Fertility depends on several factors:
- Age - Women are at their most fertile at around 20 – 25 years of age. Fertility gradually starts to decrease at 26 and declines at a sharper rate around 38. Dr Goupil-Rousseau points out that this pattern varies a lot from woman to woman so while some women are already infertile at 38, others might still be able to have children at 45.
- Weight - Anorexia can cause infertility. Likewise, excessive weight or severe fluctuations in your weight can lead to ovulation problems.
- Lifestyle - Too much tobacco or alcohol is not recommended because it encourages what is known as “bad quality” ovulation. Dr Goupil-Rousseau draws attention to the fact that smoking or drinking alcohol also has a negative effect on sperm production so make the dad-to-be aware of this!
- Stress - If you are particularly anxious, it may affect your ovulation and even stop it altogether. The ovaries are controlled by the pituitary gland, which is directly linked to brain function.