Ask the GP: ‘I’m 35 and looking for tips on how to get pregnant’

Women looking to conceive should have intercourse every two to three days.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

16.24 12 Feb 2024

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Ask the GP: ‘I’m 35 and lookin...

Ask the GP: ‘I’m 35 and looking for tips on how to get pregnant’

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

16.24 12 Feb 2024

Share this article

Women looking to get pregnant, aged in their mid to late 30s, should visit a GP after six months without conception.

That is according to Dr Sumi Dunne in this week’s 'Ask The GP' segment on Lunchtime Live.

One listener told the show how she had begun taking folic acid in preparation for her first pregnancy attempt and asked the doctor for other recommendations.


Dr Dunne said regular intercourse is what's most important.

“Intercourse every two to three days is what’s recommended,” she said.

“You shouldn’t do it every day because sperm regeneration is at its optimal every two to three days.

“A healthy lifestyle is recommended too, which means eating well and moving well – I know it’s easier said than done, but relaxation really works.

“There's a lot to be said for taking some time out, mindfulness, and meditation – sometimes acupuncture can help if trying to conceive becomes an issue.”

Six-month wait

Dr Dunne said to visit a GP after six months without conception.

“Particularly for women aged around 35 or 36, we would always say give it a good six months, she said.

“If you haven’t had a successful conception leading to a pregnancy then do get in touch with your GP.”

Fungal infection

One listener who asked how best to treat fungal toenail infections was informed by Dr Dunne that the issue could take a year to fully clear up.

“Now is the time of year to start treating it to have the summer sandal look,” she said.

“It’s notoriously difficult as toenails grow very slowly and it takes about a year of treatment.

“Treatments need to be applied every week, you need to file down the top of the thickened nail and then apply the solution.

“It [treatment] needs to be ongoing and consistent – even then you may not get a satisfactory solution.”

Long recovery

Dr Dunne said to expect a long timeframe for recovery.

“It needs a lot of patience,” she said.

“It doesn’t go overnight or two or three months – you’re talking six months to a year of applying this solution.

“Sometimes oral tablets are what we call the last line because they are not pleasant and they do need monitoring by your GP.”

Cold leg

Another listener was warned to visit the GP after sharing that he, an active man aged in his 40s, suffers from one of his legs which is persistently cold from the knee down.

Dr Dunne described the issue as “unusual” and said, “it does need monitoring”.

“Particularly if there’s a temperature difference with one leg compared to the other,” she said.

“It would also depend if there is a background history of complex disease like diabetes and also if there’s a smoking history too.

“It’s worth going to your GP to have your pulses checked.

“There are pulses in the lower limb so we would check at the back of the knee, down and the ankle and the toes.”

She added that it was "important" the listener in question should visit the GP for tests.

Main image: Dr Sumi Dunne pictured in the Newstalk studio today. Image: Newstalk

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