As part of Fertility Awareness Week we are reaching out to our fertility experts and asking them what guidance they have for those who haven’t yet started a fertility journey, in the hope that the education they receive now, might help them avoid the pain of infertility later in life
Here Dr Peter Kerecsenyi, fertility consultant at Manchester Fertility shares his advice.
What advice would you give to a man or woman in their 20’s who is not yet thinking about starting a family?
I understand many people at that age are not ready for a family, so I would say start thinking about factors that could help you preserve your fertility for when you are ready. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight is important. Plus, thinking about any habits such as smoking and drinking too much can impact your fertility. You could also speak to your family, parents, and grandparents – ask them if they had any fertility issues? Could there be something in your family history that is worth knowing about early on?
For men, a simple semen analysis is sufficient. Reduced or declining sperm quality is surprisingly common, and a medical assessment and treatment or sperm freezing could help preserve your fertility. So, even if you are not thinking about a family at a young age, getting a semen analysis could help you understand your fertility later in life. The use of drugs or anabolic steroids and testosterone products can damage sperm production permanently. If somebody has a chronic disease like type 1 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or cancer, then an assessment is recommended.
For women, it is good advice to ask their mothers, sisters, or grandmothers about the age of menopause. Premature ovarian failure can often be hereditary and could reduce the number of fertile years. A fertility assessment is about checking your uterine anatomy, fallopian tubes, and ovarian egg reserve – this is not relevant at a very young age, as it is difficult to measure ovarian egg reserve at a young age or predict a decline, but definitely something to think about in your late 20’s early 30’s.
What would you say to a young woman in her 20’s who wants to travel and have a great career and wants to be a mother?
I would recommend to a young woman under 35 to have a test to assess their egg reserve. An Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) blood test or ultrasound scan can help show this. Your fertility doctor will be able to advise on options such as egg freezing if appropriate.
The main thing is to look after your female reproductive health and practice safe sex and regularly check for STIs.
What advice would you give to a couple who cannot conceive naturally and are just about to start a fertility journey? (e.g., Would you suggest proper diagnosis and lifestyle changes?
Knowledge is power: an early fertility assessment (MOT) is a great way to start knowing where you are and what your next steps in fertility would be. Or you may not be planning a family and want some insight into your current fertility health.
This assessment can help identify factors to improve if needed and sometimes identify barriers that necessitate fertility treatment. You can read up on our fertility assessment here on what it involves by clicking here.
Huge thanks to Dr Peter Kerecsenyi from Manchester Fertility.
Learn more about Manchester Fertility here
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