Trying for kids? Conceiving a child isn’t always as straightforward as many of us are told. In fact, some couple can try for months and years. To help improve your chances of conceiving, here are a few tips to help boost your fertility.
Cut out the unhealthy habits
Unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol can affect fertility. Both can impact sperm and egg quality and increase the risk of miscarriage. When trying for a child, you’re best off forgoing these bad habits – you’ll have to give them up anyway once you fall pregnant.
Understand your ovulation cycle
You can also strategically time when to try for a baby by understanding your ovulation cycle. Most women are most fertile 14 days after their last period – this is when ovulation begins in which the egg is released by the ovaries. Many women only have a 24 hour window in which to conceive before the egg is no longer fertile.
There are apps that you can use to track your ovulation cycle. For most women the cycle lasts 28 days, but this may not be the case for other people.
Eat the right foods
Certain foods can have an impact on fertility. In fact, there’s a well known fertility diet that many people choose to follow. This diet involves increasing the amount of vegetables you’re eating and reducing the amount of meats – iron-rich high-protein vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are a good choice (the greener the vegetable, generally the better). You may also want to try switching from low fat dairy to high fat dairy as links have been found between high fat dairy and fertility.
Foods to avoid include processed foods containing trans-fats and overly sugary foods. In fact, it’s generally good practice to cut down on any foods that are commonly associated as being unhealthy as most of this junk food won’t be doing your reproductive system any good.
Say not to stress
Links have also been found between high levels of stress and infertility. If you’re going through a stressful period in your life, now may not be the time to try for a child as the high levels of cortisol in your body could be stopping you from conceiving. Planning a break from work and household chores and going on vacation could be a great way to get away from these triggers. If this isn’t an option, why not try finding ways to destress such as exercising, meditating or having regular hot baths.
For some couples the source of stress can simply be trying to conceive, in which case you may not want to get too bogged down with strict dieting and timing of ovulation cycles – simply try taking a more laid-back approach to trying for a baby for a couple months and see if this has any impact.
Consider further action
If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still having no joy, it could be time to consult your doctor. After some tests, a doctor may be able to tell you if there are any other problems that could be preventing you from conceiving.
If there are obvious problems with the reproductive system, corrective surgery may be the first course of action. If there are no obvious problems, fertility medicine such as clomiphene will usually be prescribed.
If these options don’t work, you’ll then have to look into the likes of sperm and egg donation, of which you can find more information here. IUI and IVP could be other possible courses of action that you may be able to discuss with a doctor. Finally, there is also surrogacy, in which another woman has the baby for you.
Such fertility treatment options can be expensive. Fortunately, there are methods of charity funding out there that can help to make this a more viable option. It’s worth doing your research and understanding the side effects.