Fertility refers to the normal human ability to bear an offspring. Hormonal cycles in males and females determine when they can achieve it.
The age of first menstrual cycle (menarche) in females is between 9 to 15 years and that of last menstrual cycle is usually between ages 45 and 55. Menarche does not signal that the female is fertile. It only suggests a possibility. Ovulation marks fertility. The first menstrual cycles are likely to be anovulatory. Around 80% of the females have anovulatory cycles in the first year after menarche. Ovulation is the release of a mature egg which becomes available for fertilization. Peak fertility in a menstrual cycle occurs one to two days before ovulation to about 24 hours afterward. According to a study, women become far more competitive with attractive counterparts when at the peak of their fertility. Peak fertility years in females are in the early 20s and drops considerably after age 35. Menopause is considered the end of a female’s fertile phase.
Most males become fertile by the age of 14 to 16 years. Males can ejaculate and produce sperm at any time of the month. They can usually remain fertile throughout their lifetime. But with age their fertility also declines with a decline in semen volume, and sperm motility and morphology.
Eating healthily can play a big part in boosting the fertility levels of men and women alike. Factors that can affect both male and female fertility are obesity, smoking, eating too many sweets, and triclosan soaps and deodorants. Keeping a laptop on the thighs, wearing tight underwear and soya-rich diets have all been linked to infertility in men. A study has found that women consuming too much of low fat dairy foods are 85% more likely to have ovulation problems.