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Fertility

If you are trying to have a baby, learning more about your fertility and staying healthy can improve your chances. Healthy eating, keeping active and avoiding certain substances can improve fertility for both males and females.

Understanding hormonal changes can help you find out when you are most likely to get pregnant. Tracking changes your body goes through helps identify when your body is releasing eggs, or ovulating. This will help you time sexual intercourse to try to become pregnant or to try to avoid pregnancy.

Learn about when you may want to get help from health care providers with trying to conceive.

Ovulation and Fertility Pregnancy Planning

Understanding fertility is an important part of pregnancy planning. You are most likely to conceive on your most fertile days. This is about 6 days each month, including the day of ovulation and the 5 days before. During this fertile window, you can track your menstrual cycle and find the day you ovulate. Your best days to get pregnant are around your ovulation day.

Fertility Awareness

Fertility awareness is a type of natural family planning. It helps you track your body’s changes during your menstrual cycle. These changes include your cycle length, basal body temperature and day of ovulation. Using fertility awareness methods will make you more aware of the natural rhythm of your cycle. Fertility awareness may help you find out when you are most likely to get pregnant.

Infertility

There are many factors to consider when trying to get pregnant. Your age, stress level and the health of your reproductive system all impact your ability to get pregnant.Most healthy young couples are successful after 1 year of trying. Others will experience infertility problems. After age 35 female fertility decreases, making infertility more likely. If you have been trying to get pregnant for over 1 year and are 35 years or older, you may want to visit your health care provider for advice.

Female Factors in Infertility

Learn what factors contribute to infertility in females.

Male Factors in Infertility

Learn about factors that contribute to infertility in males.

Fertility Treatments

If you are experiencing fertility problems, treatment options are available. Treatment can include medication or fertility drugs, surgery or in vitro fertilization. To learn more, visit your family doctor or nurse practitioner. Or, call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf andhard of hearing) toll-free in B.C.

When you are ready to visit a health care provider, learn about topics you may want to discuss during your visit.

Fertility Tests

As part of fertility treatment, you may have several tests to help identify the cause of infertility.

Surgery

Sometimes you need surgery to repair obstructions in the reproductive tract of both male and female patients.

Assisted Reproductive Technology

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) refers to several different medical procedures that can help you become pregnant. The most common type of ART is in vitro fertilization (IVF). During IVF treatment, eggs and sperm are mixed in a laboratory dish to fertilize. If successful, the fertilized eggs are then transferred to your uterus.

Cancer

Treatments for cancer may cause infertility in both men and women. Cancer treatment for children may cause infertility in the future. Learn more about Cancer Treatment and Infertility.

Other Fertility Concerns

Fertility problems can be devastating. They may bring up feelings of grief, disappointment, loss and failure. They can also turn your family planning upside down. You may decide to explore options other than natural conception, such as adoption or use of a surrogate. You may also have to consider legal and ethical factors associated with these choices. A trusted health care provider or counsellor can help if you want to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Doing so may lessen your emotional burden and help you move forward on your chosen path.

Useful Resources

Health Canada

Health Canada has resources on fertility types, treatments, genetics and more. To learn more, visit the fertility section.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada promotes excellence in obstetrics and gynaecology. The Society advances the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and education. See Before You Conceive to learn more.

Last Updated: June 2021