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.
Stay Fit And Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on your body so getting fit before pregnancy will help you after you conceive. If you’re fit before you get pregnant, it will be easier for you to stay active when you are pregnant. Exercise can help to improve your mood and energy levels. It, also reduces stress, which is a good thing when it comes to conceiving. Being a healthy body weight can help you to get pregnant, so the best thing is to try and achieve as ideal a weight as possible before trying to get pregnant. Your doctor will be able to give you information about a healthy weight for you.
Diet Exercise And Conception
There is no special diet that improves the odds of conception, but a healthy range of foods that includes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats is recommended.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to function. Read more about the benefits of vitamins and minerals for fertility and pregnancy health, including folate, iodine, vitamin D, zinc and selenium supplements.
Regular exercise also improves fertility. Australian and international guidelines recommend you do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking, gardening or dancing on most but preferably all days of the week. If possible, do some vigorous activity such as running, fast cycling or fast swimming every week as well.
For men and women who are overweight or obese, exercise can help to prevent further weight gain or achieve a modest weight loss that improves general health and fertility.
As part of weight management, international guidelines recommend that overweight or obese adults do 225-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week .
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The Role Of Age In Fertility
Age plays an important role in fertility. Your chances of being able to get pregnant naturally start to lower slightly in your late 20s, and considerably in your late 30s. Once you hit 40, your chances of conceiving can drop to 5-10%. By the age of 45, the chance of pregnancy drops to less than 5%.
These are statistics for the general population, but theres always room for outliers. There are instances where a 24-year-old can be struggling to conceive, while older women approaching menopause can have an unexpected pregnancy.
Things To Do When Trying For A Baby
There are things you can do now before you try for a baby that will affect your fertility and the health of your baby.
Your health before pregnancy will affect the lifelong health of your baby. By following the advice below you can:
- improve your fertility
- protect your babys future health
- bring down your risk of problems in pregnancy.
Once you start trying for a baby you won’t know you’re pregnant for the first few weeks.
So, if you’re trying for a baby, making these changes sooner rather than later will give you peace of mind when you get pregnant.
- Become more active if you are not already this has been shown to improve fertility and will make your pregnancy and baby healthier
- Have a cervical screening test if you havent had one in the last three years
- Dont take any new medication or stop taking existing medications without talking to your GP or healthcare professional
- Get tested for STIs if you think theres a possibility you may have one
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Get A Good Night’s Sleep
To improve your chances of getting pregnant you need to keep yourself as healthy and happy as possible and that includes getting enough sleep.
‘Sleep is the time our bodies recover and heal,’ says Natasha. ‘And having a good routine around your bedtime is crucial to a good night’s sleep. I recommend closing the curtains and making the space dark for two hours before sleep. Please, no screens in the last hour. I particularly like a cup of chamomile to seal the deal,’ she says.
How Long Should You Keep Sperm Inside To Get Pregnant
“When a man ejaculates, sperm swims out, goes directly into the cervical mucus and into the fallopian tubes,” says Serena Chen, M.D., director of the division of reproductive endocrine and infertility at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Pennsylvania. “This happens in a matter of seconds, regardless of the position during intercourse.”
Some people think that lying on your back with your hips elevated for 20 minutes after sex will help ensure that every last sperm gets a fighting chance at the prize, but the belief has no scientific foundation. Definitely take the excuse to relax after TTC sex, but if you’re short on time, you don’t need to “wait” for sperm to make its way inside.
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What If My Periods Are Irregular
If the cycles are irregular and unpredictable, chances are there is a problem with ovulation and estimating the time of ovulation becomes difficult, and professional assistance may be sought. Another option for a woman with irregular cycles is the use of ovulation predictor kits now available over-the-counter at most drug and grocery stores. These kits can be used to determine the approximate time of ovulation by detecting urinary hormone elevations that precede ovulation. Another approach is to have intercourse every other day throughout the menstrual cycle. This approach will take out the stress or anxiety involved in timing intercourse.
