How to increase your chances of getting pregnant - 10 tips
Lifestyle plays an important role when it comes to female fertility, which normally starts to decline after your 20’s. By taking care of yourself, you can increase your fertility in your 30’s and thereby increase your chances of getting pregnant. In this blog post, our midwife, Julie, will provide you with 10 tips on how to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Women are born with around 1 - 2 million follicles (premature eggs) and, unlike sperm cells, no new follicles are produced during a lifetime. During every ovulation, one or more follicles are released from the ovary. Out of these, some go to waste while others develop into eggs. Since no new follicles are developed, the number of eggs will slowly decline, which means a woman’s chances of conceiving naturally decrease the older she gets.
Studies show that your chances of conceiving naturally start to decrease rapidly when you enter your 30’s. That is why it is a good idea to focus on increasing your chances of getting pregnant, if you plan to conceive during your 30’s. The difference between trying to conceive in your 20’s and 30’s will often show in the time it takes from the first tries to actual conception. The decline in fertility that is to be expected in your 30’s will make it harder, but not impossible, to conceive, and by focusing on increasing your chances of getting pregnant, you may shorten the time from start to successfull pregnancy.
In the following you can read our 10 tips to increase your fertility in your 30’s.
1. Increase your chances of getting pregnant by by avoiding cigarettes
Smoking harms your fertility, which has a negative effect on your general chances of getting pregnant. Normally, menopause happens in your 40’s or 50’s, but women who smoke reach menopause earlier than the average woman and smoking also increases the risk of miscarriage.
So, if you are thinking about getting pregnant, or perhaps already are pregnant, you should avoid cigarettes. If you do smoke, our advice is that you stop smoking as soon as possible. Quitting the cigarettes and avoiding passive smoking will help increase your fertility.
2. Choose a healthy diet
If you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, a healthy diet is one of the most important tips we can give. A healthy diet supplies you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Among other things, we use the nutrients to form cells, and our hormones are sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar. Sugar and refined carbohydrates make your blood sugar rise, and this can influence your hormone system.
Studies show that a diet favoring the long-chain omega 3 fatty acid from fish appears to have a positive effect in relation to increasing the fertility for women. Other types of foods, that is said to help increase your fertility are:
- Whole grain food
3. Focus on your BMI to increase your fertility in your 30’s
Being either overweight or underweight can harm your chances of getting pregnant. Overweight can cause difficulties in becoming pregnant as the larger amount of fat can affect the hormone system. The optimal BMI is between 19-25.
If your BMI is more than 30, your chances of becoming pregnant are remarkably reduced and the chances of getting preeclampsia, bleeding and diabetes during the pregnancy is increased. If you are about to enter fertility treatment (ICI, IUI, IVF, or ICSI) it is recommended to have a BMI below 30, as a higher BMI can affect the treatment negatively.
Moderate exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help to improve your menstrual cycle and health and thereby increase your fertility and chances of becoming pregnant. However, too much exercise is not healthy either since it can cause irregularities in your period.
4. Supplements to your diet is an important tip when getting pregnant
Supplements to your diet is an important tip when trying to increase your fertility. One of the most important supplements you can focus on is folic acid. Folic acid is a vitamin B that helps the body make new healthy cells, and if you want to improve your chances of conceiving, it is recommended you start taking the supplement as soon as you try to become pregnant. Studies has proven that folic acid can increase fertility, and if you become pregnant, it will help your baby’s brain and spine to develop.
Another vitamin you can use as a supplement is vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually very important to remember, as many couples with infertility problems have low vitamin D levels. Studies show that vitamin D has a positive impact on improving fertility in both men and women.
If you are in your 30’s and want to increase your fertility, the best thing you can do for yourself is to try to have a balanced diet with supplements, maintain a healthy, normal weight and exercise moderately. The same advice is recommended when you do get pregnant, where a balanced diet is important to your baby’s development.
5. Avoid alcohol and reduce caffeine intake to increase your fertility
Too much alcohol and coffee, more specifically caffeine, can harm your ability to get pregnant. Therefore, a piece of good advice is to stop drinking alcohol when you decide to try to get pregnant.
Additionally, research has shown that caffeine can reduce fertility, but the amount of caffeine must be fairly high (5 cups of coffee or more a day) before it has a direct impact on your ability to get pregnant. By avoiding alcohol and caffeine you can increase your fertility and your chances of becoming pregnant. Remember that tea and soft drinks also contain caffeine.
6. Practice safe sex
Surely, when trying to conceive you should have unprotected sex. But until you have a partner you want to have children with, you should remember to protect yourself during sex. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea are considered to be leading causes of infertility. So, protecting yourself during sex by using a condom will help you to prevent infertility problems later in life.
7. Monitor your ovulation to increase your chances of getting pregnant
By monitoring your ovulation, you provide yourself with an overview of the best times to have intercourse with your partner and thereby improving your chances of conceiving. Today, there are plenty of apps available to register periods and time of ovulation. It is always a good idea to get to know your own body and your menstrual cycle, and when you reach the point where you want to get pregnant it can be a useful tool in the process.
8. Focus on high-quality sleep is an important tip when getting pregnant
It is difficult to say whether stress can have an impact on female fertility. Some studies suggest that stress can affect your menstrual cycle and thereby your fertility. Trying to get pregnant can be very stressful on its own, especially if you are having fertility treatment. Try to limit other stress factors in your life and think about the process of becoming a parent as an exciting journey. The project should not take up all your focus or energy and is not supposed to impact your mood and affect you mentally.
Engaging in stress reduction activities may help increase fertility. Try to find out what works for you – meditation, exercise, being with friends or perhaps therapy? Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and your amazing body in all aspects of your life – both before getting pregnant, in the process of trying, and when you get pregnant.
An important part in limiting your stress is a good night’s sleep. Try to focus on improving the quality of your sleep, as this is the time of the day where your body relaxes. An idea for improving your sleep patterns is to try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. You can also remove any electronic devices from your bedroom, as well as regularly physical activity during the day might help improve your sleep. By reducing stress and increasing your sleep quality, you might be able to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
One of the more alternative things you can try is acupuncture. It can be a good supplement to fertility treatment and perhaps help increase fertility. However, it is important to mention that there is no evidence that acupuncture works on infertility, but there is no harm in trying, and it does have a lot of positive effects, as acupuncture can help regulate your hormone system, immune system, nerve system, and may help you relax. It can also help with mental balance and sufficient blood supply to the ovaries and uterus.
10. When in doubt, contact your doctor
No matter if you are in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s - if you have a suspicion that you might suffer from infertility, we recommend that you contact a doctor. It will not help you to increase your chances of getting pregnant if you suffer from a disease that might cause the need for using donor sperm or eggs to conceive. So, if you are in doubt, contact your doctor.
My name is Julie, and I am a trained midwife working at Cryos Customer Care. I have been a midwife for 6 years and have experience from many different maternity wards, including a stay in Uganda. I provide Cryos’ blog with expert knowledge about fertility, pregnancy and birth. I hope to bring you a step closer to make your dream of having a baby come true.JulieCryos