Lifestyle and fertility go hand in hand, with positive lifestyle choices the chances of conceiving are often increased. There are many ways to improve your lifestyle including, healthy eating, taking vitamins, exercising, lowering your stress levels, and improving sleep patterns. For those wishing to conceive, fertility tests for women are very useful, helping you to understand your fertility status and the chances that you will conceive. Here’s how making changes to your lifestyle can increase chances of conceiving.
Nutrition and eating a well-balanced diet are crucial in improving many aspects of life including increasing the chances of conceiving. Although there may not be one specific magic food that will instantly boost fertility, eating well and considering food options will support reproductive health. However, it’s important to know that dietary changes will not reverse any serious medical conditions.
Healthy whole foods to increase fertility include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Full-fat dairy: dairy has a lot of saturated fat in it, along with vitamins K2, K, E, A, and D.
- Beans and lentils: an excellent source of folate and fiber, which help to maintain a healthy balance of hormones. They are also a high protein source, which can improve healthy ovulation.
- Asparagus: this superfood is full of nutrients and is also very filling.
- Walnuts: both high in omega-6 fatty acids and omega 3
- Egg yolks: these are full of iron, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, vitamin B6 and vitamin A. These are advantageous for both men and women and some studies even suggest that choline found in the egg can help to reduce birth defects.
- Salmon: salmon is also another fantastic superfood, rich in omega 3s and essential fatty acids.
Vitamins should not be used as a replacement for eating a well balanced diet, they should instead be taken in addition to eating well to increase nutrients into the body. Prenatal vitamins that can improve fertility include:
- Prenatal vitamins: these can be purchased and include all of the vital vitamins to increase the chances of conceiving. These vitamins often include B12, B6, Iron, vitamins A & D and folate. These are all important in a healthy pregnancy.
- Iron: it’s recommended that all women take an iron supplement to keep the iron levels in their blood normal, this is especially important during pregnancy.
- Vitamin D: vitamin D deficiency has been linked to decreased fertility and lower levels of sex hormones that are needed to conceive.
- Vitamin C: helps to boost the immune system, helps to produce collagen for wound healing and helps the baby to absorb iron for future use.
Exercise should be taken into consideration in all stages of life and when you are trying to conceive is no exception. Moderate exercise can help to increase fertility, this is any exercise that gets your heart racing a little more, increases breathing rate and increases body temperature. This will help with a healthy pregnancy and birth. Other benefits of exercise include staying strong, making labour slightly easier, reducing stress, reducing anxiety and can also benefit your baby’s long-term health.
If exercising is second nature, then continue to do so as long as it’s safe. Those who are vigorous exercisers, potentially athletes, may be advised to cut down slightly if they are having issues with getting pregnant. If exercising is something new to your lifestyle, it is advised to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of intense exercise.
Stress is another important factor to consider when trying to conceive. Women who are more stressed take 29% longer to conceive than women who are less stressed. Ways to tackle stress include meditating, yoga, eating a healthy diet, writing in a journal, spending time in nature, taking a bath and reading.
Sleep plays a crucial role in all of our lives, helping to improve overall health, restore brain systems, restore organ systems and regulate hormones in the body including hormones relating to fertility. Try to aim for between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to maximise the chances of conceiving.
Avoiding or at the very least reducing alcohol consumption can help increase fertility. Drinking heavily can cause changes relating to ovulation and the regulation of cycles. Crucial organs of a child often develop first and alcohol can negatively impact that, as well as lowering the chance of implantation.
Everybody is different and so are their pregnancy journeys, some may conceive quickly, others may not. However, making positive changes to your lifestyle can help to increase chances of conceiving.