Kirsty Lee lives with her fiance in Melbourne, Australia. She met her partner at work, and the two quickly realized they were a good match....
After a lifetime of working to excel in careers and education, you many feel a distance between yourself and your body when you begin trying to conceive. You may have made plans to achieve certain goals before having children- but the reality is, you can’t always get pregnant the moment you decide you’re ready. If you’re having trouble conceiving, the process may begin to feel daunting and out of your control. The good news is, fertility is largely dependent on your general health and wellbeing. There are many steps you can take in order to play an active role in boosting your fertility.
Nutrition can make a meaningful impact on your fertility. According to Tamsin Jordan, a registered dietician specializing in fertility, it is estimated that 20%-30% of infertility cases could benefit from better dietary choices. Conditions such as PCOS, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, and hypothalamic amenorrhea can be managed or improved through healthy eating choices.
There are specific foods that are known to boost fertility. The first are green leafy vegetables. These contain folic acid, or Vitamin B9, known to boost fertility and reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTD) in fetuses. Fish also benefits fertility. The anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish have shown to improve egg quality, maturation, and embryo implantation. Whole grains are known to improve fertility because they contain lignin, while full fat dairy has been shown to decrease the risk of infertility linked to a lack of ovulation.
Dietary adjustments can help ensure a healthy weight, which is important for fertility. Studies show that women who are obese are more likely to have ovulatory dysfunction and poorer IVF outcomes. Women who are underweight are also at a higher risk for infertility and irregular ovulation. Making conscious choices to maintain a healthy and balanced diet can help you keep up a healthy weight, thereby boosting your fertility.
Regular, moderate exercise can help you to increase your chances of conception. Studies show that exercise can reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. Physical activity can help the body manage blood sugar levels, which keeps insulin at proper levels. Exercise can also help fight inflammation, keep androgens at appropriate levels, and reduce stress.
It’s important to keep in mind that too much exercise can impede your fertility. Strenuous workouts, such as aerobic exercise for seven or more hours a week, can increase your risk of problems with ovulation. While vigorous exercise may improve fertility in women who are obese, it can decrease fertility for women who are at their normal weight. Moderate exercise, on the other hand, will not impede on fertility- it can actually help boost chances of conception.
When exercising to boost fertility, keep in mind that any activity is better than no activity. Most people should try to get at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise every day. Try to include a variety of exercises in your routine by combining cardio, strengthening exercises, and stretching.
Aside from diet and exercise, there are many general lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health, and in turn, boost your fertility. The first is reducing your alcohol intake. Heavy drinking can cause ovulatory issues, which are the number one cause of infertility. Binge drinking (more than five standard drinks in one occasion) has been shown to cause miscarriage, still birth, premature birth, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Additionally, a study of couples going through IVF revealed that women who drank four drinks a week were 16% less likely to have a live birth, while when both partners drank, the live birth rate was reduced by 21%. Another study showed that women who recorded heavily drinking were 18% less likely to conceive. While drinking in moderation (less than 14 drinks a week) may not make or break your chances of conception, there is still a slight risk. It’s best to keep alcohol consumption at a minimum in order to boost fertility.
Smoking can also impede on fertility. The chemicals in cigarette smoke can speed up the loss rate of eggs. Compared to non-smokers, women who smoke are said to go through menopause 1 to 4 years earlier. Women who smoke are at a higher risk for fertility problems, miscarriages, unhealthy pregnancies, and ectopic pregnancies. Quitting smoking can improve your fertility.
Other lifestyle factors, such as sleep, stress, exposure to environmental toxins, and more. The good news is, there are many aspects of your health that are in your control. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, managing stress levels, and being aware of your exposure to toxins in your routine can all help to boost your fertility.
Everyone’s health, hormones, and cycles are unique, therefore women have different needs when it comes to improving chances of conception. It can be daunting trying to optimize the various facets of your life to increase your chances of conceiving. Oova is a fantastic asset as every day, our platform provides daily action plans to help guide you in taking the right steps to improve your fertility. Our daily action plans include nutritional/diet tips, exercise and stretches, and even ways to improve your stress levels enabling you to take control of your fertility journey. All of these have a direct impact on your hormone levels, and Oova helps you understand how they improve over time. For more details on Oova, click here.
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