If you have a fertility diagnosis, it can feel like control over your own body has been stripped from you. Fortunately, that’s not entirely true. Some fertility diagnoses – like PCOS – can often be reduced enough that you can get pregnant without reproductive assistance. Even if your fertility diagnosis requires fertility treatments – many things are still entirely within your control when it comes to boosting your chances of getting pregnant.
10 Fertility Boosting Actions You Can Take Right Now
Here are 10 examples of simple things you can do right now to make your body a more healthy and viable space for a fertilized egg to take up residence.
- Become an expert on ovulation. You know one of the main reasons people struggle to get pregnant at home? They don’t understand the importance of pre-filling the pipes with extra sperm before the mature egg makes its way out of the follicle and down the fallopian tubes. Eggs only live a maximum of 24-hours so there isn’t much time for fertilization to occur. Healthy sperm, on the other hand, can easily live for 48-72 hours – and some sperm live even longer. Read, Maximizing Fertility at Home, for more detailed information about timing intercourse with your personal ovulation cycle, for maximum fertility benefit.
- Get tested. If you’re 34 years or younger, and you’ve tried to get pregnant for 12-months or more, it’s time to investigate further. If you’re 35-years or older, we recommend meeting with a fertility specialist after 6-months. If there’s a fertility issue in the mix, fertility testing will shed light on the subject and help you to create a personalized fertility plan.
- Quit smoking. Smoking (along with excessive drinking and taking illicit drugs) is associated with infertility in both women and men.
- Exercise regularly. There are multiple reasons why exercise boosts fertility; it helps you to maintain a healthy BMI (more on that next), it promotes more balanced blood sugar and insulin levels, which is better for hormonal balance and it’s better for your overall. There’s no doubt that healthy bodies are better at conceiving and carrying healthy, full-term babies, so make exercise a priority. Ideally, you should exercise five days a week, for at least 30-minutes per day.
- De-stress yourself. For years we had anecdotal evidence that psychological stress affected fertility rates. Now, science is proving it. If you’re participating in the traditional, fast-paced, go-go-go culture, odds are you’re experiencing your fair share of stress as well. Add to that the stress of not getting pregnant, and you may be your own worst enemy. Make life changes, and personal changes, to minimize and mitigate stress. Take yoga, go on walks, learn deep breathing techniques, get acupuncture, shift your perspective – do what it takes to minimize stress.
- Maintain a healthy BMI. Your body mass index is directly correlated to your chances of being infertile. Obesity is linked to infertility issues in both women and men, and it may come as a surprise to learn that under-weight women also struggle to get pregnant too. According to ASRM, you want to maintain a bodyweight of 19 and 24. Check yours HERE to see if you’re in the healthy range.
- Eat well. Not surprisingly, your eating habits will affect fertility. Food can be a source of health – or disease – depending on your choices. If you’re trying to get pregnant, we recommend focusing on a diet of lean proteins, whole-grains, lots of fresh fruits and veggies and that includes more water than sugar- or sweetener-infused beverages. Since many herbicides/pesticides are associated with infertility issues – prioritize meat and veggies that are raised and grown without them. Try to eliminate processed foods and snacks along with white flour and white sugars. For women with PCOS, the low-carb/no-carbohydrate diets are the key to ovulation and weight loss, such as the South beach Diet or the Paleo Diet.
- Shift to an anti-inflammatory diet. If you are overweight, diagnosed with PCOS or have health or immune-system issues, consider making the switch to an anti-inflammatory diet. Much is being discovered about the connection between healthy immune systems and fertility. Inflammation can make it difficult to conceive and/or carry a baby full term. Combining exercise, healthy lifestyle choices and an anti-inflammatory diet can make a big difference on your physical wellbeing.
- Eliminate endocrine disruptors and other toxins from your home. If it isn’t considered “eco-friendly,” odds are it contains endocrine disruptors – chemicals that mimic estrogen or other hormones and can disrupt your own hormone balance. For this reason, OBs and fertility specialists recommend removing endocrine disruptors from your home and work place.
- Don’t wait to have a baby. We get it. You have life goals you want to accomplish before you have a baby – education, career, travel, independence – and all of those have value. However, advanced maternal age is quickly becoming the leading cause of infertility in the U.S. as more women wait to have babies. The reality is that fertility begins to take a notable dip after age 35 and it begins to plummet by the time you reach age 38. Don’t put yourself in the position that you rely on fertility treatments to get pregnant if you don’t have to. They are expensive, labor intensive, hard on relationships and there is no guarantee they will be successful. It’s worth it to have a baby a little sooner than you would have chosen, to enhance your chances of unassisted reproductive success.
If you suspect you’re struggling to get pregnant as the result of an infertility issue, schedule a consultation with NCFMC and we’ll help you get to the bottom of it. We’ll do all we possibly can to boost your chances of fertility success.
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