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Which Lifestyle Choices Count for Female Fertility?

If you’re in the middle of treating infertility, you’ve probably heard from concerned family or friends what feels like every variation of home remedy to solve your infertility issues. We’ve heard the gamut, from being told to eat more pistachios to just relaxing and it will happen “when the time is right.” These kinds of suggestions, although well meaning, are not helpful and aren’t directly linked to improved odds for natural conception. While some aspects of fertility can only be helped through medical assistance like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), there are physician-recommended lifestyle choices that may promote fertility and make your body more receptive to nurture a growing child. Read along for useful lifestyle tips that really do coincide with fertility:

Eat Healthily – Just like they say about “dressing for the job you want”, filling your body with the nutritious foods you’d feed a growing baby can help prepare your body for a pregnancy during preconception.

Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – Certain STIs, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause infertility in men or women or even cause miscarriage. Protecting yourself against infection can help against preventable infertility.

Cut Back on Caffeine – While not proven, caffeine may be responsible for effecting estrogen levels. Limit yourself to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, total.

Reduce Stress – Reducing stress may seem impossible, as stress tends to go hand-in-hand with fertility treatments for some patients, but it is possible. It’s not proven that stress affects conception, however, learning how to manage stress is valuable for coping during treatments. Additionally, until it’s proven that stress does not affect fertility, it’s important to try to minimize stress through relaxation and positivity techniques.

Cut back on Alcohol –
If possible, avoid alcohol if you are trying to become pregnant. Even light drinking may reduce the possibility of conceiving, and heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of ovulation disorders.

Maintain a Healthy Weight –
Being under- or overweight can both affect your ability to conceive. The best weight is typically within your healthy BMI range to 10 or so pounds above a normal range. Anything out of that range may affect your hormone production and hamper regular ovulation.

Don’t Smoke – Not only has smoking been linked to cancer, it can also age your ovaries and deplete your eggs prematurely.

Exercise (But Not Too Much) – Exercise is great, but needs to be limited to no more than 7 hours a week for patients who are trying to become pregnant. Too much aerobic activity can limit production of progesterone and even prevent ovulation.

Taking control of your health before moving forward with treatments can improve success and help you feel that you are doing the most you can for your fertility. If you have questions about which foods to enjoy or what types of exercise is best pre- or post-conception, contact our recommended nutritionists and wellness centers. To learn more about fertility treatments in Connecticut, call our Fairfield, Norwalk, or Trumbull offices at 855-901-BABY (2229).