Kick The Smoking And Drinking Habits
Smoking can lead to fertility problems in both women and men. Chemicals found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, speed up the loss rate of a woman’s eggs, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Smoking ages a woman’s ovaries and depletes her supply of eggs prematurely, according to the Mayo Clinic. In a study published in 2020 in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, researchers looked at scientific findings around smoking, alcohol, addiction and fertility they found that smoking is linked to decreased fertility.
It’s also a good idea for women to stay away from secondhand smoke, which may affect their chances of becoming pregnant. should also be avoided while trying to conceive.
It’s safest for a woman to avoid alcohol when she is hoping to become pregnant. A woman should also stop consuming alcohol if she stops using birth control because she wants to get pregnant. That said, a 2019 Danish study of 1,708 women over a five-year period did not find a link between regular alcohol consumption and binge drinking, and fertility, according to the study published in the journal Human Reproduction.
However, a 2017 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that about half of pregnant women in the United States drink alcohol around the time they become pregnant or in early pregnancy, usually before they know they are expecting.
Once a woman becomes pregnant, there’s no safe amount of alcohol, Pavone said.
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.
Get Help For Violence
Violence can lead to injury and death among women at any stage of life, including during pregnancy. The number of violent deaths experienced by women tells only part of the story. Many more survive violence and are left with lifelong physical and emotional scars.
If someone is violent toward you or you are violent toward your loved onesget help. Violence destroys relationships and families.
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Cut Back On Strenuous Workouts
Being physically active most days of the week can help a woman’s body prepare for the demands of pregnancy and labor, and has been associated with a reduced risk of fertility problems, scientists reported in the March 2020 issue of the journal Human Reproduction. But getting too much exercise or doing frequent strenuous workouts could interfere with ovulation, Live Science reported.
Doctors see a lot of menstrual disturbances in women who exercise heavily, and a lot of times these women need to cut back on their workouts if they want to become pregnant, Pavone told Live Science.
Optimize Vaginal Health Use A Sperm
Vaginal dryness is more common than we may think. In a study across 11 countries involving over 6,500 women, up to 18% of women aged 1834 years reported always or usually experiencing vaginal dryness4. This can be worse when trying to conceive as there is a tendency to have lots of baby-making sex. Some of the most commonly available lubricants can be harmful to sperm so be sure to use a sperm-friendly lubricant.If you have any abnormal vaginal discharge, it is worth speaking to your doctor. Common vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, can be treated easily and make trying for a baby easier.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant
The amount of time it takes to get pregnant is different for each person, and can depend on a lot of things .
If youre fertile and having unprotected vaginal sex, theres a very good chance youll get pregnant within 1 year. About 85 out of 100 people who try to get pregnant succeed within 1 year. But everyones different for some people its much faster, while it may take longer for others.
If youve been trying to get pregnant for 6 months to a year with no luck, talk with your doctor, or visit your local Planned Parenthood health center to see if they can help and make sure everythings okay.
Why Cant I Get Pregnant
When youre ready to start a family and youre not getting pregnant, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Especially if youve tried the conventional methods to maximize your chances: having frequent intercourse during your fertile window, tracking your temperature every morning and using tools like ovulation tracker apps and predictor kits.
You may start to wonder is this a medical problem or do I simply need to be more patient? Youre not alone. One in 8 couples struggles to conceive. Chantel Cross, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center at the Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Maryland, explains what factors might be affecting your ability to get pregnant and when you might consider infertility treatment.
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What Happens When You Fall Pregnant
For a woman to get pregnant, a mans sperm must fertilise her egg. A woman releases an egg from her ovary once every month. This usually happens about 14 days before the first day of her next period.
Most women ovulate each month. Occasionally, more than one egg is released, usually within 24 hours of the first egg. At the same time, the lining of the uterus begins to thicken and the mucus in the cervix becomes thinner so that sperm can swim through it more easily. The egg begins to travel slowly down the Fallopian tube, a tube that stretches from the ovary to the uterus.
