How to improve your fertility? Dr Asha S Vijay
There are a variety of simple but effective ways to help improve a couple’s chances of conceiving. These natural techniques can be beneficial for all couples trying to conceive.
Recent studies have found that women having BMI (body mass index) in the overweight or obese category have a much harder time becoming pregnant. A normal BMI falls in the range of 18.5 to 24.9. Anything above 25 is considered to be overweight, and over 30 is obese. The results of the study showed that the chance of pregnancy was lowered by four per cent for every one incremental increase in the BMI over 29 when compared to women with a BMI in the 21-29 range. Additionally, women with a BMI between 35-40 had a 23-43% less chance of pregnancy when compared to those in the healthy range.
It’s always a good idea to eat nutritious food, especially if you’re trying to conceive. Your body will thank you for it! Eat fresh fruits green leafy vegetables, salads and sprouts. Avoid oily food, junk food like pizzas & burgers. Food with higher chances of pesticides and medicines are to be avoided. Some studies have indicated that red meat consumption may hamper fertility because of the rampant use of hormone injections to make animals muscular and plump.
Stress is generally bad for our bodies no matter the circumstance, but it can have an even deeper hindering effect. So next time life becomes too much to handle, take a deep breath and try to relax. Make stress-reducing activities a priority in your daily schedule, just like you would with cooking dinner and walking the dog. And be sure to unwind at the end of each day by doing something that relaxes you and takes your mind away from everything. Many studies have shown that regular meditation and pranayama helps significantly in the reduction of stress. It is recommended that couples trying to conceive meditate for 20 to 30 minutes every day.
Avoid Starbucks and Happy Hour
Let’s face it !!! Most of us need coffee to get going in the morning. It’s like happiness in a cup. Most of us also enjoy going out for cocktails with friends and drinking cold beers in the hot summer sun. But both of these factors could have a negative impact when you’re trying to conceive. Generally, studies suggest that caffeine shows a decrease in fertility, and according to The March of Dimes website, women who want to become pregnant should not consume more than 200mg of caffeine per day. It is important to note that caffeine can be found in various substances like tea, chocolate and some soft drinks. A study published in Fertility and Sterility found that the chances of becoming pregnant dropped by more than 50% when women reported drinking alcohol while trying for a baby. If you’re opting for fertility treatment, a recent study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that women who drink at least four alcoholic drinks per week had a 16% less chance of becoming pregnant than their counterparts. It’s good to monitor your intake of these drinks, or just say no to them altogether. Many foods can give you that burst of energy you crave, and there are plenty of yummy non-alcoholic beverages you can try.
Say NO to drugs
Recreational drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, have been found to lower sperm counts and increase abnormal sperm, while female drug users can face ovulation problems. So any form of substance abuse will hamper your chances of getting pregnant.
Put Down the Cigarettes
The numerous chemicals in cigarettes have a detrimental effect on a person’s fertility status. It decreases the chances of conception significantly. There are many resources available to help women battle their addiction to cigarettes. If this is something you may be struggling with, think about reaching out to a partner or family member for support.
It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to conceive. Most sleep experts agree that seven to eight hours of sleep each night is a good target for the average adult. If you are falling short of this recommendation, try setting up a bedtime routine that includes a warm bath before bed and some downtime, like reading or journaling, rather than watching television.
Work Around Your Cycle and Use Ovulation Tests
It’s no secret that women have the best chance of becoming pregnant during ovulation. This 12-24 hour window usually happens anywhere between 12 and 15 days after your period starts, based off on a regular 28-day cycle, and you are most fertile two to three days prior through the first day of ovulation. It is important to note that sperm can live in the uterus for three to five days, so having sex leading up to ovulation can help. There are many ways to try to pinpoint when you are ovulating. For example, your discharge should turn into the consistency of egg whites and your body temperature will increase. When you notice these changes, it means it’s time to get busy. The most common is an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) that gives you positive results the day before you ovulate, giving you ample time to plan. There are also fertility-tracking apps that can help you monitor your body and help identify peak fertility windows. Putting a little time into ovulation tracking has a tremendous benefit — you increase your chances of pregnancy.
Folic Acid intake
Folic Acid has been shown to prevent spina bifida in babies, so it is vital that you get enough before and during pregnancy. But this vitamin can also help you on a number of levels. It belongs to the B-complex family of vitamins that target the production of the genetic materials DNA and RNA, both in the egg and the sperm. When you combine Folic Acid with the other B vitamins, you can also increase your overall chances of becoming pregnant. Research has shown that giving B6 to women who have trouble conceiving increases fertility and vitamin B12 has been found to improve low sperm counts, so make sure your partner gets plenty too. But these aren’t the only supplements you should be taking to help your fertility, also try including Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene to really give you the health boost you need.
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