Trying for a baby? Many couples can have difficulty conceiving a child – what may start as a mild frustration may turn into serious concern over time. Fertility problems could be genetic or they could be down to your lifestyle. Whatever the case, there’s usually always a solution – here are just a few ways to boost your fertility and achieve your dreams of parenthood.
Fix up your diet
Certain foods can boost your chance of conceiving by providing vital nutrients for the reproductive system helping to improve sperm and egg quality.
Studies have found that eating lots of coldwater fish is great for the reproduction system due to the high omega-3 content. This involves fish such as cod, salmon and halibut – you may want to avoid tuna and swordfish as these can contain high mercury levels.
Organic whole grains and vegetables can also be great for boosting fertility. This is due to their high vitamin content. Processed foods may contain hormones that can affect estrogen levels, so you’re best avoiding these foods and going as natural as possible.
All in all, try to eat naturally and healthily. Too much fat and too much sugar have both been found to have negative effects on fertility. There are many sites where you can read up more on fertility dieting.
Cut out the bad habits
Unsurprisingly, bad habits such as smoking and heavy drinking can damage your chances of conceiving. Both smoking and drinking reduce sperm count, egg quality and can increase the risk of miscarriage. Quit these bad habits if you want to help boost your fertility.
Physical activity has also been found to have a positive effect on fertility. It can help to get blood flowing around your body and flush out unnecessary estrogen and cortisol that may be affecting your ability to conceive. Mild exercise is all that is needed – this could include going for walks, swimming or cycling. Be careful of overdoing exercise as this could be putting a strain on your body that could be negatively affecting your fertility.
Take steps to reduce stress
When stressed, our bodies go into short-term survival mode, which often means reducing long-term bodily functions such as reproduction. Men may suffer from erectile dysfunction and reduced sperm quality/quantity, whilst women may find that their ovulation cycle comes late or that egg quality is affected. Try to temporarily remove any triggers that could be causing stress – take some time off work or put personal projects on hold. Try to also take steps to de-stress such as having hot baths, meditating and getting a good night’s sleep. The source of your stress could even be the fact that you’re worrying too much about not being able to conceive – try to relax and not view sex as a chore.
Time it right
Timing could also play a big part in your ability to conceive. Women are most fertile a day or two after ovulation (this is usually 14 days before your period starts). By keeping track of your ovulation cycle you can plan the best times to try for a baby. There are apps that can help you to keep track of your cycle.
Make sure that you’re having sex regularly – but not too regularly. Too much sex could lead to lower sperm quantity, which could lower chances of conceiving. Try to have sex every other day for the best chance of falling pregnant.
Know when to seek further action
If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still having trouble conceiving, it could be time to see a doctor and get tested. There could be another problem behind it that needs to be addressed.
If it turns out that you are infertile, be assured that there are still various ways forward. There are numerous types of infertility treatment out there including fertility drugs, IVF and IUI. Surrogacy costs can vary but are often expensive – you may need to look into financial planning. This could include saving up or taking out a loan.
There are numerous charities out there and organisations that can offer emotional and financial support. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of these.