Although infertility can affect people differently for different reasons, living a healthy lifestyle is one of the factors you can control to help improve your fertility journey and beyond. From a healthy diet to a regular sleep schedule, taking care of yourself can help you and your future baby. See ways to live healthy, what to avoid to improve your health, and tips to help your chances of conception below!
Diet and Fertility
When trying to conceive, taking care of your overall health is important, and a healthy diet is a large component of that. 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 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.
Exercise and Fertility
Finding an exercise routine and maintaining a healthy BMI can help increase your chances of conception. Exercising on your fertility journey is all about finding a healthy balance in your level of activity. 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.
Sleep and Fertility
Sleeping is your body’s way of recharging, and sleep can affect fertility. 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 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.
Substances and Fertility
On top of incorporating healthy lifestyle changes for your diet, exercise, and sleep, it is important to be aware of harmful substances to remove from your lifestyle if they already apply. Things such as alcohol, chemicals, and smoking can have lasting effects on both you and your baby, even well past pregnancy and birth.
Exposure to certain chemicals over long periods of time can contribute to infertility. So many household products contain 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.
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 you like. When your friends have a drink, you can have a non-alcoholic alternative to fall back on.
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.
If one of your goals 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. 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. Reach out to a Red Rock Fertility Center fertility specialist to keep your health on track and get started on your fertility journey!