The Ultimate Guide To Women’s Sexual Health And Fertility

Understanding your own health is key to comfortable and healthy living – and for women this includes sexual health and fertility. Unfortunately, there are lots of misconceptions about women’s sexual health fertility and other health issues that need to be debunked and explained.

We’ve done the research and summarized everything for you in this ultimate guide to help empower you to take control of your body and choices.

Women’s Fertility Guide

A woman’s fertility typically refers to her ability to conceive a child naturally.  Fertility is highly affected by a number of physical and environmental factors, and understanding your fertility and the factors that can impact it are vital, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not.

Understanding Your Fertility

Every woman should understand what is happening during her menstrual cycle, so she will be be able to manage and keep track of any changes. In this way, she might be able to detect any changes in her fertility early on and take the right action when needed.

Both men and women become fertile in their teen years right after puberty. For girls, becoming fertile is marked by the beginning of their menstruation cycle.

Puberty is the time in life when the body reaches sexual maturity. For girls, this is marked by the production of estrogen and progesterone, which are hormones that cause several emotional and physical changes in the body. Girls usually start their periods between the ages of 8 and 13, although some girls might start their menstruation cycle later on. From this point the body is ready and able to become pregnant.

Women typically remain fertile until menopause, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 -55.  Menopause is when the ovaries shut off and stop producing eggs.  At this time menstruation stops and women will stop their monthly period. However, you should know that a significant decrease in fertility happens before your menstruation stops completely.

Understanding your fertility is extremely crucial for women, as the quality and number of eggs naturally decreases as you grow older.  Trends show that more women are currently waiting until they are in their 30s and even 40s to start their families and get pregnant, so more women are becoming interested in fertility treatments and options that can help them preserve their fertility and conceive and have babies at a later age.

Today more than before, women are able to have babies at a later age due to a number of factors. For example, there are several fertility treatments available than can help women achieve their goals and have babies at a later age. Moreover, more women are interested in healthy living and will take better care of their bodies to help improve the quality of their eggs.

While there’s no scientific way that can help you increase the number of eggs you have left in your ovaries as you grow older, you can work to improve their quality. Moreover, understanding how your ovulation works and keeping an eye on your fertile window will help improve your chances of getting pregnant if you’re trying to conceive.

What Is Ovulation & How Do You Know When You Are Ovulating

Ovulation Calendar

Ovulation is a natural process that involves the release of hormones in the body. Every woman should be able to track when she’s ovulating, as this will help you determine the right time to have sex if you’re trying to conceive or to avoid unprotected sex if you want to avoid a pregnancy. It also helps you understand the physical and emotional changes that your body is going through.

When an egg is released from one of your ovaries, this is called ovulation. Typically, each woman has 2 ovaries, and they will alternately release an egg each month. However, sometimes one ovary can become too weak, so the other one might do all the work, releasing an egg every 2 months.

Once an egg is released, it travels through your reproductive system. If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm that month, it will leave the body, along with the lining of the uterus. This marks the beginning of your menstruation cycle. A typical cycle lasts between 21 to 35 days. However, in teens and premenopausal women, the cycle can become longer,  or abnormal.

There are several signs that can help you tell you that you’re ovulating.

  • If you keep track of your previous menstruation cycles, you can calculate your ovulation. If you have a 28 menstruation cycle, your ovulation typically happens on the 14th day. If you have a 35 menstruation cycle, your ovulation will likely happen on the 21st day.
  • Changes to cervical mucus can also help you keep track of your ovulation. The shape and consistency of cervical mucus changes according to the progress of your cycle, and just before ovulation you might notice an increase in your cervical mucus.
  • Just after ovulation you’re likely to experience a slight increase in your temperature. Your basal body temperature is a good indication of the progress of your menstrual cycle, and something you can track with a basal body thermometer or fertility tracker.
  • Some women get cramps on one side when the egg is being released from the ovary.  These cramps are known as mittelschmerz.
  • Lower back or abdominal pain can also be a sign that you’re ovulating.
  • Some women have a heightened sense of smell or cravings when they’re ovulating.
  • Breast tenderness is also a sign of ovulation.
  • Some women experience a brown or dark red discharge due to the rupture of the follicle that protects the egg.
  • Most women experience an increase in libido or sex drive when they’re ovulating.
  • The cervix becomes higher and more open.

