Your ability to conceive a child is impacted by many factors, some of which are within your control and some not. There are some fairly simple, day-to-day choices you and your partner can make to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Generally, the lifestyle choices that improve your fertility are quite similar to those that are recommended for good overall health, with a few key elements.
Keep an eye on the scale
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to improve your chances of conceiving. Normal ovulation is a critical part of fertility, and being either overweight or underweight can disrupt your ovulation cycle.
Exercise, but not too much
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think that a rigorous exercise program is the place to start, but exercising too much can actually reduce your body’s production of hormones that are important to fertility and may inhibit ovulation.
For most people, limiting alcohol consumption is a good idea for several reasons. For example, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink can help you control the number of calories you consume. However, if you’re hoping to get pregnant, quitting altogether is the best bet.
First, heavy drinking has been linked to disorders that can impact your fertility. Second, there’s a good chance that you could conceive and not know it. No safe level of alcohol consumption has been established for conception or during pregnancy, so abstinence is the recommended course of action.
Limit caffeine consumption
A small amount of caffeine doesn’t appear to affect female fertility. One or two cups of coffee, six to eight ounces per cup, won’t likely impact your chances of conceiving, but more may. You should aim to stay under 200 milligrams of caffeine per day to optimize your fertility.
Get plenty of sleep
Abstaining from alcohol and limiting caffeine consumption are both ways to improve your sleep, and getting enough good sleep may improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Poor sleep hygiene is associated with numerous health conditions, and may be linked to hormone production. According to the Mayo Clinic, working the night shift could put you at a higher risk of infertility.
There are many reasons to quit smoking, and if you want to conceive, you can add one more to the list. Smoking has been linked to lower fertility because it ages your ovaries. Additionally, smoking during pregnancy leads to lower birth weight and an increased risk of complications.
Quitting before you get pregnant means you’ll be healthier, your pregnancy is likely to be safer, and your baby healthier.
Protect yourself against STIs
Sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are the number one cause of female infertility. Practicing safe sex is one of the most important ways you can improve your chances of conceiving.
Common substances like dry-cleaning solvents and pesticides contain toxins that have been linked to lower fertility. Avoid environmental pollutants whenever you can.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your fertility, book an appointment online or by phone with Dr. Pourzand. She’s happy to provide a consultation and discuss your specific situation with you.