Top tips on how to boost fertility naturally. Simple changes that can improve your chances of conceiving.
Approximately one in seven couples in the UK will have difficulty conceiving. In about 25 per cent of these couples, no cause is found in either partner, and it is deemed ‘unexplained infertility.’ There are lots of things that we do every day, that can impact fertility for both men and women. It is surprising how many couples do not realise, that simple lifestyle changes, can improve their chances of conceiving quickly.
10 simple lifestyle changes to increase your chances of conceiving quickly:
Get to and maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or underweight can reduce fertility for both men and women. Eat a balanced healthy diet with plenty of vegetables. Vegans may need to take supplements. Women trying to conceive should take folic acid to prevent neural tube defects.
Give up smoking
Smoking has been shown in studies to reduce both male and female fertility by damaging sperm and eggs.
Reduce alcohol intake or give up alcohol all together
It would seem there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption these days. Excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to reduce fertility particularly in men. Drugs and in particular Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates and Ecstacy can also have a detrimental effect. Anabolic steroids are bad news for fertility.
Exercise, but don’t overdo it
Over exercising in both men and women can reduce fertility and can in extreme cases stop women ovulating. Prolonged cycling in particular can affect male fertility as it can cause overheating of the scrotum which damages the sperm.
Check if any medicines, tablets or supplements you are taking could impact your fertility negatively
If you are on prescribed medicines you should talk to your GP before stopping any.
Get plenty of sleep
Being sleep deprived impacts our health in lots of ways, and one way can be to reduce our fertility. During sleep our body reboots and repairs itself and this is an essential process. Our busy lifestyles and constant access to the internet, mean that a large proportion of the UK population is permanently sleep deprived, which impacts our general health negatively. Sleep deprived people produce larger amounts of the stress hormone cortisol and this hormone can reduce fertility. Go to bed earlier, remove the TV from the bedroom, and stay off your phone and laptop (leave them downstairs). The bedroom is for two things, and those are sex and sleep.
Make time for relaxation and fun-plan trips out together as a couple and have date nights and holidays
Keep the romance and fun alive in your relationship and try to stay relaxed about the whole trying to conceive business. Do things that make you laugh and feel connected.
Reduce the stress in your life as much as you can
Chronic stress has many negative effects on us and it can play havoc with our sex hormones. Find ways of managing stress. Exercise, as long as you don’t overdo it, is a great stress reliever. Listening to music, gardening, painting, reading, pets, spending time with friends are also great stress relievers. Maybe take up a new mindful hobby like yoga or pottery. Whatever you fancy really, as long as you enjoy it and find it absorbing.
Make sure that you keep your laptops off your laps
If this is impossible use a laptop guard. Laptops get hot and this heat can cause overheating of the testicles in men, which can greatly reduce male fertility, by damaging the sperm. The reason that testicles are outside the body, and not inside the abdomen, is that they need to be kept cool, so anything that causes them to overheat is bad news for fertility. Also take care with mobile phones overheating in men’s pockets next to groin, and men should avoid saunas and very hot baths.
It might seem obvious but have sex regularly, and particularly around the fertile time in women
There is no need to save the sperm up for the fertile window. This can do more harm than good as old sperm are less fertile. Have sex about every two to three days throughout the month. When it comes to male fertility, fresh is best.
When to ask for help
Approximately 84 per cent of couples will conceive within 12 months of starting to try. If the woman is under 35 and you have been trying for longer than 12 months without success, you should see your GP who will take a clinical history and usually refer you for investigations. If the woman is over 35 years, seek help sooner after six months of trying, as fertility declines rapidly in women after 35.
Kate Garside is an ex-GP and now director for medical supply company Access Diagnostics: www.accessdiagnostics.co.uk/