Most of us believe that being pregnant comes naturally. Have sex and voila, you’re pregnant. Right? Not really. There are a lot of couples out there who have to try for ages without success to be able to conceive. These couples then opt for various fertility treatments done by professionals to help them conceive. While some couples are in need of these treatments, there are minor and simple lifestyle changes which couples can adopt to enhance their fertility and increase their chances of conceiving.
9. Weight control
Being overweight or underweight can reduce your fertility and there are studies which prove that. A healthy BMI increases fertility in not just women but also men. This is because your weight affects the way your body produces hormones.
In a research, it was found out that of 2,112 pregnant women those with a BMI of 25-39 in their pre-pregnancy took twice as long as those with their BMI between 18.5-24.9 which is the normal, healthy BMI range.
8. Eat well
Eating right will not just help you manage your weight but it will also replenish your body with any nutrients and minerals it may have been missing out on. While there is no specific diet as such for increasing fertility in particular there are foods which you can avoid fatty and fried foods, sugar and simple carbohydrates.
Include more protein, vegetables and fresh fruit in your diet along with fish as they are rich in the good fats, omega-3 and omega-9.
It doesn’t mean you must hit the gym every day after work to get pregnant. Adopt an active lifestyle on a whole. Go for a run whenever you find time or put on your walking shoes and get a stroll. Women who want to get pregnant should avoid strenuous exercises as vigorous exercise reduces progesterone which is a hormone essential for ovulation.
6. Get checked for STIs
Don’t just get checked because you want to get pregnant but also from a general health point of view. Infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility in both women and men but since these are both bacterial in nature, they can be cured with anti-biotics. These usually do not have any visible symptoms so make sure you keep up with your doctor’s visits regularly.
5. Put that cigarette down
Toxins in cigarettes not only damage a woman’s eggs making implantation difficult but also cause the ovaries to age before time.
So, for example, if you are a 35 year old who is in the habit of smoking regularly, your ovaries are performing at the same level as that of a 42 year old woman. “Smoking does permanent damage to your fertility, but when you cut out cigarettes, you get some ovarian function back,” says Dr. Robert Barbieri, M.D., head of obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, and coauthor of 6 Steps to Increased Fertility.
4. Think twice before you drink
While an occasional glass of your favorite wine with dinner will not harm your chances to conceive as such, it is better if you reduce alcohol consumption before you start trying to conceive. Alcohol interferes with the levels of estrogen in the body which can make implantation trickier. Men who are heavy drinkers will have a lower sperm counts then men who drink less or with moderation.
3. Read what your lubricant label says
A lot of commercial lubricants are not sperm-friendly so definitely stay clear of any and all lubes while you are trying to get pregnant. If you must opt for better alternatives like baby oil or Pre-Seed which is a sperm friendly lubricant.
2. Put down that coffee/tea
Too much caffeine consumption has been linked to issues of infertility especially in women. Family planning experts and fertility specialists suggest that women who are trying to get pregnant should limit their caffeine from 200-300 mg daily.
1. Know your cycle
A normal menstrual cycle is usually 21-35 days starting from day one of your period. So, if your menstrual cycle is longer that means you are ovulating less frequently than you should be and you drop by the OBGYN’s office for a check-up. Knowing your cycle is important so that you can chart the days you are most fertile during to have maximum intercourse and increase your chances of conceiving.