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Take my questionnaire to see how fertile you are

Women are continually bombarded with scare stories about ‘leaving it to late’, as if any woman who’s not pregnant by 30 is destined to be barren for life.

So what’s the truth?

Our bodies are complicated and fertility problems can arise for a number of reasons – including stress, infection, toxicity, hormone balance, emotional blocks, mineral deficiency not to mention many others.

I’ve put together a short questionnaire to help you to see the areas of your health/lifestyle that can help improve your fertility.  Add up your points and your total score will give you an insight into how fertile you currently are.

 

1. How much screen time are you getting on your phone/tablet each day?

a. I’ve turned most notifications off but I do check social media on a daily basis and use my phone a fair amount during the day.

b. I hardly ever look at my phone and don’t have any notifications switched on.  I barely ever check social media and never have any screens in the bedroom and charge my phone downstairs.  Also, I use an old fashioned alarm clock in the morning.

c. My phone is often in my hand, I lose hours on social media and I check my phone first thing in the morning before I do anything else because my phone is my alarm clock too.

 

2. Do you have a lot of stress in your life?

a. I’m continually stressed and I don’t deal with pressure very well

b. Not really; I cope well with normal daily pressures

c. I have a very demanding job and/or personal life but I’m managing to keep things in perspective.

 

3. How do you relax at the end of a stressful day?

a. With a good book or in front of my favourite TV series

b. I can’t remember the last time I felt relaxed

c. With a glass of wine

 

4. Would you describe yourself as an anxious person?

a. No, not at all

b. Sometimes; it depends on the situation

c. Yes, definitely

 

5. How emotional are you?

a. Not particularly, but I might shed a few tears at a weepy film/movie

b. I cry easily; sometimes for no reason at all

c. I’m not emotional at all and I find it difficult to cry

 

6. How many hours do you work in an average week?

a. About 40 hours or less

b. 40-50 hours

c. more than 50 hours

 

7. How often do you take work home with you?

a. Never

b. Twice a week or more

c. once a week

 

8. How much sleep do you get per night?

a. Seven hours

b. six hours or less, or I do shift work so my sleep pattern varies

c. Eight hours

 

9. Do you smoke?

a. I smoke one or more cigarette a day / I vape daily

b. I just have the odd cigarette socially or I vape occasionally

c. No

 

10. How do you usually eat your lunch?

a. At my desk, while I’m still working

b. I make sure I take a break from work and I eat in a relaxed environment

c. I rarely have time for lunch

 

11. How much water do you drink in a day?

a. Less than a litre

b. two or three litres

c. about 1 litre

 

12. What is your daily caffeine intake?

a. None, I don’t drink tea, coffee or caffeinated drinks

b. one cup of tea, coffee or caffeinated drink a day

c. two or more cups of tea, coffee or caffeinated drinks a day

 

13. How much alcohol do you drink in a week?

a. 3 or more glasses a week

b. I rarely drink, if ever

c. 1 or 2 units a week

 

14. Do you eat a healthy, balanced diet?

a. Yes, I eat a varied diet, but I have a takeaway or ready meal once or twice a week

b. I don’t really have time to cook and often rely on convenience foods

c. Yes, I always eat a balance of protein, carbs (vegetables and whole grains, not white refined carbs) and good fats in every meal/snack

 

15. How regular are your periods?

a. Really erratic; I never know when they are going to come

b. fairly regular, but they vary between 21 and 35 days apart

c. they are like clockwork every month

 

16. What are your periods like?

a. Sometimes painful at the beginning with a little clotting

b. Heavy, clotted and painful

c. Pretty easy and stress-free

 

17. Do you suffer from PMS?

a. No

b. Sometimes I’m a bit more sensitive than usual before my period

c. Yes, my emotions are very erratic when my period is due

 

18. Are you prone to getting thrush?

a. Yes I get it frequently

b. I’ve had it a couple of times in my life

c. No, I’ve never had it

 

