pregnancy

13 'fertility fitness' tips that can improve your chance of falling pregnant.

We worry about our heart, bone and skin health, but do we worry enough about our fertility health?

For those who are lucky enough, having a baby is one of the most significant things that can happen in a lifetime. But many take it for granted that it will happen easily when they are ready.

The fact is, one in six couples have trouble falling pregnant.

Fertility issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including increasing maternal age, lifestyle, environmental situations and medical conditions.

Here are some tips to help couples boost their fertility and fall pregnant:

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Follow a healthy, balanced diet that provides adequate protein, carbohydrate and fibre. Aim to undertake at least half an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days.

2. Limit caffeine intake

No more than 1-2 cups of caffeinated beverages a day are recommended while you are trying to conceive.

3. Restrict alcohol intake

Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of miscarriage and affect the quality of sperm.

4. Stop smoking and any drug use

Smoking is one of the biggest lifestyle factors that can negatively affect fertility. It is not advisable to use any form of recreational drug when trying to conceive or after conception.

Getting ready for a baby is more work than anyone ever warned you. Source: iStock.
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5. Reduce stress

Get plenty of rest and relaxation and combat stress wherever possible. A degree of stress in your life is inevitable, but how you deal with it is important.

6. Avoid lubricants

They can affect sperm quality.

7. Take folic acid

For the three months before and for the first three months of pregnancy, take a folic acid supplement (females only).

Listen: I was so happy to be pregnant (post continues after podcast).

8. Check your medications and supplements

Review the intake of your medications/supplements with your doctor.

9. Immunisation and general health screening

Before you start trying to conceive, visit your GP for an antenatal screen and immunisation check.

10. Reduce exposure to toxins

We are faced with myriad environmental toxins on a daily basis. If you work with or around toxins, you need to be using face masks and other protective gear.

11. Be as ‘fertility fit’ as you can be

When trying to conceive, the reproductive health of both the male and female are equally important as each contributes towards optimising the chances of pregnancy and in turn a healthy baby. Both partners should ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight by exercising and eating well. Stress levels should be kept low, caffeine and alcohol intake limited, and the recommended pre-pregnancy vitamin supplements taken. For more tips on making sure you are “fertility fit”, visit this preconception care page.

One is six couples have trouble falling pregnant. Image supplied.
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12. Know the facts of fertility

Unfortunately, it is estimated one in six couples experience trouble falling pregnant, and the causes can be simple or complex. Some of the main factors affecting fertility are age, weight, medical conditions, sperm quality and irregular menstrual cycles. Learn more about trouble falling pregnant and the factors that contribute to infertility.

13. Help is available if you need it

When things don’t seem to be falling into place with your pregnancy plan, help is available and you should not feel as though you are on your own as you are not. Statistics prove fertility issues affect many people and we have the professionals available to help you through this challenge.

The general rule is that it is wise to seek advice from your GP or a specialist if you have not achieved a pregnancy after 12 months (or six months if you are over 35) of unprotected intercourse.

The good news is that at City Fertility Centre, about two-thirds of our patients are helped with fertility treatments without requiring IVF.

first time mum at 47
Image via iStock.

However, if you feel you are not ready to speak with a specialist but would like to know more about fertility treatment options, contact our Fertility Advice Centre (FAC) coordinators to discuss your personal situation. Alternatively, we can provide a free fertility information pack or you can attend one of our information sessions. Visit this getting started page for more information.

Rest assured, if you do seek advice at City Fertility Centre you will receive an individualised, thorough approach to diagnosis and treatment. From the outset of your fertility journey, we will strive to provide clear and comprehensive information so you feel you can take part in, and make well-informed decisions about, your fertility future.

Wishing you all the best for a fertile 2017.

For more information on preconception tips, visit this preconception care page.

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