What Is Your Fertile Window?

Your fertile window is the time when you’re most likely to get pregnant naturally. Every woman has a different fertile window depending on her menstruation cycle.

Sperm can live in the body of a woman for up to 5 days after intercourse, while the egg will only survive for 24 hours. If the egg is not fertilized by the sperm, it will leave the body with the start of your period.

Your fertile window begins 5 days before the day of your ovulation and ends one day after ovulation. When the egg is released from the ovary it moves down the fallopian tube. If it meets the sperm in transit, it can get fertilized and create an embryo.

If you are timing sex with your partner, your chances of getting pregnant are greatly improved the closer you are to your ovulation day.

Understanding and keeping track of your fertile window improves your chances if you’re trying to have a baby. 

Your fertile window changes every month, depending on the day of your ovulation, so you shouldn’t rely solely on counting days if you’re not trying to conceive. Your best bet would be to use a contraceptive that has been prescribed by your doctor or a fertility tracker which can track more precise data about your fertile window, such as your basal body temperature.

Some women have very irregular cycles, and it’s almost impossible to keep track of their fertile windows. If this is the case and you’re trying to get pregnant, you could try to have sex every 2 or 3 days to improve the chances of conceiving.

How To Track Your Cycle

Lots of teens and women become confused when it comes to tracking their cycles. However, it’s really simple if you use the right tools.

The only way you can track your cycle is to know when it starts and when it finishes. It starts on the first day of your period and finishes on the last day before your next period.  You can always use a notebook or a calendar, but there are also fertility apps that you can use  on your phone to keep track of your cycle and all the changes that your body goes through.  Apps are a great way to keep track of your basal body temperature, cravings, premenstrual symptoms, etc.

An app on your phone can also anticipate the beginning of your next period for months to come.  You’ll also eventually learn when your period is expected to start when you understand the pattern and become more in tune with your own body. Nevertheless, the anticipated date of your next period isn’t an accurate date, and there are several factors that can cause your period to come early or late.

  • Stress and anxiety cause your body to produce certain hormones that can interfere with your cycle.
  • Traveling can cause your cycle to start earlier than it should.
  • Having intercourse can accelerate your period. When you orgasm, your uterus contracts, and your cervix dilates, so your period might start if it’s late.
  • Exercising can help your period start if it’s late.
  • Some diet plans can make your period late if your body isn’t receiving enough nutrients.
  • Extreme weight loss over a short period of time can delay your period. Similarly, women who gain weight over a short period of time are likely to experience irregular cycles.
  • Hyperthyroidism can cause late or even missed periods.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

When you’re trying to conceive, your fertility becomes your number one concern. Every woman needs to understand what is meant by fertility and how she can take charge of her body to help boost her fertility if she’s trying to get pregnant.

You now know that your reproductive organs mature when you hit puberty, and your body starts to produce eggs that are ready for fertilization.  This means that from puberty, if you have unprotected sex you could become pregnant. However, most women wait until they’re in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s to start their families. Understanding your fertility and how it can change over the years will help you make the right decision based on your personal circumstances.

How Can You Boost Your Fertility

You should seek medical help if you’re having trouble conceiving naturally, especially if you have been trying for six months to one year unsuccessfully. However, this doesn’t have to be your first move, unless you’re over 35 or you know that you have a medical problem.  Nevertheless, you should always know that even with some medical problems and if you’re a bit older, you can still naturally boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

  • Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. Zinc is a nutrient that helps increase the fertility of men and women and can improve the quality of your eggs at an older age. It also boosts your immunity, so it keeps your body in great shape to get ready for your upcoming pregnancy.
  • Pack your fertility diet with healthy fats. Trans fats are found in processed foods and can affect your ovaries because they mess up with your insulin sensitivity.
  • Women who have problems with their ovaries could try low-carb diets. Refined carbs, in particular, should be avoided because they increase your insulin levels. Managing your weight will also help you get pregnant naturally if you’re facing problems conceiving.
  • Excess fibers help your body get rid of the excess estrogen that affects your fertility. When your body has too much estrogen, you could face problems conceiving.
  • Higher protein intake will help your body get in shape so you can get pregnant easily. You could combine animal and plant proteins to include more proteins in your diet.

