If you are planning on conceiving this year, you might want to direct your resolutions towards improving your health to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Here are some suggestions:
Resolution #1: Eat Well
Here’s some great news for you: Staying well-nourished can boost your odds of conceiving. Make sure to include enough iron, protein, vitamin C and D, and zinc in your diet. Deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to lengthened menstrual cycles and less frequent ovulation. You might also have a higher risk of early miscarriage. Ask your doctor if you need to take a daily multivitamin supplement. Do not forget to eat protein-rich foods such as beans, eggs, fish, meat and low-fat dairy products.
Resolution #2: Watch Your Weight
Excess body fat not only poses several risks to your health, it can also lead to an overproduction of certain hormones that tend to disrupt ovulation. Your cycles can be less regular so you may ovulate less often, lowering your chances of getting pregnant. Having too little body fat, on the other hand, may cause your body to not produce enough hormones to ovulate each month or worse, to sustain a pregnancy once you do conceive. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, just make sure to not overdo it. You can also consult your doctor about your workout routine before trying to get pregnant.
Resolution #3: Think Before Drinking
The effect of diet on fertility is not yet clear, but several research studies have found possible correlations between what women eat and the odds for getting pregnant. We also know that being over or underweight can negatively impact fertility; you do not want to take that risk. Eating healthier and engaging in regular exercise improves one’s overall mood. Infertility is an emotional rollercoaster – anything that you do that improves how you feel is worth doing.
Resolution #4: Become an Empowered Patient
Studies have linked alcohol consumption with a decreased ability to get pregnant – it can also harm a developing fetus. Alcohol alters estrogen levels and this can interfere with egg implantation. You should also consider cutting back on caffeine as you try to conceive as well as during your pregnancy.
Resolution #5: Steer Clear of Pesticides
Several pesticides and herbicides (chemicals used to kill insects and weeds that threaten crops) can affect female fertility and decrease male fertility by disrupting the menstrual cycle and inhibiting ovarian function. Most studies that were done deal with how occupational exposure affects fertility, but a study published in an issue of Human Reproduction is the first to show how eating vegetables and fruits with pesticides can affect sperm count. If you are looking to get pregnant, it is always best to eat organic vegetables and fruits. Make sure to wash those with residues carefully. If you have a lawn or garden, avoid applying pesticides.
Setup an appointment with Dr. Fay Weisberg today if you want to know what your fertility options are.