December 23, 2018 By Dr Manju Nair
Follow these simple habits to increase fertility
Planning on having a baby? We’ve got some simple steps that can help you boost your fertility.
If you want to have a baby, fertility problems or other troubles that cause difficulty in conceiving can be a real barrier. Making simple changes and including some healthy habits in your daily routine can increase your chances of getting pregnant and improving your fertility rate.
How to improve fertility naturally?
A regular exercise routine
Studies have observed that physically active women are less likely to experience infertility issues. Women who vigorously exercise regularly in the years before they start trying to conceive, have lowered risk of ovulatory infertility.
Manage your weight
Being under or overweight can all pose an issue. Women who are overweight produce excessive male hormones called androgens, estrogen and insulin, all of which negatively affect the quality of the egg and prevent its release from the ovary too. Underweight women face problems as well because the low levels of leptin tell the brain that the body is not ready for pregnancy as it does not have enough fat. So, maintaining the ideal weight by gaining or losing a few pounds can help improve ovulatory function and increase your chances of conceiving.
For men as well, maintaining the right weight is important as over, and underweight men tend to experience sperm quality problems.
Skip the artificial lubricants
Many of the lubes available in the market contain spermicides that affect sperm quality and numbers. Switch to natural lubricants like canola oil or pick sperm-friendly lubricants that are spermicide free when you are trying to conceive.
Plan and do it on the right days
If you are trying to conceive, knowing your fertile days is very important to maximize your chances. Use a fertility calculator and find out the best days to have sex where your chances of getting pregnant are maximum. Ideally, it is best to start about five days before you start ovulating and your ovulation period is between the 10th to 16th day of your cycle, about 14 days before your next period. To maximize your chances, over the counter predictor kits can help as they measure the rise in LH hormone which occurs just before ovulation.
A healthy lifestyle
A healthy diet and routine is an important factor that affects your fertility rate. Trans-fats increase the chances of infertility as they reduce the ability of the body to control insulin levels and diabetics are more prone to chances of infertility.
Another definite no is smoking. Cigarettes have an impact on the fertility levels of both men and women. The toxins present in these hamper egg production, increase chances of genetic abnormalities, risks of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies in women. In men, smoking reduces sperm count and lowers sperm motility.
Consumption of excessive alcohol and caffeine also has negative effects on the body. Limit caffeine intake and try to abstain from alcohol altogether if you can or at least try and keep it minimal.
Boost your folate
During the period that you are trying to conceive, increase your folate intake to higher dosages by consuming foods like oranges that are rich in it. Increased folate in the body has shown to make a significant increase in the fertility rates of both men as well as women.
Pick the right proteins
When you’re trying to conceive, it is best to reduce your intake of animal proteins as studies conducted showed that women who consumed more animal proteins were more likely to have ovulatory infertility when compared to those that opted for plant proteins. Limit the consumption of animal proteins to two servings a day and increase your intake of healthy plant proteins like beans, nuts, and tofu.
Anxiety and stress can reduce your chances of getting pregnant because when you are stressed out, hormonal changes occur. Try meditation or simple exercises that relax your mind and body, keep you calm and increase your chances of conceiving.
Try better positions
Although there is no exact position that is best to conceive, trying something that keeps the sperms in the vagina for longer could better your chances. Since the vagina naturally tilts backwards, missionary position can help get the sperm closest to the vagina, increasing chances of getting pregnant.
Men, keep it cool
It is important for men to keep the private parts cool because sperm production requires temperatures lower than the body temperature. So, skip the tight clothes, hot baths, computers on the lap or any other such things that increase scrotal temperature.
Get help if required
Sometimes, despite continuous efforts, couples are unable to conceive due to infertility problems. With the advancements in technology and the continuous research that is going on the in the field of reproduction, many infertility issues have solutions with high success rates. So, if you are trying to conceive and things are not going your way, don’t be disheartened and give up hope. There are many assisted reproductive technologies that enable couples who have infertility problems to overcome them and have a baby. If you need help, a fertility specialist can help diagnose the root cause of your problem, give you healthy tips to improve your fertility rate and help boost your chances of conceiving. Assisted reproductive technologies like In-vitro fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) make the parental dreams of infertile couples come true. Don’t shy away. Get help from a fertility specialist if you need to.
Must read – What are some of the fertility basics?