Jana Pittman’s health words of wisdom

The doctor is here to talk about fertility.
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Fertility, meaning the ability to conceive children, is something many women think about, dream about, or try to avoid.

WATCH BELOW: Jana Pittman reveals she is an egg donor

After personally going through several miscarriages, having my girls as a solo parent using a sperm donor, then donating oocyte (eggs) to two other families, and now being pregnant with twins, fertility medicine is something I am very passionate about.

Trying to conceive

Many of us spend part of our lives avoiding pregnancy, so it comes as a shock when month after month you pee on a stick and end up in tears when it’s negative. Therefore, I want to share with you some statistics to take the pressure off your ovaries, but also to inspire you to seek help from your doctor earlier.

Jana recently gave birth to twins. (Credit: Supplied)

The fertility formula

It might surprise you to hear that you are only ‘fertile’ for on average of 6 days a month, which includes the 4 to 5 days prior to ovulation (when your body releases an egg), and the 24 hours that egg starts its journey towards the uterus for hopeful implantation.

Considering most women have a cycle of roughly 28 days, it’s a relatively small window. For younger woman under 30-years-old, if you are having regular intercourse you have around a 25% chance of conceiving each cycle, this reduces to 5% when you are 40-years-old.

Even if you do fall pregnant there is a 1 in 5 chance your pregnancy may miscarry, usually before 12 weeks. Again, this rate increases as we age.

“I don’t share these statistics to scare you, more to show you the miracle of conception and that it can be challenging.” (Credit: Supplied)

Egg quality also diminishes with age increasing the chance of an abnormal embryo, for example at 25-years-old there is a 1 in 475 chance of having a genetically abnormal pregnancy but by age 40, this risk increases to 1 in 63.

Lastly, around 15% of couples will have trouble falling pregnant due to an underlying medical condition, i.e. women who don’t ovulate regularly, have problematic endometriosis or their partner has low sperm quality.

I don’t share these statistics to scare you, more to show you the miracle of conception and that it can be challenging. It is a topic we need to talk about more with our friends and family, particularly miscarriage which is often suffered alone.

Jana is a mum to six kids! (Credit: Instagram)

Other options

Another conversation I want to raise, is those of us who simply haven’t met the right partner, yet our ovaries are squeezing with the desire for motherhood.

You may read the above numbers and feel that overwhelming need to up your dating strategies. I’m with you… I remember this well and now have the privilege of mentoring many women in this space.

I’m certainly an advocate for expanding your horizons when it comes to picking your plus one, I was 100% set on a husband taller than me but as I got older brains became sexier than looks and I can rest my chin on my hubby’s head!

Jana’s two daughters, who are in the middle of her brood age-wise. (Credit: Supplied)

But that only happened for me two years ago. Before that, I chose the route of having my daughters as a solo mum through in-vitro-fertilisation and sperm donation. It’s the greatest, and most challenging thing I have ever done.

There are several options for women these days, including oocyte freezing, fostering/adoption or the choice to have no children. 

All options take some soul searching and there is no right or wrong answer, just an informed one but it is worth a trip to your GP for a fertility assessment… know your body, prepare it well and then no matter the outcome you gave it your best.

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