You can also boost your fertility with the help of the right supplements. These dietary supplements are especially beneficial for older women who might be concerned with the decline in the quality of their eggs.  

  • Folic acid and folate are beneficial as they improve the egg quality and also prevent birth defects that are naturally higher in older women.
  • DHEA is a natural hormone produced in the body, but it starts to decline as we grow older. Older women who face problems with pregnancy can enjoy an improved egg quality after taking this supplement for a few months.
  • CoQ10 is an anti-aging enzyme that helps your body cells have more energy. This supplement helps your cells fight the damage of free radicals, so it protects the energy and DNA of the eggs. Our eggs have a reduced quality when we get older, and this supplement will help keep them in shape.
  • Zinc is a mineral that regulates the production of various hormones in the body. Zinc supplements can also help the production of mature eggs that are ready for fertilization.
  • Inositol helps women who face challenges with their fertility, especially when they suffer from PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s a mood booster, so it will help regulate your cycle and hormones if you’re trying to get pregnant.
  • Probiotics help with improving the health of the good bacteria in the intestines. This affects all the organs in your body, including your reproductive organs, as probiotics help boost your immune system.
  • Vitamin D is essential for bone health. It’s also recommended to increase your Vitamin D levels if you’re trying to get pregnant.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for your body. You can find these beneficial fatty acids in cold-water fish, but if you’re worried about consuming too much mercury, you should stick to supplements.
  • Selenium boosts the production of ovarian follicles that produce the eggs. It helps protect your eggs from free radicals damage.

Before altering your diet or adding supplements it is important to speak to your doctor to find out what’s right for you. A diet or supplement that works for one woman, may not be the most appropriate option for someone else, so it is always important to tailor any plans to your individual circumstances. 

How Can You Determine Your Egg Quality

High-quality eggs have 23 chromosomes and are considered chromosomally normal or euploid. They will typically result in the formation of an embryo if you have sex within your fertile window. 

As we age, our ovaries start to produce more abnormal eggs or aneuploid eggs. These might have too many or too few chromosomes.  In most cases, the embryo will fail to implant or will result in a miscarriage after implantation. In some cases, the pregnancy will last, and the woman will give birth to a baby with a chromosomal disorder like Down’s Syndrome.

A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have, and these eggs are stored in follicles in the ovaries. The number of eggs at birth is approximately 2 million.  From the time of puberty, one egg will be released each month.  However, not all of these eggs will be released as they diminish in quality and quantity over time.  In fact, by her teen years a woman will only have roughly 300,000 or 400,000 eggs left in her ovaries. Only a few hundreds of them actually mature and are later released by the ovaries.

To determine your egg quality, you’d need the help of a doctor or a health care provider to carry out laboratory blood tests.  Certain tests will help you determine if your eggs are in good shape. The result of these tests can help determine whether you’d be a good candidate for certain fertility treatments if you have trouble conceiving naturally.

However, you should understand that even if your test results aren’t optimal, there can still be a a good chance of natural conception. Remember It takes only one good egg and one good sperm to get pregnant and have a healthy baby.

FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone

This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain to stimulate the ovaries to boost the development of follicles and help produce a mature egg. Without enough FSH, your eggs won’t be released and you won’t ovulate.  Conversely, too much FSH could indicate reduced egg quality, as the brain is working extra hard to stimulate ovulation.

AMH or Anti-Mullerian Hormone

This hormone protects the eggs and helps them develop and mature.  A low AMH level could indicate a reduced number of eggs left in your ovaries. A low-ovarian reserve doesn’t mean that the woman won’t be able to conceive, but it could become more challenging.

E2 or Estradiol

E2 works with FSH to guarantee that your eggs will develop and mature properly. When the levels of E2 increase too soon, the quality of the egg diminishes because it’s released before it matures.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

This medical test allows the doctor to assess the antral follicle count or AFC. It refers to the number of resting follicles between the size of 4 and 9 millimeters, which can potentially mature and develop into mature and high-quality eggs, which can then be fertilized. A smaller number of big follicles could mean that you have a problem with egg quality and quantity.

What Are The Most Common Complications?

There are several fertility complications that can affect and hinder your ability to have children naturally. Most of them are related to women’s ability to ovulate regularly.

PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is one of the most common problems that can affect women’s fertility and overall health. It’s a hormonal disorder that leads to the increase of the male hormones in the body and can cause excessively long or infrequent periods.

