Recently my 6 year old asked me where babies come from. “Well, when a mommy and a daddy love each other”…
It makes getting pregnant sound so simple and straight forward. But for millions of couples dreaming of starting a family, getting pregnant is not that easy. If you are one of those TTC, improving your health could increase your ability to conceive! Here are a few areas that you should consider improving on in order to enhance your overall preconception health:
1. Eating Right
According to the National Fertility Info Website, “Numerous studies have shown that specific changes to the diet can increase the chances of healthy ovulation, prevent recurrent miscarriage and support a healthy pregnancy.” (nationalfertilityinfowebsite.com) Eating healthy effects both men and women’s fertility health. Several studies reviewed on this site suggest eating a particular “fertility diet” can increase your ability to conceive, but following a basic healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with lots of water such as that outlined at myplate.gov is a great place for any of us to start!
Keeping a normal Body Mass Index or “BMI” is the most important thing for men to keep in mind while trying to conceive. A 2007 study indicates that as male BMI rose, so did their rates of infertility (Livestrong.com).
2. Exercising Right
“Though most of us never think about it, exercise is actually a key factor in many cases of infertility.” This quote from SharedJourney.com emphasizes the importance of exercising right while trying to conceive. There is a fine balance between too much and too little exercise for the woman actively trying to get pregnant. Your goal should be to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. For those who are overweight, regular exercise can help encourage weight loss, therefore reducing its negative affects on fertility. On the other hand, being underweight or undergoing regular strenuous exercise can lead to disruptions in the ovulation cycle by affecting the menstrual cycle (webmd.com). Moderate, regular exercise seems to be the balance needed to help reach your goal of pregnancy.
Men need to be careful while trying to conceive too. Over-exercise can cause the testicles to remain at temperatures at or above 96 degrees causing sperm to die, leading to a low sperm count. Underweight men also can experience lower sperm mobility and poor sperm morphology (sharedjourney.com).
3. Give up Alcohol and Tobacco
Drinking alcohol and using tobacco while trying to conceive could diminish your chances of pregnancy. Alcohol consumption can interrupt menstrual cycles as well as reproductive function, not to mention the serious problems it could cause the baby if the drinking occurred before you knew you were pregnant (Livestrong.com). Smoking ages your eggs and heavy smoking actually damages your ovaries (whattoexpect.com). But don’t despair, your body is amazing and can repair the damage quickly once you quit! The WhattoExpect.com website has a lot of great recommendations on ways to help you stop smoking!
But, it is not only the woman who need to kick the tobacco habit, smoking lowers sperm count, slows sperm mobility and can cause impotence. But again, the body is amazing and can repair the damage quickly! Within 90 days of quitting sperm can show an improvement in number and mobility.
Finally, it should go without saying that one of the most important things you can do on your journey to conception is getting great medical care. See your doctor to give you more information on how living a healthy lifestyle can help you achieve your desire to conceive!