Tip 3: Take the pressure off
Performance anxiety around fertility is a perfectly normal and natural feeling. The way in which some women constantly track and monitor their fertility can put pressure on their men, especially around the time of ovulation. The woman focuses on her fertile time, her anxiety goes up, she tells her partner to ‘come home immediately’, his anxiety goes up, and so on. Sound familiar?
If trying to conceive is giving your partner performance anxiety, then here are my top tips:
1. Don’t feel like you need to tell your man every little detail about your cycle – at the end of the day, it’s a passion killer!
2. Try talking to each other properly about how you can get past this hurdle together, or, if you can’t, seek couples counselling
3. For a man to be able to perform, he needs passion, and scheduling your sex life and giving him specific times when he needs to be home can ruin that, so try to come up with a plan together on how to manage this. It can be hard to have fun and be romantic all the time, but it’s important to try and take the pressure off in any way you can.
4. For many men with performance anxiety, it’s present for a short period of time – such as during the time that you are trying for a baby. But for others, it can be a sign of something underlying. Don’t be afraid to go to your GP, just to make sure everything is okay.
Tip 4: Try acupuncture
Acupuncture can help with blood flow to the ovaries, which means more oxygen, more nutrients and more help developing the follicles.
It may also help with stress and beta-endorphin release, which means a greater sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
It really can give you that bit of extra support that you need and be that one thing that you have control over to help improve the process.
Tip 4: Learn to manage your stress
So many of the women that I see at 40 have got responsible jobs and a lot of stress that comes with that.
They’re working long hours and they’re incredibly tired and, on top of that, trying for a baby as well sends them into a bit of panic.
It’s worthwhile learning to manage your stress before even trying to get pregnant. Find the stress-management techniques that work for you and ensure that you add them into your daily routine.
This may be yoga, meditation, swimming, running or just taking a long bath – try different things out and select whichever works best.
Tip 5: Be strategic in your approach
I really advise my patients to be strategic and have to plan. So many couples over 40 see getting pregnant as a challenge, but they focus so much on getting to the finish line, they forget to enjoy the journey.
Of course, getting pregnant requires time, effort and commitment. And more often than not, there will be obstacles along the way.
But you’d be surprised how planning ahead can ease your mindset and make the process just that little bit easier.
It’s important to have ticked every box and that you can look back and know that you have done everything you possibly could do. I advise the creation of a holistic plan tht looks at health, nutrition, wellbeing, relationship, stress, work-life balance, as well as looking outside the box, too.
At 40 there is a limited window of how long you should try naturally because of age and uncertainty about getting pregnant quickly.
So exploring options such as IVF ( depending on your egg reserves) is worth doing and will help you understand what your options are.
You can find more by Zita West at zitawest.com, or you can make an appointment to visit the Zita West Clinic (020 7224 0017), where Zita and her team specialise in natural fertility and IVF as well as working with couples who have already had failed IVF cycles.
This story is part of Fertility Month, a month-long series covering all aspects of fertility.
For the next four weeks, we will be speaking to people at all stages of the fertility journey as well as doctors, lawyers and fertility experts who can shed light on the most important issues.
If you have a story to tell, please do get in touch at [email protected]
Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far – and you can find all Fertility Month content here.
MORE: Fertility Month: Why we are talking about fertility this month
MORE: I found the perfect sperm donor – but I never got my happy ending
MORE: Menopause at 17: How I came to terms with finding out I couldn’t have children as a teenager
MORE: Miscarriage is cruel and unfair, and I need to tell you about what happened to me
MORE: Plastic could be affecting your fertility – here’s how and why
MORE: How hard is it to get pregnant if you have polycystic ovary syndrome?
MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings
MORE: What it’s like to have an eating disorder while you’re pregnant
MORE: Can you get over not having children when you really wanted to have children?
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