Fertility and desire to have children

Many couples expect to get pregnant as soon as they stop using contraceptives. However, human reproduction is a very complex matter and sometimes requires patience. There is only a 30% chance of getting pregnant in each menstrual cycle. For one in three women it can take more than a year to get pregnant. It is generally not a cause for concern to have to wait a few months to get pregnant.

Each woman has only a 5-6 day “fertility window” in each cycle. The best time is from 2-3 days before ovulation until 2 days after ovulation. Our ovulation calculator helps you to determine the best days to conceive. . 

Couples who want children can positively influence their fertility through a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle:

Avoid heavy physical exertion!

Physical activity will help to keep you fit and healthy. However, extreme sports may upset the hormonal balance and affect the fertility of both women and men. .

Eat a healthy, balanced diet! !

A healthy diet supports the body and its functions by providing it with essential vitamins and minerals. You do not need nutritional supplements if you eat a healthy, balanced diet. The only exception is the recommended regular intake of folic acid before pregnancy to provide the growing foetus with the necessary amount even in early pregnancy. Studies show the importance of folic acid for the prevention of a neural tube defect ("open spine"or spina bifida) in the unborn child.

Reduce stress!

You cannot avoid all stress and not all stress is bad for you. However, an excessive workload, an extremely hectic pace or severe worries can reduce sexual desire and affect your fertility. Exhaustion and feeling nervous and on edge are signs of unhealthy stress. Making a conscious effort to take a holiday or just a break from your daily routine, or relaxation techniques such as autogenic training, can be helpful in such cases.

Quit smoking! !

Studies have proven that smoking reduces the fertility of women and men. Nicotine is a poison that negatively affects many bodily functions. During pregnancy, nicotine will harm the unborn child. Statistics show that women who smoke often have underweight and malnourished babies. 

Enjoy alcohol only in moderation! !

It appears that moderate alcohol consumption does not affect fertility. However, consuming large quantities of alcohol over a long period of time does have an effect. Woman should not drink any alcohol at all during pregnancy because of the risk of congenital disorders. Drinking large quantities of coffee, tea or other beverages containing caffeine is also unhealthy for the unborn baby.  

Watch your weight! !

Being severely underweight or overweight also affects fertility. Both overweight and very thin women frequently suffer from hormonal imbalances and irregular menstrual cycles. In most cases their hormone levels stabilise as soon as they manage to adjust their weight.

Protect yourself from rubella! ! 

Rubella infection   during pregnancy can seriously damage an unborn baby. For women who want to have children, it is recommended to have a blood test to establish whether they are immune to rubella. Where this is not the case they should have a rubella vaccination before trying to conceive.




The website of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BzgA) has comprehensive information on fertility and the desire to have children.

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