For some women getting pregnant is really easy. While for others getting pregnant can take years and involve a lot of heartaches.
Hi there, welcome to another post, today we are going to be talking about all related to the process of getting pregnant. If you want to learn how to do it faster and gracefully, and the things you can do to increase your fertility naturally, keep on reading.
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The range of experiences differs so greatly because there are so many factors that affect the process of getting pregnant. Which is why even for a healthy, fertile woman in her early 20s, the chances of getting pregnant are just 25% in any given month.
Luckily, these days there is an excellent understanding of conception and the biology behind it. For instance, there are many simple things that you can do to enhance your fertility. They include:
Timing of ovulation: knowing the days your body is ready to conceive greatly improves your chances of getting pregnant
Your pre-pregnancy diet: Which foods or beverages should you be eating or avoiding if you’re trying to get pregnant?
Planning for pregnancy
Before you began thinking about getting pregnant, you probably thought it was just a matter of jumping into bed, having unprotected sex, and nine months later a baby! And off into the sunset, you go.
Yes, getting pregnant can be that simple. But like most things in life, the best results are achieved when you prepare for it.
The first step to achieve pregnancy is fertility.
Male and female fertility both rely on a delicate balance of hormones. These can be influenced by environmental factors, food, toxins in the environment, age, stress and other emotions, illness, physical activity, etc.
One of the key factors which women can do to increase fertility is to be aware of their usual cycle and the influence of external factors.
For men, an understanding of their own fertility and steps to better sperm health are also a critical component of increasing a couple’s fertility.
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What to do to increase fertility if you are planning a pregnancy.
A healthy diet to increase fertility
Try to stick to a balanced diet, that includes loads of fruit and vegetables (particularly green leafy vegetables and legumes), low-GI complex carbohydrates and low-fat protein including meat, poultry, and fish.
Dairy foods appear to have positive benefits in supporting conception.
Avoid fatty foods, highly processed foods and foods high in sugar as these can impact hormone balance.
Trans-fats may impact on fertility. These can be found in highly-processed foods such as chips cooked in fat, some highly processed cereals, pastries and pies, cakes, and pizza.
While fish can be an important part of a healthy diet, increasing levels of toxins and heavy metals may make some fish a risky food choice when you are trying to maximize your fertility.
Smaller fish like sardines tend to have a lower risk of toxins and are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids but larger fish like shark can be higher in heavy metals like mercury.
Avoid soft drinks and even high levels of coffee and tea. Herbal teas and water are the best drinks. Fruit juice is high in fructose which can interfere with the sensitivities of insulin and other hormone balance.
Quit smoking to increase fertility
There is solid evidence that smoking tobacco or marijuana, drinking alcohol and coffee and taking recreational drugs all have a negative effect on fertility.
A large number of studies have found that smoking has an adverse effect on both male and female fertility.
In women, cigarette smoking can disrupt egg maturation, follicle development, ovulation frequency and fertilization rates, with eggs exposed to nicotine having higher levels of chromosomal abnormalities. Smokers also have increased rates of miscarriage and less success of a positive pregnancy with IVF.
In men, smoking lowers sperm count and motility and has been found to increase abnormalities of sperm shape and function.
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Reducing Caffeine to increase fertility
There are a number of studies that show direct links between high levels of daily caffeine consumption (more than 300mg a day) and low fertility in both males and females. And continued high intake of caffeine during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage.
Many fertility experts suggest that couples who are keen to fall pregnant cut caffeine from their diets.
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Reducing alcohol to increase fertility
Even relatively small amounts of alcohol can have an adverse effect on both male and female fertility.
Moderate to high levels of alcohol consumption in women is linked to increased miscarriage risks, ovulation dysfunction, luteal phase defect and abnormal development of the endometrial lining.
Moderate to high levels of alcohol consumption in men is linked to abnormal liver function, raised estrogen levels (interfering with sperm development) and a significant drop in sperm numbers.
Control Stress levels to increase fertility
There’s evidence that chronic or intense stress can affect your reproductive system. Studies suggest that women with higher levels of stress had an increased risk of infertility. And of course, having trouble getting pregnant can cause quite a bit of stress!
So if you feel that your stress levels might be affecting your health and your ability to conceive, talk to your doctor about ways to cope. Several studies have found that alternative medicines, such as yoga and acupuncture, have actually shortened the time it took for infertility patients to get pregnant.
Some studies have led scientists to believe that high BPA exposure could mess with men’s and women’s fertility. BPA is a chemical found in some plastic items, such as water bottles, food containers and even in the lining of aluminum cans. BPA potentially can lower sperm count or reducing the number of viable eggs. Limit your BPA exposure by avoiding canned foods and avoiding consuming anything from a plastic container with the recycling number 3 or 7 on it (usually on the bottom of the container).
Exercise to increase fertility
One study found that doing regular, moderate physical activity like walking, cycling, etc. cut down the amount of time it took women to get pregnant.
A healthy weight is crucial for increasing fertility, is harmful to be obese as it is to be underweight, check with your doctor to achieve a normal and optimal weight.
Keep in mind that, the human body is a complex creature. Not enough physical exercise can reduce fertility in both males and females. And too much activity will also have a negative effect on fertility.
Aim for a healthy balance of diet, exercise, sleep, and activity. Again speak with your healthcare provider if you have any individual concerns which you feel may be impacting your fertility.
The big take away on this post is that trying to get pregnant can be an exciting, emotional and at times traumatic journey and couples who are going through this experience can feel very vulnerable. And that, trying to conceive is one big waiting game you never know if this will be the month that pregnancy test turns positive. But thankfully there are a few ways to help boost your odds of getting pregnant.
By following these simple steps you can save time and money in the process of getting pregnant.
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Stay tuned for more helpful posts like this one.