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Factors Affecting Conception

There are a number of factors that affect the chances of successful Fertilisation of the Sperm and Egg (Conception).

Having Sexual Intercourse at the Right Time - In the Fertile Window

Timing is critical for conception. Pregnancy is most likely to occur if sexual intercourse takes place during the fertile window, which is typically around the time of ovulation. Ovulation occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, usually around day 14, but it can vary from person to person. Tracking menstrual cycles and using ovulation prediction kits can help identify this fertile period.  Read more about ways you can track your fertile window in the next Section.  If you have irregular menstrual cycles it will be worth investing in an Ovulation Tracker or seeking help from a Fertility Specialist who can help to regulate your periods.

Sperm Health

Male factors include the health and quantity of the sperm.  The sperms role is equally important towards successful conception and depends on sperm count, motility, and morphology.  Sperm must be able to swim effectively and reach the egg in the fallopian tube. Factors that can affect sperm health include age, lifestyle choices (such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption), and certain medical conditions. If there are concerns about male fertility, a semen analysis can help assess sperm health.

Egg Quality

The quality of the egg (oocyte) is equally important. As people age, the quality of their eggs can decline, making conception more challenging. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also affect egg quality.


Age plays a major part in fertility. The time a woman is most fertile tends to peak in the early to mid 20’s and gradually declines particularly after the age of 35 making success more challenging.

Successful Sexual Intercourse

For Sexual Intercourse to be successful in regards to possible Fertilisation of the Sperm and Egg the Sperm needs to be able to reach the Egg.  Factors such as Pain During Penetration to extent it cannot take place or the Male being unable to ejaculate during Sex means that the Sperm does not have the chance of reaching the egg.  If mental aspects are contributing it may be worth seeking the help of of a Sexual Therapist.  Alternatively there are aids that can help such as Fertility Cups & Syringes.   These work by the male ejaculating into a cup and then the sperm being syringed into the vagina.  See our Section on Natural Conception Aids for more details.

Health & Lifestyle Factors

General health and lifestyle choices play a significant role in conception. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption can positively impact fertility.  You can access the ‘Holistic Fertility Guidebook’ in this APP written by Holistic Nutritionist Marie Belin which will give you all the tips to help boost your fertility.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as endometriosis, PCOS, and thyroid disorders, can affect fertility. Chronic illnesses and sexually transmitted infections can also have an impact. Consulting with a healthcare provider to manage and treat these conditions can improve the chances of conception.

Use of Contraception

If you’ve been using hormonal contraceptives (e.g., birth control pills, intrauterine devices) or other forms of contraception, it may take some time for your menstrual cycle and fertility to return to normal after discontinuation.

Environmental Factors

Exposure to certain environmental toxins, chemicals, or radiation can negatively impact fertility. Minimizing exposure to these factors can be beneficial.

See Our Next Section with Advice and Recommendations

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