What you need to know:
- Stress can lower the quality of sperm, which affects fertility in both men and women.
- Stress causes the release of steroid hormones which leads to low testosterone levels and decreased sperm production.
As men and women get older, their fertility naturally declines. If you're looking to increase your chances of conceiving, read on.
Aim for a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and eating well
Ensure you eat a balanced diet because you need all essential nutrients when trying to conceive.
Eat foods that are classified as "healthy fats" to help keep your hormone levels normal, which is important for reproductive health.
It is advisable to minimize the intake of processed foods.
Exercise is important for fertility because it improved bone density, muscle mass, blood pressure level, weight loss, or gain among other things.
Overall, regular exercise before pregnancy has been shown to:
- Increases insulin sensitivity and hormonal balance which improves ovarian function
- Reduce the risk of ovulation problems
- Reduce the risk of miscarriage
- Increases the probability of conception
Pro tip: Engage in physical activities that you enjoy so that you can do them consistently over a long period of time.
Swimming is a suitable pre-pregnancy exercise. Water resistance can offer substantial benefits without putting too much stress on joints and muscles.
Be mindful of your stress levels.
Stress can lower the quality of sperm, which affects fertility in both men and women. Stress also causes the release of steroid hormones which leads to low testosterone levels and decreased sperm production.
In women, stress tampers with the natural ovulation cycle.
Find ways to manage your stress levels e.g., doing your hobbies, exercise, or meditation after a long day at work. If possible, avoid people and situations that stress or put pressure on you.
Keep track of your ovulation cycle
You might be able to predict when you'll ovulate by monitoring your body signals such as the colour of your cervical mucus or through physical changes such as breast tenderness, increased sex drive, and abdominal cramps.
If you have an irregular ovulation cycle or ovulation problems, consult an OB/GYN.
Reduce alcohol intake
Alcohol increases the risk of ovulation disorders. Avoid drinking alcohol while trying to conceive and during the entire pregnancy period for a healthy baby.
Heavy intake of alcohol is known to reduce sperm count as well as motility.
Low testosterone levels and poor sperm quality are also associated with alcohol.
Use Natural Fertility Supplements
Some natural supplements help the body produce oestrogen and improve fertility. Zinc, foliate and other antioxidants found in foods such as olive oil, avocados, dark chocolate, and almonds improve fertility for both men and women.
If you are deficient in essential nutrients, you can purchase commercial natural supplements, upon consultation with your doctor.
In conclusion, have a positive mindset while trying to conceive. Avoid stressful environments and practice healthy habits that will improve your fertility.
If you have further concerns, consult your doctor.