Assisted Conception


Not all women find it easy to conceive, with approximately one in six New Zealand couples suffering infertility. The good news is that, for some women who aren’t ovulating regularly, reproductive technologies, including tablets and injections to trigger higher production of ovulatory hormones, may help.

Problems with ovulation

Common causes of problems with ovulation include:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Over-exercising
  • Poor nutrition
  • Chronic stress
  • Menopause
  • Problems with your pituitary gland

If you want to increase your own chances of ovulation, try these tips:

  • Keep your weight around the average for your height and build
  • Too much exercise can prevent ovulation, try cutting back on your physical activity levels
  • Crash dieting, fasting, skipping meals and other extreme eating habits can cause ovulation problems. Eating healthy, nutritious meals will ensure that your body is in top condition.
  • You probably know that how you feel emotionally can have a big impact on your health. Emotional stress can also cause problems with your menstrual cycle. Learn ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Get lots of rest. Meditation techniques or relaxation training may help.

Medical tests

If you have any concerns about your attempts to conceive, speak to your doctor. Medical tests can check whether or not ovulation took place.

These tests can include a blood test: The presence of progesterone – a level greater than 20nmol/L is enough – it indicates that ovulation did take place. To be effective, this test must be taken about three to 10 days before the start of your next expected period.

Remember: Medical tests such as ovulation predictor kits and blood tests can only ascertain that ovulation probably, not definitely, occurred.


This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot NZ, New Zealand’s parenting resource for during your pregnancy.

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