So, you and your partner have decided to take the plunge and expand your family – congratulations! If you want to improve your chances of getting pregnant, there are plenty of ways you can boost your fertility -male or female- and even better, improve your health and form good habits you can pass on to your child too. Let’s take a look at a few of the best, evidence-backed ways to do so.
Getting back to basics
Remember that your fertility is generally a reflection of your health as a whole. If you’re battling to get pregnant, a common sense, big picture approach is the best place to start. This means taking an honest look at your diet and lifestyle – what you’re eating, how well you’re sleeping, whether you’re exercising enough (or too much!) and if you’ve got strategies in place to deal with stress.
Get back to whole, natural foods
There’s so much highly processed convenient junk food out there these days, and it’s so easy to grab something to eat on the run, that we can easily overlook this most crucial aspect of health. Getting back to whole foods the way they occur in nature – and which our bodies evolved eating – is the single most powerful way to take back control of our health. As an added bonus, these kinds of foods are filling and nutritious, but low in calories – so they’re the perfect way to lose weight.
Having an unhealthy BMI can have adverse effects on fertility for both men and women, so by really committing to healthy eating, you can tackle both birds with one stone. Focus your diet around whole grains and starches like sweet potatoes and brown rice and keep processed foods like sugar and oils to a minimum.
Processed and high-fat foods contain a lot of calories in a very small serving of food, making you far more likely to overeat on them. They’re not very good sources of vitamins and minerals either and lack the natural antioxidants and fiber that come as part of the package with whole plant foods.
Manage your stress
Any couple that’s having trouble getting pregnant is probably sick of hearing they should just relax about it and let it happen when it happens, but it turns out that not chilling out may be causing you problem in the first place!
The March 2010 issue of Fertility and Sterility published a study of 700 men which found that stressful events correlated with decreased semen quality. And in women, stress can affect the proper functioning of the hypothalamus gland, which can in turn interfere with ovulation.
If there are factors outside of your control that are contributing to your stress levels, you shouldn’t put additional pressure on by worrying about getting pregnant right now too, but rather give yourself some time to adjust and for things to settle down.
If you’re not managing to cope well with the stresses of everyday life, start looking for some healthy outlets. Exercise is the all-time best stress reducer, and can take whatever form works for you – hiking or walking outdoors, taking dance lessons, or rolling out the yoga mat. Deeper underlying issues that you haven’t been dealing with could also be playing a role, so seeking out the help of a therapist or support group can be extremely useful.
Practice safe sex
If you are seeking practical ways to boost fertility, you must follow this strictly. Having unprotected sex with multiple sex partners improves the chances of getting infected with STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Such infections can cause serious damage to the uterus and fallopian tubes significantly lowering the chances of pregnancy.
What to avoid
While you are serious in adopting practical ways to boost fertility, you must also be aware of things that you need to avoid strictly. Else your efforts will go in vain. Nobody wants that. It goes without saying that smoking and drinking aren’t good for your fertility, whether you’re male or female – so cut down or eliminate alcohol and tobacco altogether. Here are some other potential culprits that aren’t quite as obvious:
If you’re eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, you really shouldn’t need a multivitamin in the first place. This would not be a practical way to boost fertility although you may think you are adding to your efforts.
If you’re taking one on top of a good diet, you could be getting too much of a good thing. Too much vitamin A, vitamin D, and virtually any vitamin or mineral taken in excess can be harming your chances of getting pregnant and increasing the risk of complications.
While a lot of research still needs to be done on the link between dairy consumption and infertility, you only need a little common sense to see a possible connection. Milk is the single largest contributor of dietary estrogen in western diets, and many of the cows contributing to the overall supply will be pregnant themselves. If you suspect you might be sensitive to these hormones, ditch the dairy and get your calcium from greens and beans.
Blood sugar spikes can hamper your chances of getting pregnant, and soda is basically, bubbly liquid sugar. ‘Diet’ options aren’t great either, as artificial sweeteners interfere with your gut bacteria, potentially causing problems with nutrient absorption. Stick to water or herbal teas to quench your thirst.
Get expert advice
No doubt this is the one of the best practical ways to boost fertility. Instead of beating around the bush, you get a reliable guidance. Sometimes it’s a simple over the counter or prescription medication causing fertility problems.
If you’ve addressed all these lifestyle factors and still having difficulty conceiving, then schedule an appointment to chat with a knowledgeable consultant at a specialized fertility clinic like Wijnland Fertility. They’ll be able to advise you on what else to try, how best to get to the root cause of the problem, and what the next best steps are.
Article Submitted By Community Writer