If you’ve been trying to conceive, take a minute to breeze through these tips to help you get there faster.
Your fertility is like a Daedalian machinery, governed by a host of intricate cogs and wheels, namely your nutrition, your stress levels and your general wellbeing. Aligning all these to optimise your fertility can sometimes take more time and effort than you initially anticipated.
Need a helping hand? This guide shows you the way.
Lose the Pounds
Being overweight or underweight can often wreak havoc with your hormonal ecosystem, derailing your oestrogen production. In women, an elevated body mass index can also contribute to insulin resistance and ovulation dysfunction. Meanwhile, overweight men often suffer from compromised testosterone production and poor sperm quality. If you or your partner are overweight, even a weight loss of as little as five kilos can work wonders for your fertility. Consider consulting a dietitian to seek help with a fertility-enhancing nutrition programme.
Cut the Stress
Deadlines. Traffic. Spiralling finances. Continued attempts at conception. If you find yourself lamenting at life’s never-ending list of problems, know that the reigns are always in your hands. It’s up to you to slow down and take life at your own pace. Stress plays a key role in conception, being inherently linked with your menstrual cycle. The more stress you have, the more likely you are to impact your periods. In your partner, stress can affect sperm production and function, and reduce libido. While it may be impossible to cut stress out from your life completely, adopt measures to minimise it. Yoga, meditation and spa therapy can be golden in restoring your peace of mind.
Kick the Butt
Smoking isn’t good for you. Period. But even more so, if you’re trying to conceive. Research reveals that smoking women take longer to conceive and run a higher risk of infertility. Smoking is also linked to miscarriage, pregnancy complications and ectopic pregnancy. Likewise, men who smoke have been found to have reduced sperm quality. Passive smoking is thought to be just as dangerous as active smoking, so whether you’re a smoker yourself or have a smoker in your household, try to carve a smoke-free ecosystem for yourself to minimise the fumes in your immediate environment.
Bid Farewell to Alcohol
Prime yourself for nine months of alcohol abstinence by going easy on the alcohol now (drinking during pregnancy can lead to birth defects and learning disabilities). Too much alcohol can impair your fertility, so it’s best to limit your intake to five drinks a week. Get your partner on board for your teetotalling trip to help you along.
Go Big With Multivits
Vitamin deficiency can lead to congenital defects in your baby, so get busy chowing down on multivits if you aren’t already (remember to consult your doctor first). Folic acid can minimise the chances of neural tube, heart and limb defects while iron, vitamin B12, vitamin C and vitamin D supplements can improve your egg quality. Ask your doctor for a holistic supplement plan.
Catch the Egg
Conception is a science in itself, and figuring out which days you’re fertile can get you halfway to the finish line. You typically ovulate 14 days before the beginning of your next period, so if you have a 28-day cycle, count back 14 days from your next expected period to pinpoint ovulation and plan intercourse in the days leading up to it. Granted, it can be baffling to try to get the exact timing right, but there are many tools to help you out. From online period calculators to home fertility tests, rely on technology to get you through. Also, keep an eye on your cervical mucus to spot textural changes. As your mucus gets to the consistency of an egg white, know that ovulation is approaching, and plan accordingly.
The key to boosting your fertility lies in several factors, which you can achieve with just a few lifestyle changes. While these efforts may seem daunting now, seek heart in knowing that they will pay off in the long run. And that the finish line is closer than you think.
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