5 Habits to Avoid When Trying to Conceive
When trying to conceive, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of success. On the other hand, some habits will zap your fertility and even reduce your chances of welcoming a new baby into your family. If you’re trying to conceive, change these five bad habits to help yourself get pregnant:
1. Don’t Eat Junk Food.
In order to support a pregnancy, your body needs a wide variety of nutrients. If your diet mainly consists of junk food, then you’ll be missing out on the vitamins and minerals you need, and supplements may not be able to make up the shortfall. Switch out candy bars and chips for fresh fruits, nuts, yogurt, raw vegetables and hummus to make your snacking habits more fertility-friendly.
Note that it’s not just women who need to worry about the effects of junk food on fertility. A study of young men showed that eating foods high in trans fats, often found in fast food and processed food, could also reduce sperm quality.
2. Stop Drinking Coffee.
In 2016, a study linked caffeine with early miscarriages. Interestingly, the effect was the same regardless of whether the father or mother was the high consumer of caffeine before conception took place. If you’re trying to conceive, then it’s a good idea for both of you to cut down on your coffee-drinking habits or switch to decaf coffee. After conception, Mom should continue to keep her caffeine intake low to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
3. Reduce Your Drinking Habits.
Studies show that moderate alcohol consumption has no effect on a woman’s fertility, but higher amounts could reduce your possibilities of getting pregnant. In these studies, the definition of heavy drinking was more than two bottles of wine a week, which led to a decrease in female fertility of approximately 18 percent. Alcohol can also harm a developing embryo, so it’s a good idea to cut it out before you get pregnant and stay sober throughout the pregnancy.
4. Stay Away from Strenuous Exercise.
While it’s good to stay active, pushing yourself too hard can reduce your opportunities of conceiving. Research shows that the body interprets strenuous exercise as a sign that you are under stress, which can lead it to suppress ovulation. According to a study published in the Fertility and Sterility journal, you’re less likely to get pregnant if you spend more than five hours a week doing vigorous exercises like running, swimming or aerobics. However, obesity is also a fertility-killer. If you’re overweight, then it’s a good idea to incorporate more gentle exercise into your routine to bring down your BMI.
5. Stop Smoking Cigarettes.
Smoking creates serious problems for would-be mothers and fathers. In men, smoking reduces sperm quality, which can make it more difficult for the “little swimmers” to penetrate the egg. In women, smoking damages eggs, which can cause early menopause and a delay in getting pregnant. Make a plan to quit together to give yourselves the best chance of adding a child to your family.
If you’ve already ditched these five bad habits and still can’t get pregnant, don’t worry. Many couples struggle to conceive even though they’re doing all the right things. In these cases, IVF can help you to have the baby you’ve always wanted.