19. Have you ever used the contraceptive pill, Mirena coil, implant or injection?

a. Yes, but not for more than a year at a time and not in the past year

b. No

c. Yes, in the past I’ve used it for 2 years or more continuously

 

20. How would you describe your sex drive?

a. Good and generally increases mid-cycle and just before my period starts

b. It varies

c. I rarely feel in the mood

 

SCORING:

  1. a.=3  b.=5  c.=1
  2. a.=1  b.=5  c.=3
  3. a.=5  b.=1  c.=3
  4. a.=5  b.=3  c.=1
  5. a.=3  b.=1  c.=5
  6. a.=5  b.=3  c.=1
  7. a.=5  b.=1  c.=3
  8. a.=3  b.=1  c.=5
  9. a.=1  b.=3  c.=5
  10. a.=3  b.=5  c.=1
  11. a.=1  b.=5  c.=3
  12. a.=5  b.=3  c.=1
  13. a.=1  b.=5  c.=3
  14. a.=3  b.=1  c.=5
  15. a.=1  b.=3  c.=5
  16. a.=3  b.=1  c.=5
  17. a.=5  b.=3  c.=1
  18. a.=1  b.=3  c.=5
  19. a.=3  b.=5  c.=1
  20. a.=5  b.=3  c.=1

20-50 points

You may need to improve your reproductive health.  Prolonged stress and lack of sleep can alter your hormonal balance.  If you’re stressed the body prioritises converting pregnenolone into cortisol (which is one of the important stress hormones) rather than for progesterone production.  The body will always prioritise stress over everything else and sadly, reproduction is at the bottom of your bodies priority list.

This is known as the progesterone steal

Progesterone is the pregnancy hormone, so if your body is busy prioritising cortisol production and not progesterone production it will be hard to hold a pregnancy.  As the name suggests progesterone is the pro-gestation hormone.  This can also result in irregular ovulation and periods in some cases.  The progesterone steal also Impacts on egg and sperm development.  The stress hormone Cortisol is also thought to interfere with Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) and thus also the hormones FSH and LH. GnRH is needed to stimulate the ovaries to produce and release eggs and to stimulate the testes to produce sperm.  The progesterone steal can also increase weight gain which is unhelpful for fertility and negatively Impact your libido.

Also, the importance of a nutritious diet free from cigarettes and alcohol cannot be underestimated.  Also, keep a distance from your phone and definitely don’t ever use your phone/ tablet in your bedroom.

Think about where you might need to make changes in your lifestyle, health or diet and give yourself at least 3 months to notice a difference in your periods, energy levels and general wellbeing, which will be positive signs of improved fertility.

51-74 points

If you score in this bracket then your reproductive health should be fine, but there’s definitely room for improvement in certain areas. Often things you wouldn’t consider, such as dehydration, stress, lack of sleep and your metabolism can have a marked effect on your fertility.  If you’re dehydrated, for example, because your body will prioritise what’s most urgent in any situation, water will be diverted to essential organs first.  As your reproductive system is low down on the list of priorities it may not run at its optimal level due to a lack of water supply.  Look at which category pulled your score down and then you’ll know where to concentrate your efforts in order to bring your score up.

75-100 points

You’re doing all the right things to ensure good reproductive health so your fertility should be in good shape.  If you do experience difficulties conceiving then look at your overall health, lifestyle, and environment.  Be really honest with yourself, are there any areas that need attention.  A study reported in the British medical journal showed that drinking just six units of alcohol per week could reduce a woman’s fertility by 45%.  Encourage your partner to look at his lifestyle too.  Alcohol, smoking, drugs, and stress all affect sperm count and sperm motility and morphology.  When considering your fertility it’s important to remember that its 50% Female and 50% Male so the sperm is really important and actually just as important as you.

Also, remember it can take up to 2 years for a perfectly healthy couple to fall pregnant who have no diagnosable issues going on.

If you would like to discuss your fertility situation with me why not get in touch and book a free 30-minute chat, I’m more than happy to help.