How does fertilization happen? And how can a man improve the quality of his sperm? And how can women improve the quality of eggs? Is it possible to determine the sex of the newborn in a natural way? These and other questions will be answered in this article.

We start with how fertilization occurs, which occurs when a sperm successfully meets an egg in a woman's fallopian tubes. Once fertilization occurs, this newly fertilized cell (the fertilized egg) is called a zygote.

The fertilized egg then moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus, then burrows into the lining of the uterus, and this is called implantation.

When the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus, it is called a blastocyst. The endometrium nourishes the blastocyst, which grows and eventually develops into a fetus.

Improving the quality of eggs and enhancing fertility

Women can improve the quality of their eggs & enhance their fertility by following some tips, most notably avoiding smoking, reducing stress, eating healthy food and maintaining a healthy weight.

As for a man, he can improve sperm quality by exercising regularly, eating vegetables and fruits especially containing vitamin C, relaxing and reducing stress, boosting his vitamin D, getting enough zinc, eating foods rich in folate, and living a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Avoid smoking

The chemicals in cigarettes “mutate and destroy” the DNA in a woman's egg cells, making some eggs unsuitable for pregnancy.

Reduce stress

Cortisol and prolactin are two hormones that are produced in response to stress. These hormones can interfere with or stop ovulation. In contrast, stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise, or a warm bath can help reduce stress.

Eat healthy

Healthy foods improve overall health, including keeping eggs healthy, as well as improving fertility.

Women are advised to eat plenty of leafy greens, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, fresh vegetables, fruits, and stay away from “trans fats” ( found in baked goods, processed sweets, margarine, etc. ) , refined carbohydrates & processed foods.

Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity in women is associated with reduced fertility, decreased quality of eggs due to changes in the function of mitochondria (an organelle in the cell responsible for energy production) , and increased oxidative stress that leads to cell damage.

Excess weight can also alter the hormonal balance, disrupting ovulation. It is therefore recommended that a body mass index (BMI) be between 18.5-24.9.

The BMI is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters.

Tips for men to improve sperm quality

1.Exercise regularly

Besides being beneficial to a man's overall health, regular exercise can boost testosterone levels and improve fertility.

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that plays a very important role in fertility, fat distribution, muscle mass, and red blood cell production.

Men who exercise consistently had higher testosterone levels and better sperm quality than inactive men, according to studies.

2.Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, especially those containing Vitamin C:

Vegetables and fruits provide your body with vitamins and natural substances that fight free radical damage. The latter has negative effects on the health of cells and also on the sperm.

Eating enough antioxidants from natural sources, such as vitamin C, may help counteract some of these harmful effects. There is also some evidence that vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) oral supplementation may improve semen quality.

However, the recommendation here is that you focus on a healthy diet to get vitamins and do not take any nutritional supplements to improve fertility only after consulting a doctor.

3.Relax and reduce stress:

Stress and tension may reduce a man's fertility, and researchers believe that the hormone cortisol may play a role.

Constant stress increases cortisol levels, which has strong negative effects on testosterone. When cortisol levels rise, testosterone levels drop.

4.Vitamin D

Vitamin D may boost testosterone levels. According to one study, males who are deficient in the vitamin D are more likely to have low testosterone levels.

5.Get enough Zinc:

Zinc is an essential mineral found in large amounts in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and shellfish. Low zinc levels have been linked to reduced testosterone levels, poor sperm quality, and an increased risk of male infertility in recent studies.

6.Don't forget folate

Some studies suggest that low folate intake may impair semen quality. Among the foods rich in folate are green vegetables, legumes, and liver.

7.Lead a healthy life

This includes eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising, avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

General tips to increase the success of fertilization and a healthy pregnancy

-Having sexual relations before and during ovulation days:

Thus, the sperm is in the fallopian tube when the egg is released, and this makes it easier for fertilization to occur. Sperm can remain in the female reproductive system for up to 4 or 5 days.

If a woman has regular cycles, she will ovulate about two weeks before her period. This means that your ‘fertile window' will be 7 days before your expected ovulation.

If a woman has irregular cycles, it may be difficult to predict when she will ovulate, but there are methods such as an ovulation test, which is similar to a urine pregnancy test.

Once a woman has a positive result, (check the test instructions for details) she should have intercourse on that day and the days after.

Reduce your caffeine intake, by reducing it to less than 200 mg per day. This is equivalent to a 12-ounce (about 350 milliliters) cup of coffee.

A woman should start taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, as soon as she decides to start trying to conceive, to reduce the risk of certain birth defects.

Can the gender of the child be determined?

There is a lot of talk about this, and most of it is based on general assumptions and may not be accurate or applicable to everyone.

For example, a study found that the likelihood of conceiving a boy may be associated with a woman's consumption of higher levels of potassium, which is found in vegetables and fruits ( bananas, sweet potatoes, and white beans for example)

While some argue that having intercourse closer to ovulation increases the likelihood of a boy being born.

In any case, there is nothing proven, and you should consult your doctor and ask him about the options available about controlling the sex of the child.

We point out here that some may see that attempting to determine the sex of the child is “morally wrong act”, and it involves discrimination and dissatisfaction with the grace of God Almighty.

Pathological causes

According to German endocrinologist Dr. Beate Kvadbeck, unlike infertility, childlessness may be due to pathological causes, such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome.

The doctor explained that it was easy to diagnose hypothyroidism and treat it by using tablets containing thyroid hormones, noting that treatment increases the possibility of pregnancy and its success.

As for PCOS, it is difficult to diagnose and treat, so you should consult your doctor as soon as you notice its symptoms, which are irregular menstruation and increased hair growth in the face, chest, back, and legs.

The PCOS can be treated with drugs that stimulate the ovulation process to raise the possibility of pregnancy, and the treatment takes a few months.