Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
When your circadian rhythms are off, it can throw off your ovulation cycles, says Masterson. We see it a lot in women who work night shifts and travel internationally, frequently.
If you have a job that interferes with a normal sleep routine, consider switching your schedule if its not, try to get as much sleep in your downtime as you can to avoid accruing a sleep debt.
But even if you work a traditional 9 to 5, cleaning up your sleep habits may boost your pregnancy chances, too, says Masterson, by helping your body perform optimally. Get more zzzs at night by keeping a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine in the later hours, exercising regularly, and turning off all screens an hour before bedtime.
Boost Your B12 Intake
Almost 50% of us have unhealthy levels of vitamin B12 according to research by health tracking service Thriva , even though we need it for cellular reproduction and men need it for a healthy sperm count. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the bodys nerve and blood cells healthy and makes DNA, the genetic material in all cells, says nutritionist Rob Hobson .
‘Studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency to suboptimal fertility by causing changes in ovulation, development of the egg or changes leading to defective implantation which heightens the risk of miscarriage,’ says Hayley. ‘Chances of successful conception significantly increase once the deficiency has been corrected,’ she adds.
The best sources of B12 include beef liver and clams, but its also found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products. Consider a supplement if youre vegan or vegetarian because vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal foods. Plant foods have no vitamin B12, says Rob. Although some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts and other food products are fortified with vitamin B12.
Dear Ladies Are You Worried About Infertility Worry Not We Spoke To Dr Vinita Das Consultant And Advisor Birla Fertility & Ivf Lucknow On The Issue Here Is What She Said
Written by Satata Karmakar | Updated : September 17, 2021 10:38 AM IST
Female health and fertility have always been highly discussed issues. Fertility issues are on a constant rise among people of both genders and in different age groups. Did you know that almost 15% of couples deal with fertility issues all over the world? Nearly 10% of the total female population faces fertility problems due to different factors regarding women. Issues like PCOS, endometriosis, tubal blockage, and fibroids are common fertility problems that prevent women from getting pregnant despite regular intercourse with their partners. Food and lifestyle choices impact female fertility directly and indirectly. Suffering from fertility problems does not mean that there is no option to manage it. TheHealthSite spoke to Dr. Vinita Das, Consultant and Advisor, Birla Fertility & IVF, Lucknowon the issue. According to Dr. Das, a few simple ways can boost female fertility and increase the chances of conceiving in the future. Here is what Dr. Gupta wants you to add to your daily habits to beat the odds of conception.
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Stock Up On Vitamin E
‘Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Research shows it can be used to reduce age-related ovarian decline. And in men it plays a role in combating free radicals which may otherwise reduce sperm count,’ says Hayley.
‘It’s believed to be important to supplement with 160mg daily, using a natural rather than synthetic vitamin E. The reason for this is that a study , published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the absorption rate of the natural version is more efficient than the synthetic. Almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, beef, corn and eggs are all good food sources of this nutrient,’ she adds.
Use A Basal Thermometer
A basal thermometer is one way to track your most fertile days. Your basal body temperature is a measure of your regular temperature upon waking, which rises as a result of the hormonal changes during ovulation.
With a basal thermometer such as the Beurer Ovulation Thermometer you can track the smallest basal temperature changes in your body, allowing you to know when you’re ovulating and are therefore most fertile. While these sensitive thermometers are inexpensive, easy to use, and a form of natural family planning, they’re not always the best ovulation predictor if you have irregular periods. Many women now find ovulation tests easier and more precise.
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When Is My Fertility Maximum
You have maximum fertility near your ovulation period. If you have a males live sperms inside your body at the time of ovulation, you have the best chances to conceive and get pregnant. The males sperms can live for about 3 to 5 days inside a womans body. So, it is necessary to have them inside you through vaginal insertion within three to five days prior to the day of your ovulation and latest by one day after you ovulate.
Protect It With The Pill
Yes, the birth-control pill may actually enhance your fertility. “I suspect that oral contraceptives, which halt ovulation, quiet down your reproductive system, protecting your ovaries from aging,” Dr. Barbieri says. For some women, the pill can be critical in preserving fertility because it keeps two common conditions, endometriosis and uterine fibroids, under control by slowing uterine-tissue growth. Once you go off birth-control pills, your cycle will return to its pre-pill pattern in about a month.