Have Frequent Sex During Your Fertile Window
One of the most common questions among people trying to conceive is: How often should I have sex if Im trying to get pregnant?
The short answer is that it depends on your preferences as a couple, and whether there are any known fertility issues.
Overall, studies have shown that couples who have sex every day or every other day during the fertile window have the highest rates of pregnancy. Also, doctors often recommend sticking to just once a day during the fertile window.
If having sex every day or every other day isnt possible or enjoyable, set a goal to have sex throughout your cycle. This can get you and your partner into a regular sex routine, which can carry you into the fertile window.
When To Get Help
The process of TTC can feel exhausting and frustrating at times, no matter how old you are. However, most women do not need to worry if it takes them a while to get pregnant. Women who are under the age of 35 and have been trying for at least one year, or women older than 35 who have been trying for at least six months, should consult a fertility specialist for help getting pregnant. You should also talk to your doctor if you want to conceive but have a health condition that may impact your fertility, such as endometriosis or PCOS .
Know When Youre Ovulating
Youve probably never really thought about when youre ovulating until now. When youre not trying to conceive, you mainly pay attention to when your period is due so youre not caught unprepared.Now, though, its time to pay attention to what happens in the middle of your cycle. Around two weeks before your period is due, your ovaries release an egg. This is called ovulation.
Its your most fertile time of the month, when you have the best chance of getting pregnant. Thats because your egg has been released and, for a short few days, is ready to meet sperm and create a baby.How do you know when youre ovulating? You can get tester kits from a pharmacy or ovulation thermometers. Or you can pay attention to your vaginal secretions. Around the time of ovulation, youll notice it looks a bit like egg whites clear, stretchy and slippery.
Sperm can live in your body for up to 5 days, while your egg only lasts 12-24 hours. So, if you have sex in the three days before you ovulate or on the day of ovulation, the sperm will be there waiting to meet your egg. Hopefully, youll get pregnant.
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When Planning To Get Pregnant
1. Know your menstrual cycle
After stopping contraception, your menstrual cycle may take time to regulate. Learn about your cycle, so you can track it and identify your most fertile time. Women who are overweight, underweight, who exercise excessively or are experiencing high levels of stress are less likely to ovulate regularly and this can make conception more difficult.
2. Work out when you are most fertile
The best time to have sex is the day before or the day of ovulation – this is when you’re most fertile. Most women ovulate about 2 weeks before their period. If your cycle tends to be longer, you will ovulate later than day 14. Read more on how to find out when you are the most fertile.
3. Recognise the signs of ovulation.
Signs of ovulation include changes to the vaginal discharge, which becomes more like a sticky mucus. Around the time of ovulation most women will have a slightly higher body temperature, so taking your temperature first thing in the morning can help you to track your ovulation. Other ways to track ovulation include over-the-counter kits to test âluteinising hormoneâ and Apps with fertility calendars.
4. Find your healthy weight.
5. Maintain a balanced diet.
A balanced diet is really important for nutrition. If this is a struggle, supplement your diet with a pregnancy multivitamin. Some people may also benefit from specialist advice from a dietitian. There are also some dietary changes you can make to help optimise your fertility.
Stop Smoking Recreational Drugs Alcohol
It’s best to avoid smoking, recreational drugs and alcohol while you are trying to get pregnant and throughout your pregnancy.
If you smoke or take recreational drugs then giving up will improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to your baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum. If your partner smokes, drinks or takes drugs then it is also important that they cut down on these substances while you are trying to get pregnant. Apart from the secondary effects on you, cigarettes, recreational drugs and alcohol can all have an adverse effect on the quality of sperm.
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Stop Using Birth Control Before You Start Trying To Conceive
No kidding, you say. While it may seem intuitive, not all birth control methods affect your body in the same way. Some will stay in your system for weeks or even months after you stop taking them. When youre hoping to get pregnant fast, check in with your OB/GYN to learn more about any potentially lasting effects from your method of birth control.
What Do Studies Show About Males Taking Mucinex For Fertility
Theres not much research to show that Mucinex helps with male fertility, but one case report suggests it may be possible.