When a woman has PCOS, the ovaries form follicles that are full of liquid and fail to release eggs upon maturity. When it’s not treated, PCOS can lead to other serious health issues like type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Some women develop PCOS as soon as they hit puberty, while others suffer from PCOS when they’re older, especially when they gain weight. Some of the symptoms include missed or late periods, excessively long periods, male-pattern baldness, excessive facial and body hair, troubles losing weight, and severe acne.

There are special treatments for PCOS, and you can also control it by paying attention to your diet. Limiting your carbohydrates and sugar intake can help you put your insulin levels in check, so it improves your PCOS symptoms. Birth control pills and oral medications for type 2 diabetes like Glucophage could also help regulate your ovulation, and it is something to discuss with your doctor.

POI

Premature Ovarian Insufficiency or POI refers to the condition when the ovaries of a woman fail to work properly at an early age. Most women start to experience some irregularities with their periods by the time they become 40, as their bodies are getting ready to reach the state of menopause. When the ovaries start to face this problem before a woman is 40, this condition is known as POI or premature ovarian failure.

POI happens because the follicles don’t work properly, and this can be a result of a genetic disorder. Some autoimmune diseases like thyroiditis and Addison disease can also lead to POI. Women who go through chemotherapy and radiation are likely to suffer from POI regardless of their age.

Symptoms of POI are similar to the ones of menopause, but women who suffer from these symptoms are younger than 40. Some women start to experience these symptoms as early as their teen years.

  • Night sweats.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Irregular or missed periods.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Vaginal dryness.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is painful condition that happens when the inner lining of your uterus grows outside. The growing tissue affects your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the lining of the pelvis.

This lining naturally breaks and bleeds every month, causing your period. When the lining is outside of the uterus, there is no way this blood can leave your body, so it gets trapped inside. When endometriosis affects your ovaries, it forms cysts full of blood that later transform to scar tissue and adhesions that can make pregnancy challenging.

These adhesions also make the organs stick together, so they’re quite painful, especially around your menstruation cycle. There are also other symptoms that can help you tell if you’re dealing with this problem.

  • Pain during sexual intercourse is very common if you have endometriosis.
  • Heavy bleeding during or even between your periods.
  • Pain with bowel movement or urination.
  • Diarrhea and constipation.
  • Bloating and nausea.

Some women start to develop endometriosis when they have surgery. In some cases, the menstrual blood doesn’t leave the body but flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. The endometrial cells stick to the walls of the pelvis, thicken, and then start to bleed. Moreover, estrogen can cause the formation of endometrial cells.

An early diagnosis will help your doctor suggest the best treatment, especially if you’re trying to conceive. Some women at a higher risk.

  • Hereditary factors can increase your risk. If your mother, aunt, or sister has this condition, you might have it too.
  • If you’re never given birth before, you could develop this condition.
  • Women who have shorter menstrual cycles or cycles that last for more than 7 days.
  • If you have a low body mass index.

When Should You See A Doctor?

Fertility is complex and relates to several organs in your body. Your mental, physical, and emotional health can all have a direct impact on your fertility.

  • If you’re under 35 and have been trying to conceive naturally for 12 months or more without success, you should see a doctor. If you’re over 35, you should wait for 6 months before asking for help.
  • Women who experience pain while having intercourse should visit the doctor.
  • Keep an eye on your discharge. If you notice any abnormalities, then you should set an appointment with your doctor.
  • If you’ve had miscarriages in the past and are still trying for a baby, you should ask your doctor for help. He will help you understand the reasons for your previous miscarriages, so you can avoid having another one in the future.
  • If your period is late, irregular, or you have a heavy flow, then you need to see the doctor. You should also consult your doctor if you’re experiencing bleeding between periods.
  • If you or your partner have had any previous sexually transmitted infections, then you need to visit the doctor for a checkup.
  • Some women suffer from medical conditions that can prevent conceiving or make it pretty challenging. If you have diabetes, suffer from high blood pressure, have heart disease, a genetic disorder, a thyroid condition, or a problem with your kidneys or liver, you should meet up with your doctor and discuss all the options that can help you monitor and improve your fertility.

