If you have just started trying to conceive or you have been trying for a little while, these 5 secrets will not only get you and your partner in optimum health to maximise your ability to conceive but will also give you the knowledge to know when you are most fertile.
Figure out when you ovulate
Did you know that the life of the egg is only 12 hours (up to a maximum of 24)? It blows my mind that anyone ever gets pregnant. But of course they do. Therefore you only have a really short time in which to conceive. The trick is to be familiar with what your body is telling you and not only that, listen to it! My advice to you is don’t bother pee-ing on ovulation sticks, they are notoriously unreliable.
What you need to do is learn how to identify and record your fertility indicators. These are your waking temperature and your cervical secretions. There is also a third, optional indicator – the position of your cervix. These three indicators change throughout the month and all you need to understand is when these indicators are telling you that you are fertile. Find yourself a fertility practitioner to teach you how to identify, record and interpret your natural indicators and then you are well away.
Psst…..extra secret. When you have had your baby you can use this knowledge to avoid pregnancy. This natural method if taught and used correctly is up to 99% effective. That’s more effective than the pill!
Have regular sex.
This might sound obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many couples I see that just aren’t having enough sex and not at the right time! When I say ‘the right time’ I suspect that you are thinking that the ‘right time’ is around the time that you ovulate? Wrong – the ‘right time’ is throughout your cycle. Regular sex every 2-3 days throughout the cycle ensures that you have the best quality sperm. If you only have sex around the time of ovulation then you have old and therefore less healthy sperm to play with. Obviously, you are going to want to concentrate your efforts for when you are most fertile; however if you can, try to have regular sex throughout the month too.
You are what you eat and drink.
Obviously, it is important to ensure that you are getting a balanced diet but there is so much more you can do. Here are just a few possibilities –
Consider introducing into your diet foods that are high in zinc for good sperm and egg health. Kale is super rich in Zinc as are brazil nuts, eggs, fish, seeds and grains. Also Vitamin C found in green leafy vegetables, kiwi fruit and tomatoes.
Selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin B12 are also beneficial to sperm and egg health.
Natural antioxidants such as blueberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, oranges, peaches, plums and tomatoes are all flavonoids that have high antioxidant properties to protect both the egg and the sperm.
Reduce your alcohol content right down. Alcohol does directly affect sperm DNA and damages the egg. Limit alcohol units to 5 per week or less. Beer/larger is not good for healthy sperm so, I would advise sticking to wine instead.
How much tea and coffee do you drink a day? Caffeine has a direct effect on the time to conception if more than 6 cups of caffeine (which includes coke etc) are drunk per day.
Smoking can really reduce your likelihood to conceive and that goes for both of you. Smoking damages sperm health considerably. However the good news is that after 12 months of giving up smoking, sperm appears to recuperate and be no different in an ex- smoker compared to a man who has never smoked.
Research also shows that women who smoke are 40% lower chance of getting pregnant than women who don’t smoke.
Enjoy the process
Easy to say, but at times, not so easy to do. If you are struggling to conceive then you may at times feel as though you are alone in your despair and end up feeling stressed. Recent studies clearly demonstrate the link between stress and infertility. The mind-body link has a bigger impact than was once believed. Capitalise on this link and go for stress busting activities such as regular exercise and consider looking into complementary therapies like reflexology.
These are just 5 lifestyle changes that you may wish to make, however if you do they will undoubtedly increase your fertility potential. If this has made you consider your fertility potential and you would like to find out more about how you can maximise your chances of conceiving, please get in touch.