Trying to Conceive? These 9 Tips Can Help
The road to a healthy pregnancy can be a long and winding one. Thankfully, these tips will make the process of conceiving a little more easy!
When you make the decision to try for a child, becoming pregnant can be stressful. Improve your fertility through a few lifestyle changes, either picking up or dropping certain habits.
Genetics and luck may play a part. But you might not realise there are a lot of other factors within your control that are hampering your chances of conceiving. Here are 9 things you should keep in check to maximise your chances of getting pregnant!
1. Kick that smoking habit to the curb
I’m sure by now you understand the life-threatening detriments of smoking, so I won’t harangue you for long about how this nasty habit can lead to severe health issues later in life. Instead, I’ll focus on how smoking can directly affect your odds of conceiving a child.
Quitting this habit is wildly beneficial for both women and men! In women, smoking can reduce how receptive your uterus is to the egg. And in men, smoking can reduce sperm count and damage DNA. Furthermore, the fact that women who smoke go through menopause (on average) two years sooner than women who don’t, is a clear indication of how smoking damages the reproductive system.
2. Nix caffeine and alcohol consumption
Both of these beverages should be avoided for maximum fertility. In a study by The Fertility Society of Australia, researchers found that “Women who consumed less than one cup of coffee were twice as likely to become pregnant, per cycle, as moderate coffee drinkers and the risk of not becoming pregnant increased with higher consumption.”
While this same research concedes that there still remains little evidence that alcohol consumption is detrimental to women attempting to conceive, experts have found that alcohol consumption can yield poor fertility in men. According to the study, “In men [alcohol consumption] can cause impotence, reduce libido and affect sperm quality.”
3. Learn to destress
Stress can be the root of a multitude of health-related issues. Though there aren’t any clear, direct links between stress and infertility, research is being done to draw a relation between the two. Many doctors believe that stress, specifically trying too hard to conceive, is accountable for nearly 1/3 of all infertility problems.
Allen Morgan, MD, director of Shore Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Lakewood, N.J. says that while doctors don;t know too much about the relation between the two at the moment.; however, “What [experts] do know now is that when stress-reduction techniques are employed, something happens in some women that allows them to get pregnant when they couldn’t get pregnant before.”
4. Start taking multivitamins and supplements
Okay, so taking a multivitamin is hardly an “organic” solution to infertility. But taking a one-a-day type of multivitamin or a prenatal supplement can lend a hand in boosting your overall fertility. Supplements with folate/folic acid will do wonders for your chances of conception, mums!
5. Keep your weight in check
In a study published in the British Medical Journal that found that very lean women and very obese women (BMI >38) had lower conception rates. So, the key is to instill healthy eating and exercise habits that you maintain over the course of your pregnancy.
The best way to know what a healthy weight is for you, is to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index). If you’re curious about your BMI click here to visit the Australian Government’s BMI calculator and healthy weight information page.
6. Eat as if you’re pregnant: clean and healthy
If you’re going to create a hospitable living environment for a child, you might as well start eating like you’re already pregnant. To do this you can eat foods that are rich in whole grains. Not to mention an increase in your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. You should also try to find foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are components in all cell membranes. One food rich in these fats, for those who are fans of seafood, is salmon. If you want to improve your intake of omega-3s, the Mediterranean Diet is a great way to do so.
Also, ensure you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet! Eating enough protein, iron, zinc, and having a higher intake of vitamins regulates menstrual cycles, as well as lower the risk of miscarriage.
7. Watch what you eat
Although it might be convenient and cheaper to pick up fruits and vegetables from your nearest grocer, they might have higher levels of pesticides. These chemicals decrease male fertility which in turn affects your chance of becoming pregnant. It’s a good idea to switch over to organic produce to lower the risk of pesticides.
8. Track your cycle
Having sex within a day of ovulating increases your chance of conception. It usually happens 2 weeks or 14 days after the first or last day of your period.
Knowing your menstrual cycle will help you know when’s the best time to have sex.
You can download an app to help you figure out your cycle if you’re not sure. Alternatively, you could track your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) with a thermometer.
9. Choose your lubricants wisely
You can’t get pregnant without getting intimate. However, when you’re having sex to have a baby, it can feel more like a burden than pleasurable. You might not be in the mood for it but feel the need to have sex because it’s during the fertile window. Many couples use lubricants to help them. However, not all lubricants are sperm-friendly. Choose one that is labelled “fertility-friendly” so you don’t lower your man’s sperm count.
Now you know which products might be lowering your chances of conceiving, improve your fertility and make a few lifestyle changes. We can’t wait to hear your good news!
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