A Note On Fertility Treatments

IVF

Having fertility problems is not the end of the world; remember there is still hope you can get pregnant because you only need one egg and one sperm to have a baby. Your doctor will run several tests to test your partner’s semen and the quality of your eggs. Then, he or she will explain why you and your partner are facing problems conceiving and suggest the available treatment plans.

IVF

In-vitro fertilization is an assisted fertility treatment where the sperm fertilizes and egg, and the fertilized egg is planted in the uterus. The process involves several medications and surgical procedures.

The doctor starts by giving you some medications and injections to stimulate the ovaries and help your eggs mature so they’re ready for fertilization. Then the doctor will removes those mature eggs in a process called egg retrieval.  After that an embryologist will mix the mature eggs with sperm.

The eggs which are successfully fertilized continue to grow and will reach a blastocyst phase after around 5 days.  At this point the embroyos are ready to be implanted in the uterus. If one embryo lives in the uterus, you will have a successful pregnancy. Most people need more than one round of IVF to get pregnant, but some people do have a successful first trial.

ICSI

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI is a special form of IVF. This procedure relies on the injection of a single sperm into the mature egg for fertilization.

Individual sperm are selected by the embryologist for fertilization. After the eggs are fertilized, the embryos are transferred back into the uterus in the same way as IVF.

Egg Freezing

In this procedure, the eggs of the woman are retrieved and stored to preserve the reproductive potential.  A woman will undergo the same stimulation as with IVF, which will involve medications and injections. 

Eligible women can have their eggs frozen at any age, and women can still freeze their eggs in their late 30s and early 40s.

As women get older, the number and quality of their eggs decreases naturally, so some use this method to allow themselves to have a chance of getting pregnant at a later age. Women can also consider egg freezing if they suffer from cancer, as chemotherapy affects fertility negatively. If you’re considering a surgery that might affect your ovaries, you’ll likely be a good candidate for this procedure.

When a woman is ready to have a baby, the eggs are assessed and then injected with a sperm before implantation into the uterus. 

Embryo Freezing

When a woman is having an IVF or ICSI, the doctor often has more than one egg to work with. When these eggs get fertilized, the doctor might keep some of the frozen embryos for later use.

This procedure is suitable for women who are likely to face more challenges with IVF in the future. If the woman is suffering from cancer and is expected to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy, this procedure could be appropriate. It also works if the man is suffering from a problem that can make his sperm count diminish.

Couples may also opt to freeze embryos vs. eggs, as the success rate for frozen embryos tends to be higher compared to egg freezing. 

Women’s Sexual Health Guide

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding women’s sexual health. Some women only think about their sexual health when they are trying to conceive, thus ignoring health problems that can get worse over the years if left unnoticed and untreated.

Female reproductive system

Understanding Your Body

Your body is made of several systems, and a problem with one organ can directly affect others. The health of your reproductive organs is directly related to your diet, lifestyle, mental, and emotional health.

Everything you do can directly affect the way your reproductive organs work. If you smoke, drink too much, or engage in any unhealthy practices, you could suffer from fertility problems. This is why you need to listen to your body and visit the doctor if you notice any changes in your body or menstrual cycle. 

How Female Reproductive Organs Work

The female reproductive organs develop and start to work normally by the time you hit puberty. The ovaries produce eggs, and each month one is released when it’s mature. The mature egg travels down the fallopian tube where it might get fertilized by a sperm.

If the egg gets fertilized, it travels to the uterus where it gets implanted into the thickened uterine lining. If the egg is not fertilized, the body gets rid of it with the lining of the uterus during your period.

The reproductive system is also responsible for the production of several hormones in the body. When it stops making these hormones, a woman will start having irregular or missed periods that mark the onset of menopause. A woman becomes menopausal if she hasn’t had a period for at least 12 months.

A Note On Contraception

Contraception refers to methods that women use to prevent pregnancy. Finding the right method for you depends on a number of factors, including your age, medical history, and whether you might consider having babies in the future. There are several methods available.

