Are you ready to have a baby? Awesome! Or, are you planning to be ready to have a baby at some point in the relatively near future? That’s awesome, too! Often, our patients’ lifestyles take a notable swing in the “healthy” direction when they find out they’re pregnant.
However, here in the reproductive health world, we’ve learned that even the ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant can be linked to the eating, exercise and lifestyle habits you cultivate before you’re ready to conceive.
5 Fertility Boosting Facts to Help You Get Pregnant Faster
And, of course, it takes two to tango – so you should share these facts with your partner as well. Healthy men make healthier sperm, so his lifestyle and habits count too!
- Understanding your menstrual cycle is key. There are many generalities about the menstrual cycle; it lasts 28 days; you ovulate on day 13/14; a skipped period here and there is no big deal. In fact, the first two are just “averages” that may have nothing to do with YOUR menstrual cycle. Rule Number 1 for getting pregnant is making sure the sperm are there when the egg comes down the pike. In order to time intercourse correctly, you need to know exactly when you’re ovulating.
- Regular OB visits and honest communication matter. So many women get used to the fact that they skip periods, or have very light periods, or have terrible cramping. These pieces of information, and others, may be old hat to you, but they’re pieces of an important puzzle to us. These are signs that your menstrual cycle may be compromised. Skipped or light periods could indicate you aren’t actually ovulating; heavier periods or intense cramping could be signs of endometriosis. An STD you’ve never mentioned or a previous abortion may have caused scar tissue that could compromise future fertility. When it comes to conceiving a baby, an established relationship with a trusted OB/GYN can be the key to ensuring your body is fertile and ready.
- Diet can make a big difference. Perhaps this comes as no surprise but women who eat a healthy diet are more likely to ovulate more regularly and conceive faster. They are also more likely to give birth to healthy babies. A healthy diet consists of whole-grains, lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies and minimal processes carbs or sugars. This helps to keep blood sugar levels in the healthy range (higher blood sugar levels/insulin resistance are connected to infertility rates). A healthy diet can also reduce inflammation, another enemy of the reproductive system.
- A healthy BMI reduces infertility factors. What’s your body mass index? Use The NIH’s Online BMI Calculator to find out. Study after study has proven that BMI matters when it comes to both male and female fertility. Obesity is linked to low sperm count and other male infertility factors, irregular ovulation and other medical conditions that inhibit your ability to get pregnant. We understand that every body is different, and only a minor percentage of the population is made to be skinny-minnies. However, a healthy diet and regular exercise are almost always enough to keep you at your body’s comfortable and healthy weight.
- Stress really does affect fertility. For years the anecdotal evidence pointed to the fact that mental stress played a role in fertility rates. Only recently, however, has that anecdotal evidence become true fact via scientific evidence. Studies in the past few years have shown that women with higher levels of stress hormones in their saliva are 29% less likely to conceive the first month, and take longer to conceive than their non-stressed counterparts. Stress also activates the bodies inflammatory response, which is another stressor for the reproductive tract (high stress is associated with missed periods, for example). Learning to manage stress levels via yoga, breathing, visualizations, learning to say no, acupuncture, taking walks – or whatever works for you – is one of the best things you can do for fertility health as well as your overall well-being. Believe us when we say that learning to manage stress is a skill that will come in very handy once you do become a parent…
Are you looking for the right OB/GYN to take care of your prenatal, labor and delivery needs? Contact us here at Overlake and schedule your first appointment. We’d love to get to know you and see if our team of OBs and midwives is a good fit for you.