Are You Helping Or Hurting Your Pregnancy Chances?
Planning to get pregnant soon? For some, creating a new baby is easier said than done. There are a lot of factors that limit a successful pregnancy, including age, reproductive health, and existing diseases. Even if a doctor gives the all-clear, there is still only a 25% chance of a natural pregnancy. That’s because there are a host of lifestyle factors that affect success. Poor habits may be affecting fertility. To get the best out of any baby-making efforts, make these crucial lifestyle changes.
Fertility starts with the fork
A poor diet could be impacting the success rate of pregnancy. Foods and drinks with high sugar content have been linked with decreasing fertility rates. These foods can also bring on diabetes, which can trigger infertility in men. Researchers have also seen a link between consuming red meat and lower fertility rates. For couples serious about getting pregnant, consider a diet overhaul. Aim for more leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Try eating fewer sugary drinks, processed foods, and meat.
Working out those pregnancy troubles
For couples trying to get pregnant, there’s no better lifestyle change than staying active. Numerous studies link being overweight with infertility. To maximize the chances of pregnancy, start incorporating an exercise routine. Try light exercises like yoga, aerobics, or swimming. Men should consider weight lifting, which is tied to increased testosterone production. At the same time, don’t exercise too much. Overtraining has been linked with infertility by encouraging the pituitary gland to secrete less baby-making hormones.
A dangerous infertility combination
A stressful lifestyle may be bringing on the urge to smoke. And while smoking relaxes and brings temporary reprieve, both stress and smoking are damaging to fertility. Men who smoke are less likely to conceive than those who don’t. There is also a decrease in sperm quality. Stress also affects both men and women with research seeing decreased pregnancy rates in stressed couples. Look for ways to reduce stress. Exercise can help here. Cutting back on smoking is great for overall health and wellness. And the sacrifice could be the pregnancy difference-maker.
Get in those ZZZ’s
Sleep helps the body recharge, reset, and is critical for overall health and wellness. At the same time, 1 in 3 persons lacks the recommended hours of sleep. Sleep helps proper hormone production. A lack of sleep also increases the chances of lifestyle diseases like diabetes. Getting adequate rest could improve the chances of pregnancy. Make sure to go to sleep at the same time every night, getting at least 6 hours of sleep.
Oral health may be causing issues too
Looking after oral health may improve the chances of pregnancy. Gum disease and problems like periodontal disease decreased fertility in both men and women. Men with poor oral health have lower sperm quality compared to those with excellent oral health. Women with gum disease may also take longer to conceive. Give pregnancy chances a boost with an extra trip to the dentist, brushing and flossing regularly.
One less glass of wine
Hitting the bar for a glass of wine every happy hour can hamper future pregnancy goals. Alcohol affects the glands that produce hormones responsible for many bodily functions, like reproduction. In men, excess alcohol can reduce testosterone levels and sperm quality, while women may have issues getting pregnant and staying pregnant. An occasional glass of wine won’t hurt. But for couples serious about getting pregnant, quitting alcohol altogether may be a necessary lifestyle change.
Time for a lifestyle upgrade
Couples will need to make difficult but necessary changes to maximize the chances of pregnancy. Simple habits like poor diet, no exercise, and even poor oral health compound to affect fertility. Most habits are hard to break, so start small. Add one change every week, getting help from doctors and loved ones to keep accountable.