As defined fertility is the ability to produce offspring. And the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) defines infertility as an inability to conceive after twelve consecutive months of trying through regular sexual intercourse without birth control or six months for those over 35.
If you’re trying to conceive and not having any success you probably wonder about the health of your own fertility. While fertility issues often rely on medical intervention there are some things you can do on your own to boost and promote your fertility, whether you’re going through fertility treatment right now or not.
What Can I Do to Boost My Fertility?
When a couple or individual encounters fertility issues they often feel helpless. Obviously, all of the tests, diagnoses and treatment options are up to your fertility specialist. They know what they’re doing and it’s easy to feel your part is simply supplying the egg and the sperm. Well, you do have a little more control than you may think. Here we offer seven doctor-approved steps you can take to boost your fertility and aid in your treatment.
1. Get To and Maintain a Healthy Weight
We all know maintaining a healthy weight is the best way to avoid chronic disease and so many other health issues. But did you know failing to maintain a healthy weight also wreaks havoc on your hormones? Those who are overweight might produce too much estrogen and if you’re underweight you might not produce any at all. While fertility depends on many factors, extremely low or high numbers on the BMI chart don’t help. And hormonal fluctuations may interfere with specific fertility treatments.
For both men and women studies show exercise is a great way to boost your fertility. Engage in some form of physical activity-enough to break a sweat-in a regular basis. Aim for 30 minutes of activity about 3-5 times a week. Just don’t overdo it as intense exercise may impact ovulation. Always check with your doctor before beginning or continuing any form of exercise. There are certain times during some fertility treatment when you’re advised against exercise.
3. Minimize Alcohol Consumption and Stop Smoking
Just as with weight, we all know smoking is extremely hard on the body. Heart disease, lung disease and many cancers relate to cigarette smoking. But doctors associate smoking with a decrease in fertility in both men and women. Just don’t do it.
Alcohol consumption is also associated with decreased male and female fertility. Alcohol really carries no benefits so if you’re currently trying to conceive it’s best to stop any lifestyle habits which could interfere.
4. Manage Your Stress
Stress is everywhere these days. A simple trip to the grocery store leaves many of us in a state of anxious exhaustion. And other stressors in our lives like work, finances, relationships, all take a toll and so do fertility issues. Find healthy ways for managing your stress such as meditation, going for a walk, breathing exercises or speaking with a mental health professional.
5. Eat a Diet That Supports Fertility
Eating a diet rich in all the nutrients necessary to a healthy reproductive system is wise. Not only does a healthy, wholesome, and well-balanced diet support overall health it helps ovulatory health. This means your eggs benefit from a healthy diet. Sperm reacts positively to the right kinds of healthy foods as well.
6. Supplements Can Help
If you’re lacking in certain vitamins your fertility may suffer. And if you’re actively trying to conceive you want to be at the top of your health game. A lack of B vitamins may impact your ovulation and if you are low on folic acid, you may risk your baby’s health and it can be difficult to get everything you need even from the healthiest diet. During this time, you should supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals. Consider taking a multi specifically designed to support your fertility. Guys, this applies to you as well.
7. Be Alert to Environmental Toxins
According to a study published by the NIH, environmental toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides interfere with your fertility. If you aren’t a label-reader already, it’s time you become one. Many household products contain ingredients associated with decreased fertility. Certain plastics have a negative impact on testicular health.
When to See My Doctor
Scheduling an appointment with your doctor should be number eight on the list. However, most couples wait until the 12-month (or six for those over 35) window before reaching out to their doctor with questions about their fertility. While this is the overall recommendation if you suspect you have fertility issues related to a known condition or have reason to believe you may not be ovulating normally (irregular periods, absence of periods, for example) you should reach out when you first start trying to conceive.
We’re Here to Help You Boost Your Fertility
For more information on steps, you can take to boost your fertility or any of your fertility concerns contact LA IVF. Your compassionate team of caring fertility specialists is highly knowledgeable and experienced in helping couples and individuals achieve their dreams of growing their families.