We know it can be a difficult time when you want to get pregnant and it’s not happening as quickly as you’d like. Here are some lifestyle tips to consider to optimise your chances of getting pregnant.
Taking folic acid when trying to conceive and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can help prevent certain birth defects. The usual dose for women trying to conceive is 400 micrograms daily, however, this may be increased by your doctor if needed.
Stop smoking, vaping or using nicotine-containing products
Smoking can increase the risk of heart and lung disease, but it can also lead to problems with fertility. The chemicals found in cigarette smoke and vapes can damage the genetic material in eggs, lower sperm quality and speed up the loss of eggs.
Consider reducing alcohol consumption
Excessive drinking can contribute to heavy or irregular periods in women, and can reduce sperm quality in men. Drinking large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth, and can harm your baby’s development. Due to the health implications that drinking can have on you and your baby, the general advice is to limit alcohol intake to 4 units of alcohol per week for women and 14 units per week for men.
Try to eat a balanced diet
A well-balanced diet can help you to maintain a healthy weight and ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need. You should aim for a diet rich in these nutrients:
- Protein – found in lean meat, fish and eggs
- Vitamins and antioxidants – found in fruit and vegetables
- Fibre – found in complex carbs, whole grains, beans and lentils
- Fats – healthy fats rich in omega 3 can be found in salmon, avocado and nuts
If you’re vegetarian or vegan make sure you get enough iron and vitamin B12, which are found in dark, leafy greens (e.g. kale and spinach).
Daily exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, increase blood circulation and improve blood sugar levels. While it may not directly improve your fertility, it can help increase your energy levels and release feel-good hormones, serotonin and dopamine, which can help combat stress levels.