Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Research shows that consuming too much caffeine while you are trying to conceive can increase the risk of miscarriage. The research shows that this applies to both women and men. Too much caffeine in pregnancy has also been shown to be harmful to the developing baby.
If youre planning to conceive, you and your partner should consider limiting your caffeine intake to 200mg a day.
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 journalReproductive 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, according to a 2009 study published in BMJ Journals. Taking or attempting to conceive should also be avoided.
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 journalHuman Reproduction.
However, a 2017 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that in the United States, half of all pregnant women drink alcohol around the time they conceive or during early pregnancy, usually before they know they are expecting.
Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins
“Prenatal vitamins are important before and during pregnancy to help your body meet the demands of pregnancy and aid in your baby’s development,” says Dr. Nwankwo. “Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins. Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements. However, your prenatal will help fill in the gaps.”
A run-of-the-mill multivitamin won’t cut it when you’re pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are specially designed multivitamins that deliver the extra amounts of nutrients needed during various stages of your baby’s development. For example, they contain folic acid, which is important for baby’s brain development in the earliest stages. And many have vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones and teeth during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Plus, prenatal vitamins help make sure you have enough nutrients such as iron, to not only provide to your baby but so your own body doesn’t become depleted.
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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 folic acid, 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 perform 225300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week .
When Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant
The best time to conceive is during a woman’s “fertile window.” Ovulation occurs when the ovaries release an egg, which travels down the fallopian tube and survives for 12-24 hours. You can get pregnant if the egg gets fertilized with sperm the chances are highest within 24 hours of ovulation and one day beforehand. But because sperm can live for three to five days in the reproductive tract, it’s also possible to get pregnant by having sex in the five days leading up to ovulation.
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Keep To A Healthy Weight
If you’re overweight, you may have problems getting pregnant and fertility treatment is less likely to work.
Before you get pregnant you can use the BMI healthy weight calculator to find out your BMI. But this may not be accurate once you’re pregnant, so consult your midwife or doctor.
Having a healthy diet and doing moderate exercise are advised in pregnancy, and it’s important not to gain too much weight.
Stop Drinking Alcohol Smoking And Using Certain Drugs
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using certain drugs can cause many problems during pregnancy for a woman and her baby, such as premature birth, birth defects, and infant death.
If you are trying to get pregnant and cannot stop drinking, smoking, or using drugsget help! Contact your doctor or local treatment center.
Alcohol and Drug Resources
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Vitamins That Help You Get Pregnant Faster
Can the taking of any type of vitamin or supplement actually help you conceive a child faster than those who dont take vitamins? Can vitamins actually increase your fertility? The answer is yes if you ask experts at the Texas Fertility Center. According to fertility specialists, you need a good nutritional status in order to help your body conceive a child. This seems to hold true of both men and women.
For women, it may mean just taking a good prenatal vitamin. Research has indicated that taking a prenatal vitamin can not only decrease your chances of having a preterm birth and decrease your chances of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, but it can maximize your fertility.
In one recent study, women who were trying to get pregnant through fertility treatments got pregnant faster than women who didnt take prenatal vitamins. In fact, the participants who took prenatal vitamins had a doubling of their chances of becoming pregnant when compared to participants who just took folic acid prior to conceiving.
What this means is that it is possible to get pregnant faster if you take a prenatal vitamin, although research hasnt been done on women who arent undergoing fertility treatments and who take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins can be purchased over the counter and cant hurt you, even if you take them while not pregnant.
These particular vitamins have the ability to enhance your fertility. You can take them alone or as a part of the total prenatal pill package:
Testing For Sickle Cell And Thalassaemia
Sickle cell disease and thalassaemia are inherited blood disorders that mainly affect people whose ancestors come from Africa, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, India, Pakistan, south and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
If you are pregnant and live in England you will be offered screening tests for these disorders, but you do not have to wait until you’re pregnant before you have a test.
If you or your partner are concerned you may be a carrier for 1 of these disorders, perhaps because someone in your family has a blood disorder or is a carrier, it’s a good idea to get tested before starting a family.
You can ask for a free blood test from either a GP or a local sickle cell and thalassaemia centre.
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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.
How Do I Choose Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are readily available over the counter and a prescription is generally unnecessary.
If you’re concerned about which to choose, don’t be. “There’s not much difference between over the counter and prescription prenatals, and both are adequate,” assures Dr. Nwankwo.
“Sometimes prescription prenatals may have special formulationsfor example, they may have a stool softener added to help with constipation, or they may have additional iron. The pills may also be smaller and easier to take. But it’s not necessary,” she says. “It also doesn’t matter whether you take a tablet or a gummy, just make sure it has the right amount of vitamins you need.”
Every vitamin can differ in the types and amounts of nutrients it contains because specific vitamin ingredients aren’t regulated by the FDA. If the vitamin you choose doesn’t contain the full recommended daily amount of a nutrient, be sure to eat foods that are high in that vitamin or mineral.
When shopping for prenatal vitamins look for these four primary nutrients that are especially important during pregnancy, per Dr. Nwankwo and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):
- Folic acid: 600 mcg
- Iron: 27 mg
- Calcium: 1,000 mg
- Vitamin D: 600 IU
The following vitamins are also essential during pregnancy, and you may not get enough of them through diet alone. Having these in your prenatals are helpful too:
- Vitamin A: 770 mcg
- Vitamin C: 85 mg
- Vitamin B12: 2.6 mcg
- Choline: 450 mg
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Stop Smoking Alcohol And Drugs Limit Caffeine
If you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, you should stop before you get pregnant. They can:
- Make it harder for you to get pregnant
- Increase the chance of miscarriage
If you need help quitting smoking, alcohol, or drugs, talk to your doctor or midwife.
