Fertility - How to increase your chances?
There are numerous ways to increase your chances of becoming pregnant ranging from diet, weight, lifestyle and more. We’ll take you through a few ways to increase your chances.
Keeping tabs on your health is always key when considering becoming pregnant, whether you’re a woman or man. Good diet, regular exercise, healthy body weight, ideal sleep patterns and healthy lifestyle choices (e.g. limiting smoking and alcohol consumption) can all play a positive role.
When considering becoming pregnant, make a note of any medication both of you take and visit your GP or pharmacist beforehand for advice.
Certain medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, asthma and obesity can all negatively affect your chances of conceiving also.
A healthy weight is key for conceiving. Being underweight (having a BMI of under 18.5) can mean irregular periods and having a pre-term baby once you conceive. Being overweight (BMI of 25-30) or obese (BMI of 30+) can lead to a failure to ovulate and menstrual disorders.
To check your BMI, you can call into any one of our pharmacies and we will be more than happy to calculate this for you.
Regular, moderate exercise can increase fertility in both men and women. Vigorous exercise (greater than 5 hours per week) has been shown to reduce fertility compared to those women who do not exercise at all; so, we would recommend holding back on the marathon training.
For both men and women, alcohol consumption can impact negatively on trying to become pregnant. For men, excess alcohol can affect the quality of sperm and for women, no alcohol is recommended if you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant because alcohol can have adverse effects for the baby.
Smoking can lead to reduced fertility in both males and females. Smoking is also not recommended during pregnancy as this too can have severe effects for the baby such as increased risk of diseases and abnormalities (e.g. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or respiratory diseases). As well as that, it can increase chances of having a miscarriage.
What you eat plays a huge role in fertility. If you eat healthily you will produce healthy cells, and that includes sperm and egg cells too. The following are key nutrients that can have a big impact on fertility.
|Calcium||Helps build strong bones and teeth and research shows that it is important for creating the correct environment for the sperm to reach the egg.
FOUND IN: Dairy, Almonds, Beans & Lentils.
|Folic Acid||Reduces the risk of neural tube defects in your baby e.g. spina bifida. Ideally, it should be taken 2-3 months prior to conception and continuing until your 12th week of pregnancy.
FOUND IN: Leafy green vegetables e.g. spinach, fortified breads, cereals, pasta.
|Iron||Studies show that a lack of iron in women can lead to a lack of ovulation and poor egg growth. Iron deficiency is the number one deficiency among women.
FOUND IN: Lean red meat, beans & lentils, fortified cereals & leafy green vegetables.
|Omega-3||Healthy fatty acids such as Omega-3 help regulate hormones, improve sperm quality and aid absorption of vitamin D and E.
FOUND IN: Oily fish e.g. mackerel & tuna, nuts & seeds.
|Vitamin B12||Aids the nervous system and general metabolism. B12 deficiency has been associated with infertility and ovulation.
FOUND IN: Liver, kidneys, sardines, fortified cereals, tuna.
|Vitamin D||Low levels of Vitamin D can hamper growth and development of the baby and can also lead to infertility.
FOUND IN: Fatty fish like tuna and mackerel, egg yolks, beef liver.
|Selenium||Key factor in normal testicular development, sperm formation and mobility.
FOUND IN: Brazil nuts especially, fish, ham and enriched foods.
|Vitamin B12||Essential for metabolism and brain function. Also, a key component of normal cell division.
FOUND IN: Liver, kidneys, sardines, fortified cereals, tuna.
|Vitamin C||Allows for normal physiological function in order to produce healthy cells, including sperm cells.
FOUND IN: Citrus fruits mostly, kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, mango.
|Vitamin E||A fat-soluble vitamin that protects the sperm membrane from damage due to oxidative stress.
FOUND IN: Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.
|Zinc||Contributes to fertility and reproduction as zinc plays a key role in the make-up of semen.
FOUND IN: Meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts & dairy.
Reading the signs:
Not only is it beneficial to keep an eye on your overall health but it is extremely important to keep track of your ovulation pattern to give you and your partner the best chance of conceiving.
If your cycle is regular, with periods every 26-32 days, this means having sex on days 8-19 of your cycle will help boost your chances. For the best chance of success, you should have sex every 2-3 days throughout the month.
Clearblue’s Ovulation Test allows you to pinpoint the days you are most fertile, so if you want to increase your chances even further, we would recommend picking up one of these.
Proceive is our main fertility product we stock in the pharmacy, and for good reason. Proceive gives you and your partner the best chance to have a baby in a safe and natural way.
It supports the nutritional needs of the body while trying to have a baby. With the active blend of folic acid, vitamins, minerals and amino acid it gives a comprehensive formula to provide the nutritional support to both men and women during the period of conception.
How Proceive helps women:
It prepares the female reproductive system by supplying the minerals and nutrients needed to ensure the environment is right. These factors are crucial in order to develop good quality egg cells.
Click here to view Proceive for Women.
How Proceive helps men:
The energy requirements involved in producing the vast number of sperm that men do when fertile is significant and therefore the body requires nutritional support to keep this process functional. That’s where Proceive comes in and provides the key nutrients to aid normal fertility and reproduction.
Click here to view Proceive for Men.
Apart from Proceive, we have several other products such as Vitabiotics Pregnacare His & Her Conception. A dual pack with 30 tablets for men and 30 tablets for women, which contain a whole host of vitamins, minerals and more to maintain health and support conception.