In this case report, a man with low sperm count and poor motility took Mucinex for 2 months. His sperm count and motility improved after Mucinex treatment. But, his female partner had not become pregnant at the time the case report was published.
This case report alone doesnt prove that Mucinex can improve fertility in men. More research in a much larger group of participants would be needed to confirm whether this is true.
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Do I Need Infertility Treatment
If youre having trouble conceiving, an infertility specialist may be able to help. The first step after 12 months of trying to conceive is to schedule an infertility evaluation. This multipart assessment includes:
- Physical examination
- Semen analysis
- Evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes
If you or your partner have a known medical condition that affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, sperm or ovulation, talk to your doctor to see if you should be evaluated sooner. For example, if you know that both of your fallopian tubes are blocked, youll need to see an infertility specialist even before trying to get pregnant.
Best Time To Get Pregnant
In addition to the tips above, you can maximize your chances of getting pregnant by having sex on your most fertile days on the day you ovulate and as many as five days prior. If your periods are regular, you can track your menstrual cycle and figure out when those days are for you. Its a good idea to seek medical advice if youre still not getting the plus sign and youve been trying for at least:
- One year if youre under 35
- 6 months if youre 35 or older
Theres really no sure way to know when youre ovulating without a test. Many women dont have regular periods or ovulate in the middle of their cycles. Additional methods to confirm ovulation include:
- An over-the-counter ovulation test, available at local pharmacies
- A series of sonograms to track your ovarian cycle
- A test to measure the amount of progesterone in your blood after ovulation
Make an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss the last two testing options and/or if you have any conditions which may affect your fertility.
At Medical City Healthcare, moms and babies are cherished and protected. We hope that soon, you will need to know how to spot common pregnancy symptoms and early signs of pregnancy. Just remember that whatever happens on your journey from conception to labor and delivery and beyond, we are here for you every step of the way.
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Make Sure Youre Using A Fertility
The kind of lubricant you use during sex can actually make conception more difficult, so much so that the Food and Drug Administration now categorizes certain lubricants as fertility friendly.
This is because the ingredients in many lubricants, such as petroleum, silicone, parabens and glycerin, can harm sperm function. A lubricants pH can also have an effect.
Getting Pregnant In Your 30s
Women between the ages of 30 and 35 still have a reasonably high chance of getting pregnant. However, your fertility has already begun to decline by the time you turn 30. After the age of 30, your chances of pregnancy decline by about 3% each year.
Most significantly, your fertility drops sharply after the age of 35. At age 37, you can expect to have just 25,000 eggs 2.5% of your starting count. The risks of getting pregnant are also higher after age 35. By age 35, you are more likely to experience miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and genetic abnormalities of the fetus. For more information on getting pregnant in your 30s, check out our blog post here.
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Switch From White To Brown
Switch white refined foods to brown wholefoods if possible. That means swapping all white options for brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholewheat pasta.
‘Our blood sugar balance has a regulatory effect on our sex hormone balance. Choosing brown, wholemeal versions which slowly and steady release glucose into the blood stream, will be more beneficial to supporting hormone balance than white refined foods,’ says Hayley.
‘Wholemeal grains also have a higher nutrient density than refined grains but we need to prepare them properly in order to access the benefits,’ says Hayley. ‘Rolled oats, for example, should be soaked overnight to draw out the phytates which otherwise keep important minerals “locked away.” The water containing the phytates should be drained away the following morning before consuming them.’
The Right Time To Test
It takes a week or two after conception for your body to develop levels of HCG the hormone produced by cells that surround a growing embryo in your urine.
Other signs of pregnancy include a missed period, though there are reasons unrelated to pregnancy that can cause a missed period. Those include stress, diet and exercise.
Light bleeding or spotting is not unusual as the egg settles into the uterine lining. Contact your OB/GYN if there is more significant bleeding after a positive test.
Cramps as the egg implants in the uterine lining are not unusual. Also, your breasts may become tender or sore as blood flow increases to support the baby.