Alcohol can harm a growing fetus , even in small amounts. Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause long-term problems for your baby, such as intellectual disability, behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and facial and heart defects.
Smoking is bad for unborn babies and puts your child at greater risk of health problems later in life.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a lower birth weight.
- Smoking also makes it harder for you to recover from your pregnancy.
Drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor can be dangerous for you to take at any point in your life.
You should also cut down on caffeine when you are trying to get pregnant. Women who daily consume more than 2 cups of coffee or 5 cans of soda that contains caffeine may have a harder time getting pregnant and a greater chance of miscarriage.
Limit unnecessary medicines or supplements. Discuss with your provider about both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and supplements you take before you try to conceive. Most medicines have some risks, but many have unknown risks and have not been thoroughly studied for safety. If medicines or supplements are not absolutely necessary, do not take them.
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.
The Best Time To Get Pregnant
You are most likely to conceive if you have sex within a day or so of ovulation. This is usually about 14 days after the first day of your last period.
An egg lives for about 12-24 hours after it is released. For you to become pregnant, the egg must be fertilised within this time. Sperm can live for up to seven days inside a womans body. So, if you have had sex in the seven days before ovulation, the sperm will have had time to travel up the fallopian tubes to wait for the egg to be released.
Seek Professional Help If Youre Having Trouble Conceiving
Getting pregnant can be difficult for some people and, remember, as we age it can become even more difficult.
In general, if you are aged over 35 and not pregnant within six months of trying visit your doctor and see if a referral to infertility services is advised.
If youre aged under 35, the time to wait before seeking help varies find out more about fertility and your biological clock.
Conditions such as polycystic ovaries and endometriosis can affect your fertility, as can abnormal sperm and or low sperm counts.
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Does Taking Antidepressants And Anti
There is little evidence to suggest SSRIs and benzodiazepines affect egg quantity, egg quality, ovulation, or chances of conception in people with ovaries:
- Several studies of people using assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization to conceive suggest no effect of SSRI use on hormone levels, number of eggs retrieved, number of eggs that develop into blastocysts, number of embryos rated as “high quality,” or number of embryos transferred. These studies have also not found statistically significant differences in pregnancy rates and live birth rates when comparing people who did and didnt take SSRIs.
- While we have fewer studies to look to when assessing the potential impact of SSRIs on fertility outside the context of ART, the studies we do have also suggest no negative impact of SSRIs.A study of almost 1,000 people with ovaries found no differences in menstrual cycle characteristics as a function of SSRI use, and no significant differences in pregnancy rates. Other larger studies have mirrored these findings, and report no differences in chances of conception between people using or not using SSRIs or benzodiazepines.
- Some studies find that SSRIs increase prolactin, and very high prolactin levels may suppress ovulation. That being said, even the studies that do find a link between SSRI use and prolactin levels dont find that prolactin levels are elevated to a high enough point to affect ovulation.
Increased Risk For Severe Illness From Covid
Although the overall risks are low, people who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with people who are not pregnant. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalization, intensive care, need for a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death. Additionally, people who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are at increased risk of preterm birth and stillbirth and might be at increased risk of other pregnancy complications.
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Research A Lead Maternity Carer
An LMC is a health professional, usually a midwife or specialist doctor, who will look after you throughout your pregnancy and 46 weeks after your baby is born. Its a good idea to choose your LMC early in your pregnancy, so ask for recommendations from friends, family members or your GP before youre pregnant. Learn more about maternity care in New Zealand
Foods To Eat When Planning A Pregnancy
Eating well before becoming pregnant will help your body adjust faster to the changes pregnancy brings. You will need nutrients to help you stay healthy and help the growth and development of your baby.
Folic acid, iron and calcium are especially important. You should take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement every day if you are sexually active and could become pregnant.
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Check Your Family Tree
Get the scoop on the health history on both sides of the family tree . Its especially important to find out if theres a history of genetic or chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or fragile X syndrome.
Other Questions About Getting Pregnant
Can you get pregnant while breastfeeding?
Yes, a woman can get pregnant while breastfeeding. It is possible to become pregnant as soon as three weeks after giving birth, even if the person is exclusively breastfeeding and has yet to begin menstruating again according to the U.K.’s National Health Service .
Can you get pregnant on your period?
Yes, it is possible to get pregnant if a woman has sex during their period, according to theCleveland Clinic. A woman is less likely to get pregnant during menstruation, but it is still possible. Women are most fertile around the time they ovulate, but predicting this window is not an exact science and this is particularly true for women who have irregular periods.
How to get pregnant fast
Many people want to know how to get pregnant as quickly as possible. There is no sure-fire way of ensuring a speedy conception, however by following the science and evidence the above tips can help you find the most optimal times to have sex and get pregnant.
Are pregnancy tests accurate?
When used properly, pregnancy tests are claimed to be up to 99% effective, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your test reads positive, this is rarely an error, however false negatives are more common, according to the NHS.
A pregnancy test works by detecting the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone . Around six days after successful fertilisation, the body produces this hormone.
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