Ask Joanne. I have sex every day but I'm still not pregnant
What's your biggest challenge when it comes to family life? Send your questions and dilemmas to experienced life coach Joanne Mallon via this confidential form. Your name can be changed on request.
I have been off the pill for two years and as far as I know I was always told that I am very fertile. I am 46, have two children and have been trying for another one. With the second I got pregnant on the pill but I have been trying since the beginning of the year, having sex nearly every day, and nothing has happened.
Is it because of my age? I was told by my doctor and also the family planning doctor has told me that I am very fertile. Am I trying too hard? Please advise.
Here's the life coach's reply:
Getting pregnant at 46 is always going to be more of a challenge than it was when you were younger. Women's fertility declines very sharply once they're over the age of 35, meaning that the likelihood of a woman of your age getting pregnant naturally is only around 5%.
But for couples of any age, it's not at all unusual for conception to take some time – the normal success rate is only around 15-20%. It's good news that your doctor thinks your fertility levels are good, but remember that it takes two to make a baby. Has your partner had his fertility levels checked also? This could be a factor, as could lifestyle issues such as whether you smoke or drink, and how healthy you both are.
Stress is also a factor, and if you've been focusing so hard on getting pregnant all year, this could add to your stress levels. Try to relax as much as you can. It's not necessary to have sex every day to get pregnant, it's more important to focus on your most fertile time of the month. Even if you go for every other day, this will include your fertile time. Are you tracking when you ovulate? There are many products around that will help you do this – there's even an iPhone app to help track fertility.
It's probably a good idea to go back to your doctor and talk about your current situation and options. Some women of your age and older use donor eggs to get pregnant, so think about whether this is something you might consider. There's a good article here about getting pregnant in your forties.
There is a very real possibility that this might not happen for you, so consider how you would deal with that. You have two lovely children and a partner already, and it could turn out that this is what's meant for you. It's not a bad picture at all.
Good luck and best wishes,
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