If you’d like to start a family in the coming year, there are a lot of small lifestyle changes that you could make to boost your fertility and improve the chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy. We make these recommendations to all of our patients when trying to get pregnant.
Improving your diet is one of the few non-medical ways to improve ovulatory function. Controlling your weight and ensuring that you have a balanced, nutritious diet improves the chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy child.
Your BMI and physical fitness have a significant impact on fertility. Women with BMIs of over 24 are less likely to have a successful pregnancy (naturally or through IVF) and weight loss can even correct anovulation and irregular ovulation, making it easier to get pregnant without fertility treatments.
Cut Down on Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol can actually change your body’s hormonal balance, which in turn affects ovulation and sperm production. Light to moderate alcohol consumption hasn’t been studied extensively, but moderate drinking kills off sperm-producing cells and disrupts both progesterone and oestrogen production.
Likewise, studies can show that caffeine can increase the length of time it takes to get pregnant, but researchers are still studying why that may be.
Smoking doesn’t just impact your lungs – male smokers typically suffer from low sperm counts and poor sperm motility, while female smokers can suffer from reduced ovarian reserve which means that they’ll be fertile for a shorter period of their lives.
Have More Sex
We published a post last year showing that the average British couple has sex once a week. When trying to conceive, the ideal number of times is 3-4 times per week before, during, and after ovulation. Sperm can survive in the vagina for an average of 72 hours, but have been known to live for several days in the right conditions. This means that even if you had sex before ovulation, you could still conceive as the sperm remain in the body and fertilise the egg once it’s released.
Couples have sex an average of 104 times before getting pregnant, so it’s perfectly normal not to be pregnant within a couple of months.