest less eggs.
Who should consider freezing their eggs?
Egg freezing is a method to help preserve a woman’s egg reserve so she can increase her chances of getting pregnant at a later date. Egg freezing may be considered by those who have a medical condition which can affect their fertility, for those worried about fertility declining but not ready to have a child right now, if you are starting hormone therapy or reconstructive surgery if you are transitioning from a male to female or if you have eggs from IVF treatment.
Can IVF cause menopause?
There is no evidence currently that IVF can cause menopause however, the hormones used during IVF can cause symptoms similar to those experienced in perimenopause and menopause.
Can you do IVF when breastfeeding?
Whilst you are able to breastfeed during IVF, you will generally increase your chances of pregnancy if you stop breastfeeding prior to IVF.
What BMI do you need for IVF?
Guidelines for IVF suggest that the success rate is higher if your BMI is between 19 and 30. If your BMI is over 30 you may wish to focus on weight management before you start IVF to increase your chances. Remember that BMI is only one metric for fertility – fertility is whole body event so is important to look at diet, exercise, mindset and supplements to increase your chances.
Can I exercise during IVF stimulation?
During IVF treatment you will be on many different protocols and it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. We generally advise avoiding high intensity exercise as you want to grow as many eggs as you can. High intensity exercise will divert energy away from the ovaries where they need the blood for
oxygen, nutrients and antioxidants to grow as many eggs as possible.
You can also feel sore during IVF so you may feel more comfortable doing light exercise and gentle movements.
Visit the fertility blog
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