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When Should You See A Fertility Doctor
Most heterosexual couples should wait one year before seeing a fertility doctorbut in some cases, it’s best to make an appointment sooner rather than later. “If you’re 35 or older, you should see a fertility specialist after six months of trying without success,” Dr. Chen says.
If you’re younger than 35 and have irregular periods or a history of sexually transmitted infections , ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, or other health issues that may affect fertility or pregnancy, Dr. Chen says it’s a good idea to seek out a specialist right away.
Also important to note: When a couple has a difficult time getting pregnant, they shouldn’t be so quick to place blame on one partner over the other. “From day one, couples need to think it could be the woman, the man, both, or simply unexplained infertility,” says Dr. Chen. “About half of infertility issues have to do with the woman, 40% with the man, and the other 10% is both or neither.” The best thing, Dr. Chen adds, is for both partners to be assessed to know for sure.
Start Taking Folate Supplements
Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid is incredibly important if you are trying to conceive. Folic acid supports the neural tube formation of your baby, ensuring proper brain development.
Doctors recommend taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day leading up to conception and for the following 12 weeks after conception.
Why should you start taking folic acid before youre pregnant? The neural tube begins to develop quite soon after conception and is usually complete just four weeks into your pregnancy. Therefore, it might start to develop before you know youre pregnant.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folate as soon as you start trying for a baby. You can also get folate from eating beans, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains like brown rice.
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Be Kind To Each Other
It’s easy to forget each other during the process of getting pregnant. Making a family takes time, energy, a sense of humour and love. If you find yourself just going through the motions and forcing yourselves to schedule sex you may start to miss out on what should be an intimate time. Ironically, this can result in you wanting to less sex.
Every now and again take a break and inject some joy and romance into your relationship. Go on a country walk, treat yourselves to a dinner date, or give each other a seductive massage. Make sure you keep it fun and flirty with lots of talking. Focus on reliving your honeymoon period not making a baby.
Identical Twinning Due To Fertility Treatments
According to one study, identical twins made up 0.95% of the pregnancies conceived with fertility treatment. That’s double the general population’s risk. Researchers do not yet understand why using fertility treatment leads to more identical twins.
One theory is that the culture embryos are placed in during the IVF process increases the incidence of identical twinning. Another theory is that treatments using gonadotropins lead to the increased risk of identical twins.
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Get Help To Stop Smoking
Smoking affects fertility in men and women. If you stop smoking now it will improve your chances of conceiving. Smoking has also been shown to damage the DNA of your baby. During pregnancy smoking is the biggest risk factor for serious complications in pregnancy that you can change.
What Day Should I Start Testing Ovulation
The best time to start testing ovulation is a few days before youre scheduled to ovulate. Ovulation occurs midway through your menstrual cycle, give or take a few days.
Your most fertile days of the month are 1 to 2 days before and after your ovaries release an egg. Sperm can live in the body for up to 5 days. So, conception can occur if you have sex 5 days before ovulation, and up to 1 day after ovulation.
Predicting ovulation is easier when you have a regular menstrual cycle. With a 28-day cycle, youll likely ovulate on or around day 14, so youll want to start testing around day 10 or 11.
If you have a short cycle, you can assume that ovulation will most likely occur within 4 days of your cycles midpoint. So, you should start using an ovulation test kit 4 to 6 days prior to your cycles midpoint.
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Research Best Sexual Practices & Disregard Myths
There is little evidence that certain sexual positions, having intercourse at a certain time during the day or maintaining certain positions after intercourse will improve the likelihood of becoming pregnant. Research does not support the belief that having intercourse more than every 2-3 days helps improve the chances of pregnancy . Additionally, a womans climax may help transport sperm, but there is little evidence to show that sexual climax improves the chances of pregnancy.
Despite the rumor that lubricants can help sperm reach the egg, some lubricants such as K-Y Jelly and some types of Astroglide can affect sperm survival and motility. In fact, some lubricants are spermicidal or are intended to kill sperm. For couples that prefer to use a lubricant, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends using mineral or canola oils or hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricants, as they do not have the same effect on sperm.