If there has been recent sexual intercourse with ejaculation by the man, the egg is most likely to be fertilised in the Fallopian tube. The lining of the uterus is now thick enough for the egg to be implanted in it after fertilisation.
The level of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone changes in a womans body during pregnancy. As soon as she has conceived, the amount of oestrogen and progesterone in her blood increases. This causes the uterus lining to build up, the blood supply to the uterus and breasts to increase and the muscles of the uterus to relax to make room for the growing baby.
If the egg is not fertilised, it passes out of the body during the woman’s monthly period, along with the lining of the uterus, which is also shed. The egg is so small that it cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid When Trying For A Baby
Monica Moore, founder of Fertile Health, LLC
Some foods are not recommended when attempting pregnancy because they can contain Listeria, a bacteria that can cause an infection that can be harmful to the baby. Any cheese product containing unpasteurized milk can be a vehicle for listeria, as can prepared salads that you might find in a supermarket. Also, raw foods can contain bacteria or parasites that are also harmful and should not be ingested. Women should also avoid fish that are high in mercury, like tuna and swordfish. Any raw fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed as well.
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Try To Maintain A Healthy Weight
Your BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The ideal BMI before conception is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Having a high BMI can reduce your fertility and increases the risk of complications in pregnancy. Being overweight can also contribute to fertility problems in men .
If you have a very high BMI you may feel like it is an impossible task to reach the healthy range and you may have been struggling with your weight your whole life. Try not to lose heart, bringing your BMI a few points down the scale can make a big difference.There is professional support available if you need it.
If your BMI is in the underweight range it may affect your fertility and cause health problems during pregnancy. It may help to put on weight gradually with a healthy diet. There are many reasons why a person may be underweight. You GP can give you help and advice.
How Safe Is Acupuncture
The side effects that do happen are minor. Needles can hurt when they go in your skin, but if this does happen, it won’t last long. You may also bleed a little bit. Rarely, people have nausea and vomiting as well as headaches, but the problems usually don’t last more than a day.
Acupuncture is safe. The FDA regulates the equipment and requires that practitioners use each needle only once. You should be able to see your acupuncturist take each individual needle out of a sterile packet. Clean needles make sure that more serious side effects like infection with HIV or hepatitis B won’t happen.
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How Is Infertility Defined
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex for women under 35 and six months for women 35 and older.
The vast majority of people will become pregnant within the first 12 months of trying to conceive with regular unprotected intercourse, says Cross. After six months to a year of trying depending on a womans age we recommend that a couple comes in for an infertility evaluation. At that point, its more likely that theres a problem preventing pregnancy.
How Often Should You Have Sex
You might have read that having sex too often reduces sperm quality and quantity. Some research has shown that sperm have better quality when collected after a 2-3 day period of abstinence. Studies have also shown that higher rates of conception are seen in couples who have sex every 1-2 days.
Making love once a day or every other day during your fertile window will increase your odds of getting pregnant.
Try to have sex more often, but dont force yourself into a schedule. It could lead to unnecessary stress. Ultimately, the ideal number of times to have sex is what feels comfortable to you.
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Learn Your Family History
Collecting your familys health history can be important for your childs health. You might not realize that your sisters heart defect or your cousins sickle cell disease could affect your child, but sharing this family history information with your doctor can be important.
Other reasons people go for genetic counseling include having had several miscarriages, infant deaths, trouble getting pregnant , or a genetic condition or birth defect that occurred during a previous pregnancy.
How Can You Find An Acupuncturist
Look for a practitioner who is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Most states also require that acupuncturists get certified. Check with your state medical board for local requirements.
Some doctors are qualified to do acupuncture. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture has a list of acupuncturists who are also medical doctors.
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Have A Parenting Talk
Most of the experts and real moms we spoke with agreed that it’s important to chat with your partner about some of the biggie parenting issues — like how you’ll share childcare, working vs. staying home, religious traditions — before you start trying. “But before you start freaking out over differing opinions on circumcision, public vs. private schools, or other things that are way down the road, remember that you can and will change your mind about a lot of these issues as you go along,” say Odes and Morris. “The important thing is for couples to start talking about their priorities, expectations, and fears throughout the entire process, especially before you get pregnant.”
