New Year, New You: Changes to Boost Fertility
As 2013 comes to a close, couples trying to conceive may be looking for ways to boost fertility and increase their chances of becoming pregnant in 2014. The New Year brings renewed hope and optimism and gives us the opportunity to start fresh. It's the perfect time to implement lifestyle changes that may boost fertility. Read on for tips for moms- and dads-to-be.
General Lifestyle Changes for Men and Women
While weight goals are the top priority for almost everyone's resolution list, maintaining a healthy weight is even more important for men and women who are trying to have a baby. Whether you are overweight or underweight, it can negatively impact your fertility. For women, reaching an ideal weight is much easier to accomplish before you become pregnant.
If you want to conceive, your best bet is to stop smoking and reduce consumption of alcoholic beverages. These guidelines aren't just for expectant moms. Both partners should avoid them to boost fertility.
Men and woman should also stay active. Regular exercise is good for you in so many ways, plus some research suggests that it can help speed up conception. Try working out for thirty minutes every day. (And, yes, sex counts!)
Do what you can to reduce stress. High stress levels can actually prevent a woman from ovulating as well as lower sperm count in men.
Diet Changes for Men
- Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. A University of Wisconsin study found that consuming 1,000 mg of calcium along with 10 micrograms of vitamin D can help boost a man's fertility. If you're looking for good sources of these nutrients try yogurt, skim milk, and salmon.
- Make sure you get adequate amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. These key nutrients may help prevent defects in sperm and increase sperm motility. Try to get at least 90 mg of vitamin C every day. If you are a smoker, you may want to increase your vitamin C intake to 125 mg daily. Orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Make sure you consume enough folic acid. Folic acid is an important B vitamin shown to reduce risk of neural tube birth defects when taken by women. Lower levels of folic acid in men have also been linked to lower sperm counts. Try for a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. You can find it in some fortified cereals, in orange juice, and in legumes and leafy greens.
Diet Changes for Women
- Women need vitamin C and antioxidants too. For women, these nutrients have been shown to reduce the stress on reproductive organs and eggs.
- Folic acid is essential for women who trying to conceive. Folic acid—and all the B vitamins, actually—are essential during pregnancy, but they are equally important in the period before conception too. Women who are given supplements of this key nutrient may experience increased fertility.
- Women need zinc too. Zinc can boost male fertility, but it can also significantly help women who want to become pregnant. Zinc is necessary for preventing chromosome changes that can lead to reduced fertility and even miscarriage. Your body needs zinc for the proper functioning of reproductive hormones as well.
With these simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can help ensure that your body is in excellent physical condition and boost your fertility. Here's to a better you and a happy, healthy future for you and your baby.