Ways You Can Get Pregnant
Whether because of broken condoms, forgotten pills, or poor choices after too much tequila, there are lots of surprise pregnancies that come through my practice. But, truth be told, some of these surprise pregnancies really shouldnt be a surprise at all the couples werent using reliable contraception. In fact, its not unusual for me to see being careful listed as the method of contraception on a patients intake paperwork . Even though effective contraception is more accessible than ever, there are still a lot couples practicing alternative or inconsistent means of avoiding pregnancy.
If youre taking a DIY approach to contraception, and you truly do want to avoid pregnancy, its important to understand just how effective your approach really is:
If you are serious about avoiding pregnancy, your best bet is to use a medically-proven method of contraception. Your doctor can help you sort out the options and choose the right one for you and then you can go from being careful to being truly protected.
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Natural Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Having A Twin Pregnancy
Here are some steps you can take to increase your likelihood of having your ovaries release more than one egg at a time.
Getting pregnant in your 30s or later
You are more likely to conceive twins when you are over 30. This likelihood spans from increased production of the follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH. This hormone is responsible for egg development in the ovaries.
Higher levels of FSH are required as people get older because more stimulation is required for egg growth. The increased FSH levels resulting from lower fertility sometimes causes the follicles to overreact. This causes the release of multiple eggs that bring about multiple births.
Finding a partner with a family history of twins
It is more likely that children of male identical twins reproduce identical twins. Having fraternal twins in your family increases your chances of having twins too. When there are fraternal twins on both the father and mother’s side, the chances of having twins might increase further.
Increasing your weight
People who are obese with a body mass index of over 30 have increased chances of twin pregnancies. The levels of estrogen a female sex hormone increase with extra body fat. The weight increase leads to excessive stimulation of the ovaries. The ovaries might release multiple eggs instead of one. But there are other factors that can make conceiving difficult for people with obesity.
Consuming dairy products
Getting pregnant repeatedly
Iui And Other Forms Of Insemination
IUI, intrauterine insemination, is the most commonly used method because it has the best success rate. While IUI usually includes treatment with fertility drugs, this is not required.
Keep in mind when looking at success rates for IUI that these studies primarily look at couples with fertility problems. If your only difficulty in conceiving is pain during sex or being LGBTQ, and there are no additional fertility issues , your success rates may be higher.
Artificial insemination is difficult for someone who cannot tolerate any penetration IUI requires the placement of a gynecological speculum. There may also be slight cramping upon insertion of the catheter. However, for those who only experience pain with penile penetration or thrusting, IUI could be an option.
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Make The Day You Get Your Period A Celebration
The day your period comes plan something amazing for yourself. It can be getting together with your favorite people for dinner or drinks, going to your favorite restaurant, going to see a good movie, getting a massage, or whatever makes you HAPPY!
Try your best not to discuss the fact that your period came, or if you do, only talk about it in a positive light . If you are able to create something else to look forward to on that day, the pain and disappointment will be just a little less.
Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins that have folic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
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Eat Foods Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants like folate and zinc may improve fertility for both men and women. They deactivate the free radicals in your body, which can damage both sperm and egg cells.
One 2012 study of young, adult men found that eating 75 grams of antioxidant-rich walnuts per day improved sperm quality.
A study of 232 women showed that higher folate intake was associated with higher rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth.
The jury is still out on how much antioxidants will or wont affect fertility, but theres evidence pointing to the potential.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are packed full of beneficial antioxidants like vitamins C and E, folate, beta carotene, and lutein. Eating more of these healthy foods shouldnt hurt in the effort.
Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
So youve decided to start a familycongratulations! For some couples, pregnancy occurs easily and with very little planning. But for others, it takes a bit more time and planning. If you fall into the latter camp, rest assured that youre not alone. The UK National Health Services cites that, on average, it takes 20% of trying to conceive couples more than one year to get pregnant .
The good news is that your probability of conceiving substantially increases the more months that you try. A study of 340 German couples found that the probability of conceiving in the first month of trying was only 38%. By month 12, though, the probability was 92% .
The TTC journey is not always a straightforward path as you contend with factors and influences outside of your control. Happily, your lifestyle can play a big role in increasing your chances of conceiving, and help you regain control over your TTC journey. If youre a healthy couple, evidence suggests that improving your stress, sleep, exercise, sex life, and diet can tip the odds of pregnancy in your favour.
But first, if youre TTC, its important that you understand how the female menstrual cycle works. With conception, timing is everything.
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