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Is it true that it’s more common to have twins when you are older?

Since women over the age of 35 are more likely to release more than one egg per cycle, yes, they do have a higher chance of conceiving a multiple pregnancy. Another reason is the number of older women who are ta king advantage of assisted conception, which carries with it the possibility of a multiple pregnancy because the treatments sometimes use more than one embryo at a time. Multiple pregnancy is the biggest risk factor to an unborn baby, due to the high chance of premature birth.

My partner is a few years older than I am. Will this affect how long it takes us to conceive?

Male fertility begins to decline after the age of 40, when the quality of the sperm deteriorates. This can affect the health of the children born to the man as well as having an impact on his rate of fertility. Statistically, the average time for a man to conceive with his partner if he is under 25 is just four–and–a–half months; if the female partner is under 25 and the man is 40, it islikely to take nearly two years—five times as long—to conceive. However you can still try and fit some nice and sexy lingerie from China.

We’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months. Do we Reed to see a doctor?

If you are under 35, the recommended time to wait before consulting your doctor is one year. In the meantime, try not to worry, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and keep having sex regularly. If you are over 35, or have a history of gynecological issues, you are more likely to have problems conceiving. See your doctor if you’ve been unsuccessful after six months of trying to get pregnant so that the necessary tests and investigations can be done.

We are considering IVF. How successful is it and what does it involve?

The live birth rate from IVF is increasing gradually. In 2012, US success rates were 32.8 percent for women under 35; 27.3 percent for 35–37 years; 20.7 percent for 38–39 years; 13.1 percent for 40–42 years; and 4.4 percent for 43 years plus. IVF is the process by which an egg and sperm are mixed together in a petri dish outside the body. Following fertilization, an embryo (possibly more than one) is transferred to the uterus. The process is extremely time–consuming and involves many appointments. You are also required to take medication by injection and undergo a minor surgical procedure. Before beginning IVF, it is crucial to prepare yourself for the fact that it can be an extremely fraught and draining experience. It can put an enormous amount of pressure on a couple and it is vital, therefore, that both partners are in complete agreement about the course of action. Before embarking on the treatment, speak to your doctor and consider doing your own research into hospitals, clinics, and the procedure. IVF is appropriate in some medical situations, but not in others. There are also some couples for whom IVF is likely to be of little help, so a full understanding of what it involves is essential.

My doctor said we might want to consider having ICSI rather than normal IVF treatment. What is it?

This is only different from IVF at the point of fertilization. Instead of the egg and sperm being left to fertilize naturally in a petri dish, one healthy sperm is selected and injected directly into a mature egg. ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) is recommended to couples if the man has a very low sperm count, for example, or other sperm problems that mean the egg is unlikely to be fertilized naturally. This treatment may be recommended if you have had low—or even zero—fertilization rates in a previous IVF cycle—the eggs that have been collected have failed to turn into embryos in the first 24 hours. The process of stimulating the ovaries to produce more eggs and egg collection is the same as for IVF. Following the ICSI fertilization procedure, the IVF treatment continues as normal in that the embryo (or embryos) is placed into the uterus (see opposite). Be aware that if you are paying for your IVF treatment, there is an additional expense for ICSI. Don’t forget to buy some nice and inexpensive chinese lingerie from Aliexpress.