We all know being fit and healthy can help us in many ways, from increasing our mental agility to improving our moods.
But did you know it can also help your fertility?
Several common conditions like diabetes, obesity, and even asthma can affect your chances of conceiving. A few simple changes not only help reduce these risks, but can work towards enjoying a happy, healthy pregnancy. If you need guidance through the process of making your dream of starting a family come true, the fertility specialists at Cryos International can help you.
Whether you’ve just decided to start trying or are wondering if you may be eligible for fertility treatments like egg donation, here are 5 easy lifestyle changes to help boost your fertility.
1. Make Sure You’re a Healthy Weight
As expected, obesity can impact your fertility levels but being underweight is just as problematic. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your weight is healthy for your height and build.
A healthy body mass index (BMI) is generally considered to be between 20 and 25. When your BMI reaches 30 or drops below 19, you may have complications when trying to conceive. Equally, if your partner’s BMI rises above 30, he too may have lower fertility levels.
This might not be the case for everyone, so it’s important to check with your doctor. That way you both can put together a great diet plan and fitness regimen that works for you and your body.
2. Introduce a Fertility Diet
In the past, yams, garlic, oysters, kelp, and ginseng have been labeled “fertility foods,” but they’re not part of the fertility diets put together by experts like those at Harvard Health.
Rather, their guide on the ideal fertility diet is jam-packed full of protein, good fats, whole grains, and a few indulgent treats. This diet is based on years of research which found that there are 10 evidence-based pointers you can follow.
- Using more unsaturated vegetable oils
- Avoiding trans fats
- Choosing slow carbs (not avoiding carbs altogether)
- Turning to vegetable protein
- Taking a multi-vitamin for extra folic acid
- Making it whole milk (full-fat yogurt or small bowl of ice cream)
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting lots of iron from plant-based foods
- Achieving a healthy BMI
- Enjoying daily exercise (see tips below)
3. Enjoy Some Moderate Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle means you’re at a much higher risk of being infertile, which is why moderate exercise is a must in your new health regimen.
Daily exercise can help you lose weight, enjoy a healthier body, and de-stress. This can be as simple as going for a leisurely stroll at night, cycling to your friend’s house, or practicing some yoga.
It’s important to do whatever feels right to you – without overdoing it. Too much strenuous exercise can inhibit your ovulation and lower your progesterone levels. Stick to a plan that works for your body (again, you may wish to discuss this with your doctor). For example, if you’re within a healthy weight range already and enjoy exercising frequently, up to 5 hours of vigorous exercise each week is OK.
4. Get Rid of Those Harmful Substances
It’s widely reported that smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy can severely harm your baby. But what you may not know is that they can reduce your fertility dramatically.
Drinking alcohol or smoking (even if it’s “only socially”) can reduce the likelihood of conceiving, so it’s better to abstain completely.
Equally, you may want to keep your partner’s drinking and smoking in check. Ideally, they shouldn’t be drinking more than 14 units of alcohol over the course of a week, as this can impact the quality of their sperm. Smoking can have the same effect.
5. Know the Right Time to Conceive
Now that you’re on the right track with your health, it’s a good idea to know when you’re most likely to conceive each month (so you can book in an extra date night – or two)!
Your best chance of getting pregnant is when you have sex within a day or so of ovulating (when an egg is released from your ovaries). This tends to be 14 days after your period finished.
After its release, an egg lives for 12 to 24 hours. To conceive, this egg needs fertilizing with your partner’s sperm within this timeframe (thankfully, sperm can live up to 7 days within your body). One expert on WebMD recommends having sex from day 9 to day 16 for the best chances of conception (taking a day off on days 10, 12, and 14).
A Healthier, Happy You for a Healthier, Happier Baby
As you can see, these steps are very easy to introduce into your everyday life and will quickly enable you to form healthy habits.
The best part?
These simple changes will most likely stick with you throughout your pregnancy and afterwards, meaning a happier, healthier baby and mother.