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For many women looking to start a family, it can be challenging to determine basic lifestyle changes they can implement to increase their fertility. Some steps may seem obvious in hindsight, while others may seem counterintuitive.
If you’re trying to conceive, consider these simple changes that may improve your fertility.
5 Things to Avoid for Increased Fertility
While most women know not to drink alcohol during pregnancy, it is less well-known that drinking alcohol can decrease the odds of getting pregnant in the first place. While alcohol is in no way a pregnancy prevention option, women who are having difficulty conceiving may want to cut alcohol out of their diet.
The toxic chemicals within cigarettes can cause hormonal changes and medical conditions that can impede pregnancy. Smoking has been shown to reduce fertility in women over time due to several factors. Quitting smoking can help women get pregnant and reduce health risks to their baby later on.
Quitting is necessary for the health of the baby, as smoking while pregnant is dangerous to a growing fetus. It’s a good idea to give up smoking before you become pregnant so you don’t have to deal with the withdrawals and other difficulties associated with the cessation of smoking while you are pregnant.
3. Night Shifts
It may sound counterintuitive, but night shifts and working late can reduce fertility. Women who work at night may disrupt their circadian rhythm, which can cause hormonal imbalances that make pregnancy more difficult to achieve. These hormonal imbalances can also affect the menstrual cycle, which adds another layer of complexity to the issue.
4. Caffeine Addiction
While a cup of coffee in the morning is unlikely to be a problem, a serious caffeine addiction can cause hormonal changes that make it harder to become pregnant. For women looking for something simple to raise their odds of conception, consider cutting back on caffeine to a cup of coffee or less per day.
There are several prescription and over-the-counter medications that many women take without considering the effect on their fertility. If you have difficulty conceiving, it is a good idea to make a list of all the medications, vitamins, and supplements you take regularly and consult a pharmacist about any impact they may have on your attempts to get pregnant.
Want to Learn More About Fertility and Your Options?
For patients who have questions about fertility or infertility, you can see our answers to common questions related to infertility. If you have been trying to conceive for over a year without success, you may want to consider undergoing fertility testing. We also offer acupuncture treatments that have been proven to enhance fertility.
5 Things to Pursue for Increased Fertility
We have covered things to avoid when trying to conceive, but avoiding problems alone is often insufficient. If you are looking for things you can do to increase your fertility, consider the following positive steps.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a major health problem in the United States these days. You may not know that gaining or losing a significant amount of weight can throw off your hormone cycles and make it harder to conceive. Maintaining a stable weight allows your hormones to settle and can increase your overall fertility.
Obesity is linked to several types of fertility concerns. Therefore, it is often better to stabilize your weight at a healthy level if possible.
2. Regular Exercise
Exercise may seem like an obvious answer to fertility concerns. After all, exercise is often touted as a cure-all for many medical conditions. In this case, exercise is useful to maintain your general health and keep your body balanced. Exercise can help stabilize your hormone cycles and ensure you are physically ready for the rigors of pregnancy.
3. Take Folic Acid and Prenatal Supplements
Women trying to become pregnant should begin taking folic acid and other prenatal supplements at least a month before attempting to conceive. Technically speaking, folic acid does not increase your fertility; however, taking folic acid supplements does make getting pregnant safer for you and your child.
For this reason, we strongly recommend that you begin taking prenatal supplements before you are pregnant. If you want to learn more about eating well while trying to conceive, you can read about how certain foods affect your fertility here.
4. Maintain Low Stress
High levels of stress can have a serious impact on your fertility. High stress levels can throw off hormone cycles, cause weight gain, and impact mental health. None of these are good for you while trying to get pregnant.
It may not be easy, but maintaining a lower stress level can help increase your fertility through several means.
5. Get Adequate Sleep
This may be another obvious step to take, but ensuring you get enough sleep is vital to ensuring your fertility. Circadian rhythm disruption can make getting pregnant more challenging, and lack of sleep can also increase your stress levels. Most adults need between eight and ten hours of sleep per night. If you are consistently sleeping less than eight hours, you should consider lifestyle changes that allow you to do so.
Contact Reproductive Fertility Today!
If you are interested in learning more about lifestyle changes or fertility treatments we recommend, please call our office at (310) 929-6707. You may also fill out our online consultation form, and we will schedule your appointment at one of our Southern California offices.