Getting pregnant might not be as easy as you would expect. To maximize your chance of a healthy pregnancy, here are a few simple ways your change up your routine to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Curb caffeine & alcohol
Drinking too much caffeine may impair a woman’s fertility and reduce your odds of getting pregnant. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, slowing blood flow to the uterus and potentially making it harder for an egg to grab hold. Additionally, research shows that there is increased rate of miscarriage associated with pregnant women who consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day (equivalent to more than one 12 oz cup of coffee).
There are a lot of conflicting studies available on alcohol’s effect on fertility. We encourage our patients to limit their alcohol while trying to conceive.
Staying well-nourished and eating the right foods can increase your odds of conceiving. Make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which deliver a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s also important to eat protein-rich foods, such as lean turkey, chicken and beef, fish, low-fat dairy products, eggs and beans.
Omega-3 fatty acids are for optimal fertility and fish is the best source. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan or you just don’t like fish, you can get your omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and enriched eggs stores.
When it comes to carbs, choose complex carbs which take longer to digest and don’t cause spikes in insulin levels, which can disrupt reproductive hormones and mess with the menstrual cycle. Foods rich in complex carbs include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Watch your weight
Being underweight or overweight can delay the time it takes a woman to conceive. Keeping a healthy weight can help with conception. Excess body fat can lead to an overproduction of certain hormones that disrupt ovulation. Your cycles may be less regular, you may ovulate less often, and you lower your chances of getting pregnant. However, with too little body fat you may not produce enough hormones to ovulate each month or to sustain a pregnancy if you do conceive. Use this tool to calculate your body mass index (BMI).
What does your BMI number mean?
- A standard medical definition of “normal” body weight is a BMI of about 18.5 – 24.9
- A BMI under 18.5 indicates that the person is “underweight”
- A BMI of 25.0 – 29.9 indicates that the individual is “overweight,” but not obese
- A BMI over 30 indicates obesity
- A BMI over 40 indicates extreme obesity
When you smoke a cigarette, you’re inhaling thousands (more than 7,000!) of chemicals, which can spread throughout your body. Numerous studies have detailed the adverse effects of tobacco smoking on fertility including: reduction in egg quality and ovarian reserve, increased risk of miscarriage. In addition, women who smoke are likely to start menopause one to two years earlier than those who don’t.
Overall, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your fertility and overall health. Here are some tips from the CDC to help you kick the habit.
When should I see a fertility doctor
If you’re a female under the age of 35 and have not conceived after 12 months of unprotected sex, we recommend you see a fertility specialist. If you’re over the age of 35, we recommend seeing a specialist after 6 months of unprotected sex if conception hasn’t occurred.