The overall health of both men and women looking to conceive is vital, and a few simple tweaks to your diet – along with regular exercise – could be seriously beneficial.
“Reviewing your diet and other lifestyle factors is a simple first step to improving your fertility,” says Genea fertility specialist Dr Helen Peric. “But it takes two to make a baby, and lifestyle factors also affect the quality of a male’s sperm – in fact a simple change here can be one of the easiest ways to address some couple’s fertility challenges.”
Below with the help of fertility clinic Genea, we’ve listed five things you can start doing now, to boost your chances of falling pregnant naturally.
If you’re a smoker it goes without saying that it’s time to quit. Doing so will significantly impact on your ability to achieve a pregnancy irrespective of whether you’re male or female. It’s no great surprise that smoking is toxic to both eggs and sperm (not to mention your overall health).
Keep fit and try to stay within the normal BMI range
This is true for both men and women. Your chance of getting pregnant is reduced if either partner is considerably over or underweight. According to Dr Peric, a BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal. “Formulate a good diet and exercise routine,” she advises. “This is an important but too often overlooked factor in addressing fertility issues in couples.”
Maintain a balanced diet
Men and women both benefit from a healthy, balanced diet. Doctors recommend consuming a mix of healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as antioxidants, vitamins B and C, folic acid and zinc. All fruits and veggies are recommended as well as a mix of proteins and grains.
Steer clear of booze and excess caffeine
While the odd glass of wine and daily latte is most likely fine, it’s important to keep excess consumption in check while you’re trying to conceive, suggests Genea’s Dr Peric. Both these substances in excess can result in complications during pregnancy, and possibly hinder your chances of conceiving naturally easily.
Try to relax
While it can be hard to keep anxiety levels at a low when you’re trying to conceive, it’s important that you do your best. While it’s unlikely that stress alone will affect your fertility, it can lead to a reduced sex-drive and occasionally hinders normal ovulation. For men, stress can also slightly compromise sperm count. Make sure you exercise regularly, keep up with the activities you enjoy, spend time with loved ones and develop a good sleep pattern. Find those moments of peace!
Check out the results of our recent poll, asking what Australian women know about fertility.
For more in this series, see the “Stats to know about fertility”, and the “Truth about male infertility.”
Speak with Genea’s fertility advisor or book a free fertility assessment.