You know you want to get pregnant, and perhaps you’ve recently come off birth control, so naturally, you’ll have some questions and concerns about the best chances of increasing your fertility.
Therefore, it is essential to prepare your body in the best way possible by adjusting your lifestyle to maximise your chances of conceiving. Having all the tools and knowledge will help you increase your chances of getting pregnant.
This article will explore how to get pregnant, including maintaining a good diet, doing regular exercise, taking vitamins and supplements, and making lifestyle changes to prepare your body for pregnancy.
- Eat a rich and nutritious diet
Eating healthy food is essential for increasing your chances of fertility naturally.
- Foods rich in antioxidants like folate and zinc are especially good for you because they deactivate the free radicals in your body, which are bad for sperm and egg cells.
- Eating healthy fatty acids such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and cooked fish are excellent, too, as they reduce inflammation.
- Eating fewer refined carbs, such as sugar and processed food, and incorporating more fibre into your diet are good because they help eliminate excess hormones and balance blood sugar. Examples of high fibre foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Weight is one of the main things to concentrate on when trying to conceive. Aim for a healthy body weight (a BMI between 18.5-24.9), as being overweight or underweight may reduce your odds of getting pregnant.
An overweight woman can take twice as long to become pregnant because the amount of fat stored in the body influences menstrual function.
Being obese can have effects on ovulation and also damage egg development. A woman who is underweight, or has a BMI of less than 18, may take four times longer to conceive and have problems with irregular periods and ovulating.
This goes for men, too. If a man is obese, his endocrine system can be affected and his sperm count lowered, according to a study published in 2020.
- Engage in moderate exercise
Another tip to get pregnant is regular exercise. Increased moderate physical activity benefits fertility as it helps prepare the body for pregnancy and labour.
But keep exercise levels moderate and not too intensive. Too much exercise can adversely affect the body’s energy balance, interfering with ovulation and your menstrual cycle. The recommended time to exercise is two and a half hours each week or 30 minutes five days a week.
- Take vitamins and supplements
Taking multivitamins helps reduce fertility issues. Micronutrients found in vitamins are essential for getting pregnant. Ensure that they contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid to prevent problems before pregnancy, and folate, which improves fertility.
Other recommended supplements are l-arginine, vitamin D and vitamin B12, which help maintain women’s nutritional requirements. Learn more in this guide to taking supplements.
- Avoid alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption impacts fertility, with a Danish study showing that drinking 14 alcoholic drinks per week was associated with a longer time to get pregnant and higher chances of infertility.
Even moderate alcohol consumption (one or two drinks per day) can make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant. So, if in doubt, cut it out.
- Limit caffeine
Limit caffeine intake to one or two cups of coffee per day to be on the safe side when trying to get pregnant.
The recommended amount is below 300mg per day. Too much caffeine can affect a baby’s growth by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the uterus.
- Stop smoking
Smoking affects men’s and women’s fertility. Chemicals found in cigarettes speed up the loss of the rate of women’s eggs, lowering oestrogen levels.
It can also affect ovulation, and women who smoke have a 40% lower chance of getting pregnant, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).
Smoking can decrease sperm count and sperm quality and increase sperm abnormalities in men. Need help quitting? See these things you can do instead of smoking.
As you can see, several factors go into ensuring greater success in getting pregnant.
Making positive lifestyle changes, such as paying attention to your diet, eating nutritious food and being mindful of what you consume overall, is vital for a healthy body and reproductive system. It can prepare your body for pregnancy in the best possible way.