Fertility is the ability to conceive a child. Without adequate fertility, fertilisation of an egg with sperm is not possible. Fertility is determined by an individual’s genetics, lifestyle, age, known conditions, diseases and/or underlying conditions.
The highest level of fertility in men and women is seen between the ages of 20 and 30. But other aspects may increase or decrease fertility during this period.
What is ovulation & how does it indicate fertility?
The fertility period is tracked by using a female’s menstrual cycle. This 28-day cycle will indicate when the ovulation period will happen and determine when the best time to have intercourse.
Ovulation usually occurs, in a regular cycle, on day 14 of the cycle but this may change depending on the female’s cycle (if it is 28 days or longer). 6 days in the cycle may be the most fertile cycle. This is called the fertile window. These days are usually 5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself and the day after (days 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15).
How do I know if I am ovulating?
There are some signs to indicate ovulation and pre-ovulation. There are also some methods to determine the ovulation day and period.
Ovulation occurs between days 12 and 14 of the menstrual cycle. By using a period tracker or an application that predicts your ovulation and menstruation, you will be able to accurately read your ovulation period after 6 months of data collection.
Cervical mucus method
Vaginal mucus is common during the menstrual cycle but it changes consistency depending on the day of the cycle. Ovulation is usually when the mucus resembles and has the same consistency as raw egg whites. Mucus will be more slippery, clearer and wetter.
These are at-home kits that may indicate ovulation and predict ovulation. This is a urine test and measures for a specific hormone called the Luteinising hormone. If the test is positive, this usually indicates that ovulation will happen within 24 hours.
Basal body temperature
Female body temperature rises during ovulation. Take your temperature every morning - as you wake up. Use a basal thermometer that can be used orally or via the rectum.
How do I know if my fertility is ‘high’?
Some people may be classified as “super” fertile and this is dependent on the egg and the sperm's health. People considered highly fertile are usually born with a very high egg count, high sperm count, and very regular menstrual cycle or they have many healthy eggs over the general infertility age. There are some signs to look out for to indicate high fertility:
- Regular menstrual cycles
- Ovulation tests that are positive monthly
- Antral follicle count: high - this can be determined with a transvaginal ultrasound by a doctor and the higher amount of active follicles seen on the ovaries translates to a higher ovarian reserve.
What is considered ‘low’ fertility?
Low fertility and infertility are the inabilities to conceive a child. There are certain indications of low fertility and complete infertility in males and females. Lower fertility may be seen in patients with the following conditions: fibroids ( benign tumorous growths in the uterus), endometriosis (premature labour or miscarriage may occur), menopause (inability to conceive due to the menstrual cycle absence) and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome - abnormal ovulation)
Fertility is the ability to conceive. Many couples, however, do experience infertility issues.