8 tips to improve your fertility
While there are many factors that can influence female fertility, maintaining a balanced lifestyle is important if you are hoping to increase your odds of getting pregnant. By taking care of your physical and mental health and improving your overall wellbeing, you can also increase your chances of conceiving. Here we provide you with eight tips for lifestyle changes to support a healthy pregnancy and journey towards parenthood.
1. If possible, start to try conceiving in your twenties or early thirties
A woman’s age plays an important role when it comes to her chances of becoming pregnant. It is not impossible to get pregnant after your twenties, but as female fertility declines with age, it may become a longer and more difficult process the longer you wait. When it comes to choosing a time to get pregnant, the earlier you begin trying for a baby, the better your chances will be. Experts recommend starting to try to get pregnant in your twenties or early thirties.
2. Avoid smoking
As we now know through many years of research, smoking cigarettes is one of the worst habits to have when it comes to maintaining the quality of your health, and therefore your fertility as well. In addition to experiencing decreased fertility levels, women who smoke also reach menopause earlier than women who do not smoke, and smoking can increase the risk of miscarriage.
If you are planning to get pregnant soon, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving. It is recommended that women who are planning to become pregnant also avoid consuming secondhand smoke from others.
3. Maintain a balanced weight
For your body to support a healthy pregnancy, it is important that you are neither under nor overweight while trying to conceive. If your weight is imbalanced, this can alter your chances of getting pregnant, as your hormones may be adversely affected by carrying too much or not enough weight.
With a BMI of 30 or more, your chances of getting pregnant are greatly reduced, while the odds of developing high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes while you are pregnant are increased. In addition to this, exercising too much or not putting on enough weight can cause irregularities in your menstrual cycle. Be sure to talk with your doctor about which weight range will be best for you to stay healthy before, during, and after pregnancy.
4. Enjoy a healthy diet
Participating in moderate exercise while maintaining a balanced diet will also positively affect your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Eating healthy, whole foods will supply your body with the nutrients it needs to support a pregnancy. Fluctuating blood sugar levels occur as a side effect of eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can adversely affect your fertility, as our hormones are sensitive to these changes.
Instead, you should increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber while you are trying to increase your chances of conceiving, which will keep your sugar levels more balanced. While you should avoid soft drinks, fried foods, and sugary desserts, it is also recommended that you incorporate lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins such as meats and legumes, and healthy fats from nuts, olives, and avocados into your diet. Vitamin D supplements are also recommended, as many couples having trouble conceiving also have low levels of Vitamin D, which studies have shown to have an impact on both male and female fertility.
5. Practice safe sex
Of course, while you are actively trying to conceive with a committed partner you should be having unprotected sex – but until you are ready to have children, you should be protecting yourself during sex. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea and chlamydia are known to be some of the leading causes of infertility. Using condoms during sex before you are planning to become pregnant can help you prevent problems with infertility later in life.
6. Avoid alcohol and be mindful of your caffeine intake
It is widely known that consuming alcohol while trying to conceive can adversely affect your ability to become pregnant, as well as negatively affect your baby’s health if your attempts to conceive are successful, but many may not be aware that drinking too much caffeine can also affect your fertility. Many of us enjoy drinking coffee or tea daily, but it is important to be mindful of how much you are consuming if you are trying to get pregnant.
More than five cups of coffee or more a day is not recommended for those trying to conceive, as this may have a direct impact on your body’s ability to support a pregnancy. While trying to become pregnant, it is advised that you refrain from drinking alcohol, as well as cut down on your caffeine intake if you are having several caffeinated beverages daily (remember that soft drinks may also contain caffeine).
7. Monitor your ovulation
Fortunately, there are many apps and ovulation tests available to keep track of your menstrual cycle and ovulation times. When trying to become pregnant, it is always a good idea to learn more about your body and your cycle with one or more of these tools, as this will help you determine which times of the month or even times of the day will be most ideal for you to successfully conceive. Tracking your ovulation will help guide you when choosing the best time for you to have intercourse with your partner, or inseminate at home. For home insemination, it is recommended that you monitor your ovulation for at least three months before you purchase donor sperm and begin the process of home insemination.
If you want to learn more about the cost of home insemination compared to other fertility treatments, we recommend you to follow the link to our blog post on the subject.
8. Try to manage your stress
Trying to have a baby, especially if you are going through any fertility treatments, can be a stressful time for both you and your partner. Although it is still difficult to say whether stress has a direct impact on female fertility, some studies suggest that stress can affect your menstrual cycle, and therefore your chances of conceiving. While you are trying to get pregnant, do your best to limit other factors in your life that may be causing you stress, and try to keep a positive mindset about your fertility. While trying to become pregnant, maintaining your mental health is just as important as maintaining your physical health.
Try to find an activity that helps you manage your anxiety around conceiving, such as meditation, yoga, or other exercise. You may find that spending quality time with friends or family or even therapy may be beneficial for you during this time. The path towards parenthood is an exciting journey, so don’t forget to celebrate yourself and the amazing job you and your body are doing along the way - before, during, and after your pregnancy.
- If you are able, start trying to get pregnant in your twenties or early thirties
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Enjoy a balanced diet
- Practice safe sex before you are ready for a baby
- Avoid drinking alcohol and reduce your caffeine intake
- Monitor your ovulation and familiarize yourself with your body’s cycle
- Manage stress