02J04752Snippets of fertility wisdom from the Practice Committee of the Society for Reproductive Medicine in collaboration with the Society for Endocrinology & Infertility

Clinicians are often asked to provide advice about sexual and lifestyle practices to enhance the chances of achieving a pregnancy in couples trying for a pregnancy who have no evidence of infertility.

Currently there are no uniform counselling guidelines or evidence-based recommendations available. This is the first part of a series of “blogs” to highlight some salient points based on a consensus of expert opinion.

The expert opinion is from the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in collaboration with the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility.  The reference for the opinion in this blog is cited below:

“Optimizing natural fertility: a committee opinion” Fertility & Sterility Vol. 100, No. 3, September 2013.

a)    Some basic fertility facts (Fertility & Aging)
  • Fertility is defined as the capacity to produce a child. Approximately 80% of couples will conceive in the first 6 months of attempting pregnancy
  • Relative fertility is decreased by about half among women in their late 30s compared with women in their 20s
  • Fertility declines with age in both men and women, but the effect of age are muchmore pronounced in women
  • For women, the chance of conception decreases significantly after age 35yrs, male fertility does not appear to be affected before approximately age 50
b)    The Fertile Window
  • This is best defined as the 6-day interval ending on the day of ovulation.  The viability of eggs and sperm should be maximal during this time. The interval of maximal fertility can be estimated by analysis of interval between periods, ovulation predictor kits, or cervical mucus assessment
  • Pregnancy is most likely to result from sexual intercourse within the 3-day interval ending on the day of ovulation
  • In one study based on a combination of criteria for assessment of ovulation, the likelihood of pregnancy is greatest when intercourse occurred the day prior to ovulation and starts to decline on the day of presumed ovulation.
  • The probability of achieving a pregnancy per month increases with the frequency of intercourse during the fertile window