  • The pill is one of the most common and well-known method. It thickens the mucus of the cervix, thus preventing the sperms from getting into the womb. You should take the pill at the same time every day to make sure that it stays effective.
  • A diaphragm covers the cervix to prevent the sperms from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg.
  • Female condoms are just like male condoms, but they’re kept inside the vagina, not worn by the man. Their purpose is to cover the internal walls of the vagina to prevent the sperms from entering the uterus. Both methods are not 100% safe as one sperm is enough to get a woman pregnant.
  • A contraceptive injection is taken to last for up to 2 or 3 months. It’s suitable for women who forget to take the daily pill, but it has some side effects like mood swings, weight gain, and irregular periods. It also takes about a year after your last injection for your body to get back to normal.
  • An intrauterine device or IUD can last for up 10 years and is almost 99% effective. The IUD or coil works by changing the mucus on your cervix, so it prevents the sperms from reaching the egg. It can also prevent the fertilized egg from being implanted into the uterus.
  • The Intrauterine System or IUS is inserted in the uterus and releases progestogen for 3 to 5 years to prevent you from getting pregnant.
  • There are other methods, including the implant, patch, and female sterilization. Sterilization is a permanent solution as the fallopian tubes get removed or sealed to prevent the eggs from traveling to the uterus. This procedure is very difficult to reverse.

A Note On Safe Sex Practices

Safe Sex

Safe sex protects you from unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Once you’re sexually active, safe sex should be a comfortable and important topic to you.  It is one of the most important ways to empower yourself around decisions regarding your body and your fertility.

  • Make sure that both you and your partner(s) have your current health situation assessed by a doctor. 
  • Ask your partner to wear a condom. Some people are allergic to latex, but you can always use latex-free condoms.
  • If you’re not trying to conceive, keep note of your menstruation cycle to avoid unprotected sex during your fertility window.
  • Disinfect and clean sex toys if you use them. You can also use a condom on them.

What Are The Most Common STIs or STDs?

Every woman and man should understand the symptoms of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. These can be transmitted between partners when they engage in unprotected sex practices.

  • Chlamydia affects the cervix and can be quite dangerous. It causes pain while having sex and peeing and can cause unusually yellow vaginal discharge. It’s treated with antibiotics; however, left untreated it can lead to infertility.
  • Genital herpes is an STD caused by the HSV that might stay dormant in the body for years. Some people don’t show any symptoms, while others have blisters or bumps.
  • Genital warts are caused by HPV. Genital warts grow on the vulva, on the area between the vagina and the anus, and on the cervix. Some kinds of HPV can cause cervical cancer.
  • Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that causes pain while urinating and having sex. Women who have gonorrhea usually have unusual yellow vaginal discharge, and when the case is ignored, it can lead to problems with fertility.
  • Syphilis is a common bacterial infection. It causes genital or mouth ulcers and can cause hair loss, headaches, and even brain and heart damage when left untreated.
  • AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. The primary symptoms include joint pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and night sweats. It affects your body’s ability to fight infections and diseases as it destroys the immune system.

A Note on Pap Smears and STI and STD Testing

A Pap smear or Pap test is a procedure that involves collecting cells from the cervix for examination. It detects the changes in the cells to help with the early diagnosis of any mutations that can lead to cervical cancer. It can detect cancerous cells that might be caused by HPV.

All women with a cervix should typically have a Pap smear with a pelvic exam once every 3 years.  A doctor might recommend more frequent Pap smears depending on your family history of if your results show precancerous cells.

The Pap smear can be combined with HPV testing, or your doctor might recommend only taking the HPV test depending on your health condition. Doctors usually don’t ask women older than 65 to have Pap smears, as long as their previous tests were normal.

As for STIs and STDs, you should get yourself checked every 3 to 12 months, depending on your sexual activity. Some conditions have no symptoms, and you and your partner might be at great risk.

Conclusion

Understanding your sexual health and fertility will help you stay healthy as you detect changes that your body experiences starting from the time you hit puberty straight through until menopause.

There are lots of factors that can affect your ability to conceive and have babies. But with technology, advanced medicine, and improving health trends, getting pregnant has become easier for many women. Make sure that you understand how your body works and choose a doctor you can trust to help you through this journey.

Medical disclaimer: The authors of this website are not medical professionals, and all of the material on this Site (including: text, images, graphics, outcomes, charts, messages and any other material) are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be interpreted to indicate that use of any drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. Always consult your doctor, physician or other licensed healthcare provider before taking any drug, making modifications to your diet, starting or discontinuing your treatment, or with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. Never ignore or disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of something you read on this Site. Reliance on any material provided on the Site is solely at your own risk. Any application of the material provided is at your own risk and is your sole responsibility.

Princila
 

I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray.

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