Infertility is a shadow on couples trying for a baby. Fertility is a natural process in the body, and like many aspects of our health, fertility is improved by adopting a healthy lifestyle. You can consider the following to improve your chances of fertility and pregnancy.
- Start the day with healthy fruit juices – Fruits help in weight loss, strengthens the immune system and aids digestion. Juices have an advantage of providing water and keeping it hydrated. Fruit juices contain antioxidants in high levels which detoxifies the body. A glass of fresh juice contains all the enzymes, minerals and vitamins that are easily absorbed in the body. Phytocompounds such as carotenoids, particularly lutein, β-carotene and lycopene, as well as polyphenols are present in many 100% fruit juices. These antioxidants prevent injury to sperm and egg and improve their quality. Eating fruits daily can delay age related injury to reproductive system and help in fertility preservation.
- Reduce daily driving time – Long driving could be linked to infertility in men. It may cause rise in the temperature of the scrotum, caused by sitting in the same position for too long. Long distance drivers should take breaks in between and use loose fitting clothes. The ideal temperature for healthy sperm production is around 2 degrees lower than the body temperature. Walking to workplace is a better alternative to avoid driving daily, it can help in fertility.
- Avoid junk food – Researchers found that eating fast food regularly was linked to a twofold increase in the risk of infertility in women of childbearing age. Eating unhealthy food can predispose you to problems like PCOD and cause disorders in ovulation and menstruation. Heavy consumption of junk food could increase the likelihood of infertility in men as well.
Inhale fresh air & avoid pollution – Women exposed to high levels of air pollution may have high chances of early pregnancy loss. Also, it is seen that they have less success getting pregnant with fertility treatments. Air pollutants could act as endocrine disruptors and promote oxidative stress to reproductive system.
- Follow healthy lunch ideas – Infertility can be due to the consumption of oily and fried food in a very large quantity. It can be one of the reasons for disrupted fertility in both men and women. Eating a healthy lunch avoids foods with high amounts of added salt and sugar. Diet free from processed foods also helps in losing weight by reducing calories. Diet full of fibres reduces risk of cancer, helps in diabetes management.
Defend body with enough antioxidants – Oxidative stress could cause molecular and genetic defects leading to infertility. The use of oral antioxidants in infertility can improve sperm quality and pregnancy rates. Plant foods are rich sources of antioxidants. They are most abundant in fruits and vegetables.
Learn stress management at home and workplace – Stress can influence the chance of conception. Problems with fertility, conception, implantation, gestation, delivery, and/or neonatal health seem to be affected by stress. Reducing stress provides a better outcome during times of fertility treatment.
- Maintain healthy relationship – Stress is a modifiable risk factor for infertility. Healthy relationship protects you from unsafe sex and infections of reproductive organs. Psychological disorders leading to infertility can be prevented by maintaining healthy relationship with your partner. A healthy relationship can support you during stress and sail smooth through your fertility journey.
- Avoid smoking – Smoking can also lead to problems with fertility in both men and women. Male smokers can suffer decreased sperm counts, motility and quality of sperm. Female smokers need more ovary-stimulating medications during IVF and still have fewer eggs at retrieval time. They also have higher rate of miscarriages. Ectopic pregnancies and preterm labour also occur more often among female smokers. Women who smoke are more likely to conceive a chromosomal unhealthy pregnancy.
- Reduce alcohol – Drinking alcohol can reduce both men’s and women’s fertility. Heavy drinking can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, small birth weight, and Foetal Alcohol syndrome. Heavy drinking can reduce men’s sex drive, affect the quality of sperm and cause infertility.
- Have a deep uninterrupted sleep – Women health and well being is affected by sleep deprivation. Disorders of menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause are closely related with the sleep pattern in women. Sleep deprivation and stress have been related to infertility in both men and women.
- Indulge in creativity – In humans, stress results in a variety of neuroendocrine, immune and behavioural responses.There isevidence that semen quality is impaired by psychological stress. Involving in creative activities may bring in positive energy in you and your partner. When you’re happy, you are more likely to avoid negative attitude.
- Maintain ideal body weight – The healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9. Being overweight can affect a woman’s fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation. Problems with male infertility are also linked to obesity. Obesity and excess weight gain during pregnancy is also linked with a number of pregnancy complications. These include increased risk of miscarriage, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, infection, blood clotting and stillbirth.
- Check your BMI and waist hip ratio – A waist hip ratio of 0.9 for men and 0.7 for women has been shown to correlate strongly with general health and fertility. Reproductive potential may be slightly higher in these men and women.
- Take vaccinations as per schedule – Vaccines help protect against specific infections, can prevent serious complications during pregnancy. Some vaccines, such as the ones for hepatitis A or B or for the influenza virus, are safe to receive before and during pregnancy. Vaccinations, such as the ones for chicken pox or rubella are best given at least a month before a woman conceives. HPV vaccines are highly for both men and women and can improve fertility.
- Have regular health checks – Regular health checks can detect any medical illness in you and your partner before your fertility journey. Diseases like hypothyroid, diabetes and high blood pressure can be treated before any fertility treatment.
- Bring regular exercises into your routine – For men and women who are overweight and obese exercise can help maintain weight which improves general health and fertility. Incorporating exercise in daily activities increases the chance of physical activity goals. Avoid very high intensity exercise while trying for a baby.
- Practice good personal hygiene – Knowledge and genital hygiene cleaning practices especially for pregnant women are inevitable. Similarly, exposure to environmental pollutants may pose the greatest threat to reproductive health. Some of the personal care products are loaded with hazardous industrial chemicals, many of which have been reported to adversely affect fertility.
- Consult specialist for fertility issues – Human reproduction is a complex field and will require a specialist to explain in detail. The role of the fertility specialist is to evaluate each unique case to determine the cause of infertility and to develop a treatment plan. If you are trying for a baby you should visit a consultant to know the do’s and don’ts of fertility.