If you’re hoping to have a baby one day, either soon or in the far-off future, there are various lifestyle factors you can alter to increase your chances of conceiving. This applies to both men and women, as reproductive health is important for both parties. Once you have decided that the time is right to start a family, you may hope to conceive virtually straight away, but it doesn’t always happen that way, especially if you are not making healthy lifestyle choices. I have teamed up with a London fertility centre to explore the impact of certain lifestyle choices on fertility in further detail.
Statistics show that women who exercise moderately and regularly tend to fall pregnant quicker than those who don’t. Exercise can also boost a man’s fertility because it can improve sperm count and quality. It’s worth noting, however, that if you are already at a healthy weight, vigorous exercise might decrease your fertility by impacting your menstrual cycle. A short walk each day is a safe option, and you might also want to consider yoga to help prepare you for pregnancy and childbirth. Once pregnant, swimming is a great form of exercise because it will help carry the extra weight.
The foods you eat can also impact your chances of conceiving. It’s wise to increase your intake of foods rich in antioxidants, like folic acid and zinc. With this in mind, be sure to eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grains. As well as potentially helping you conceive, a healthy diet also makes for fewer risks to your child. The Mediterranean diet is a good one to follow as it is rich in antioxidants and other important nutrients.
Of course, the amount of sex you’re having, and the timing of your intercourse play an important role in whether or not you will conceive. It is recommended for couples trying to conceive to have regular sex during the ovulation period, which is usually between 10 and 14 days before the bleed. Every other night during ovulation would be considered a regular schedule.
If you’re a smoker, you’re probably fed up with being told to quit. However, doing so may increase your chances of conceiving a healthy baby. Smoking damages the genetic material in both eggs and sperm, so it may take you longer to conceive and miscarriage is more likely, as well as birth-defects. Second hand smoke is also damaging, and it might take a woman longer to conceive if they are exposed to second hand smoke. Other toxins in the environment can also impact fertility, such as pesticides, which is another thing to be aware of.
Drinking alcohol can affect fertility for both men and women, even moderately. Alcohol can lower testosterone levels and sperm quantity and quality in men and can even cause impotence. It also reduces libido. For women, alcohol can affect ovulation and ovarian reserve. If you’re trying to conceive and especially once pregnant, it would be wise to avoid alcohol altogether.
The hormones released when stressed can affect a persons’ fertility, so it’s important to try and reduce stress where possible. Doing so can increase the blood flow to the reproductive organs in both men and women, therefore increasing the nutrients supply to those areas. Unfortunately, stress is a prominent part of life in any society, whether it be psychological, social, or physical. With that said, you may want to consider stress busting activities, such as meditation, counselling, and general relaxation.