For some, having a baby is not as easy as it’s meant to be... And it can be heartbreaking to see others fall pregnant with absolutely no problem. So why is it that so many couples struggle to conceive?
Blame our busy, modern-day lifestyles which are fraught with fertility and pregnancy obstacles. And many of us have just left it biologically too late. We are tired, stressed, busy and have poor diets and nutritional habits.
Boost your fertility
So what should you be doing to boost your fertility and to enhance your chances of falling pregnant and having a successful pregnancy from first to last trimester?
It doesn’t have to be anything hectic but chances are that if you are overweight or obese, then exercise will certainly go a long way in helping you conceive. Try regular exercise (walking, swimming, cycling) which will help you to strengthen your body, boost your immune system and strengthen the muscles that help move the sperm upward into your body.
The success story of folic acid is well documented. In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration asked manufacturers to add folic acid to grain products like cereals and breads and neural tube birth defects dropped by 19 percent in 2001 as a result.
Doctors recommend that women start taking folic acid before they even fall pregnant. Folicfilled foods are asparagus, bran flakes, broccoli, Brussels sprout, chickpeas, dried beans, lentils and spinach.
Pop some pills
Vitamin supplements that boost the blood quality and circulation (and have cleansing effects on the body) are another way of maximising fertility.
The power of an orgasm
Many studies say that orgasms may increase the chances of conception; that the associated contractions might help to create a negative pressure in your cervix which could enable it to suck up or “draw in” the semen.
Take a test
Most pharmacies stock ovulation test kits which can be used to time sexual intercourse during the period when you are at your most fertile.
Should you lose weight, gain weight, what’s the real advice here? Being underweight is just as much a problem as being overweight. A body mass index of under 19 can lead to a severe decrease in the production of oestrogen. This can trick the body into behaving menopausally, with a loss of calcium from bones.
Underweight women also tend to be iron-deficient and iron is vital in the successful implantation of an egg.
A woman whose body mass index is between 24 and 30 will be at her most fertile. Calculate your BMI by dividing your height by your weight squared to gauge where you fit in.
Boost his fertility
Male infertility is increasingly common and struggling parents need to be aware of all they can do to boost fertility on both sides. Live as healthily as possible to up your chances of falling pregnant.
Get your partner to eat zinc rich
Foods like red meat, shellfish, dairy and beans – zinc is reported to be great for keeping his sperm count healthy and the sperm motile (able to swim strongly towards the egg).
Alcohol lowers the production of male testosterone and quickens its conversion to oestrogen in the liver – leading to a lower sperm count.
Keep it breezy
Nix your man’s tight-fitting briefs and get him some comfortable, cool boxer shorts. Overheating the boys is said to actually slow down sperm production.
Watch the antibiotics
Antibiotics especially those belonging to the nitrofurans and macrolides groups, can temporarily affect sperm quality. Check with your doctor.
Other fertility depressors include highly-refined carbohydrates, sugar, cold drinks, saturated fats, too little fresh salad and “bad” proteins like hamburgers. Dietician Anne Till says, “Good quality proteins are those that don’t raise insulin such as fish, which has a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids.”
Get fresh air pollution
In all its shapes and forms, exposure to chemicals, fumes and gases, and even household cleaning products could take their toll. Try by all means to limit your exposure to these harmful substances.