Ditch The Birth Control
Your family doctor will review your current method of birth control and talk about how long it might take for your hormones to return to normal levels. Once you stop taking birth control pills, for instance, ovulation usually starts again within weeks, but if you have been getting Depo-Provera injections it might take nine months or more before you ovulate, says Aseel Hamoudi, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University. With barrier methods of birth control, its as simple as putting away the condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms and spermicides. And with intrauterine devices , fertility returns to normal as soon as it is removed.
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What If You Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome , a hormonal disorder, is one of the most common reasons for female infertility. It affects between 6% and 12% of American women of reproductive age.
There is no single test to identify PCOS, but a doctor will determine if a woman fulfills two of the following three criteria, the CDC said:
- Irregular periods or no periods, caused from lack of ovulation
- Higher than normal levels of male hormones that may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne or thinning scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
It is not clear why some women develop this syndrome, although it is often diagnosed when they struggle to get pregnant.
There is a strong link between PCOS-related infertility and weight. About 40% to 60% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and healthy eating and exercise have been shown to improve reproductive problems in women with PCOS. A number of prescribed medications may also induce ovulation and regulate insulin levels, such as letrozoleand metformin. High levels of insulin push the pituitary gland to release large amounts of hormones that disrupt ovulation.
Doctors recommend in-vitro fertilization if other interventions have not worked, or as a primary treatment if monitoring, cost and accessibility are not issues.
How To Get Pregnant Fast
Once youve made the big decision to start a family, its hard to wait. And while your patience may be waning, you can begin planning right away. Thats becauseas it turns outtheres more to getting pregnant fast than just having sex at the right time its also about creating the perfect environment so that when sperm meets egg, a healthy embryo grows into a healthy baby.
Conceiving quickly may be the goal, but its never a guarantee. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help kick start the process. So if youre wondering how to get pregnant fast, read on for all the top dos and donts. From tracking ovulation to changing your diet, were sharing a few tips to help you on the exciting journey to parenthood.
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Its Easy To Check His Sperm Count
According to the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, up to 40-50% of infertility in couples is linked to the male. One of the most common problems contributing to male infertility is low sperm count. You can check if your sperm count meets the threshold for fertility quickly, easily, and privately at home with SpermCheck Fertility. This FDA-cleared kit is available online or at your local retailer and is a product of DNA Diagnostics Center , a corporate sponsor of the American Pregnancy Association. SpermCheck is simplelike a home pregnancy test and results are ready in minutes. Keep in mind that other fertility factors like sperm mobility and morphology are also important and should be checked by a healthcare professional.
If youre younger than 35 and havent gotten pregnant after trying for a year, or youre older than 35 and youve been trying for six months, it may be time to see a fertility specialist.
If you still have further questions regarding ovulation, we encourage you to talk with your health care provider or contact the American Pregnancy Association for more information. Being informed about how your body works can help you feel more in charge of your health.
Do Protect Your Health When You’re Pregnant
While it’s never fun to get sick, it’s especially important to take care of your health when you’re pregnant. Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Lakeisha Richardson told The List, “Women who are pregnant should always isolate themselves from sick family members, even their kids, if they have infectious diseases such as influenza, fifth disease, chicken pox, or pneumonia.”
One of the best ways to keep yourself healthy is to get a flu shot. Dr. Richardson added, “Women who are pregnant during flu season should always receive a flu vaccine unless they are allergic to the vaccine. The risk of death and complications during pregnancy due to influenza is almost double when compared to non-pregnant women.”
You can also take care of yourself by dressing safely. Caitlin Hoff, a health investigator at ConsumerSafety.org told The List, “Ditch the heels, and stick to sneakers. As a pregnant woman grows bigger and rounder in her stomach, her center of gravity will be off balance. To avoid a sprained ankle or unfortunate fall that could harm both mother and child, stick to smaller heels, flats, or your most comfortable sneakers to keep both you and your baby safe.”
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