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The new year is your very own blank canvas. Clean, untouched, and full of possibilities. If you’re hoping for one of those possibilities to be a pregnancy, it may be time to make some lifestyle changes to optimize your chances of conception. A healthy body and healthy living is more likely to regularly produce hormones and ovulate frequently, which means more chances to conceive.
Here are a few tips that will help you start the New Year with a healthy, conception-optimized lifestyle:
Avoiding alcohol will result in better overall health – but studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption is specifically associated with some ovulation disorders, which can decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Excessive alcohol consumption is defined as drinking heavily on multiple days of the week. While a few drinks here and there aren’t likely to alter your fertility health, if you are looking to conceive, consider limiting your alcohol intake significantly. To help you achieve this goal, try exploring the realm of non-alcoholic beverages and find one that you like. When your friends order drinks at a restaurant or make drinks at home, you can have a non-alcoholic alternative to fall back on.
Sleep is your body’s way of recharging. When trying to conceive, your body should be kept as well-maintained as possible. Try getting a solid eight to nine hours of sleep each night at consistent times. If you fall asleep at 10pm naturally, make sure you’re always making an effort to fall asleep at 10pm. This will help to regulate your hormone production and keep your body on a consistent cycle. The more regular your hormone production is, the more frequently your body is able to ovulate.
Finding an exercise routine and maintaining a healthy BMI can help increase your chances of conception. Little to no physical activity can result in an unhealthy BMI, while too much exercise can inhibit ovulation. If you are currently at a healthy BMI, try working out for 3-5 hours per week. If your BMI is not considered healthy, consult your primary care physician before establishing a workout routine, as you may benefit from more or less exercise. Finding a fitness routine that you enjoy can also help you to cope with stress and sleep better, which can positively affect fertility.
Exposure to certain chemicals over long periods of time can contribute to infertility. With so many household products containing chemicals, it can be hard to eliminate them completely. Product ingredients that are especially harmful include PCBs, pesticides, and two forms of plastics called phthalates. There are plenty of brands on the market that offer chemical-free alternatives. Just as you should be aware of what you’re putting in your body, you should also keep an eye on the products you use around your home to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
While most women know not to smoke while pregnant, it is lesser known that smoking while trying to conceive can hinder your efforts. Smoking can age your ovaries at an accelerated pace, making conception difficult. Over a longer period of time, smoking can even deplete your supply of eggs. If you smoke and you need help quitting, visit your healthcare provider. In addition, secondhand smoke can have similar effects. If possible, try to avoid public smoking areas and create distance between you and anyone you see smoking.
When trying to conceive, taking care of your overall health is important. While there’s no direct relationship between a healthy diet and conception, diseases and conditions caused by an unhealthy diet can harm fertility. Certain ingredients in popular foods and drinks, such as trans fat, caffeine, and skim or reduced fat milk, have been linked to infertility. Be careful about what you’re putting in your body and try to stay away from processed foods and chemicals as much as possible. Eating a well-rounded diet full of clean foods and veggies will optimize your body’s performance and prevent infertility that may be exacerbated by harmful ingredients.
Getting checked out by your healthcare provider regularly will help you identify any fertility issues early, which will help you avoid any long-term damage. Your doctor will also be able to give you tips about any other lifestyle changes you may want to make based on your specific case.
If one of your goals in 2018 is to start or grow your family, you may want to consider making small changes toward a healthy lifestyle in order to improve your chances of conception. The new year brings with it the opportunity to make healthy changes. Cutting out harmful habits like smoking and heavy drinking while developing good habits like eating healthy and exercising regularly will help your body find its ideal balance, and perhaps help you welcome a new baby into the world.