An exercise in Fertility: the ability to fall Pregnant
For some this is true: Don't drink the water you'll get pregnant! For a growing number the ability to fall pregnant is a long and ardious process with many roller coaster rides of emotions and pregnancy test kits. The angst felt by woman who see their friends/relatives/work mates fall pregnant within a drop of a hat is indescribable. They keep saying to themselves: 'When will it be my turn?'
Just because you haven't conceived doesn't mean you cant or wont be able to fall pregnant naturally- sure there are some medical reasons that might inhibit it but one thing is for certain you need to put your body in the best healthy state possible.
Did you know:
~Around four per cent of all children born in Australia are the result of IVF -- that's the equivalent one child in every average sized classroom.
~The success rates of IVF significantly drops from 35 per cent in patients under 30 years old to just eight per cent for women over 40 years of age.
~A quarter of Australian women undergoing IVF are over the age of 40.
This leaves many to ask how can I place my body in the best possible space to fall pregnant?
We have compiled some tips, foods and ideas to help you on your way:
- Healthy weight
Being overweight or underweight can affect your chances of conceiving. Too much or too little body fat can make you have irregular periods or stop them completely, which can affect your ability to conceive.
+Your weight is healthy if your body mass index is between 20 and 25.
+Women whose BMI is more than 30 or under 19 may have problems conceiving.
+If your partner's BMI is more than 30, his fertility is likely to be lower than normal.
Studies of the effects of exercise on fertility have found that vigorous exercise reduces the risk of ovulation problems and that moderate exercise decreases the risk of miscarriage and increases the chance of having a baby among women who undergo ART(Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition which is associated with infertility. Women with PCOS often have irregular or no periods because they rarely ovulate. For overweight and obese women with PCOS regular exercise can increase the frequency of ovulation which leads to more regular menstrual cycles. As ovulation becomes more frequent, the chance of conceiving increases. While studies show that exercise boosts female fertility it is important to note that a large amount of very high intensity exercise may actually reduce fertility and the chance of having a baby with ART. So, it’s a good idea to avoid very high intensity exercise while trying for a baby.3. Smoking and Drugs
There is also a link between smoking and poorer quality sperm, although the effect on male fertility isn't certain. But stopping smoking will improve your partner's general health.
There's no clear evidence of a link between caffeine, which is found in drinks such as coffee, tea and cola, and fertility problems. Though it is recommended to keep the caffeine at a lower level. There is also some prescription drugs and illicit substances that will interfere with the ability to fall pregnant.
+Following a low-carb diet may improve hormone levels associated with fertility, especially among women with PCOS.
+To boost fertility levels, avoid foods high in trans fats. Eat foods rich in healthy fats instead, such as extra virgin olive oil.
+Some studies suggest that eating more calories at breakfast and less at your evening meal can improve fertility.
+Taking an antioxidant supplement or eating antioxidant-rich foods can improve fertility rates, especially among men with infertility.
+Eating a diet high in refined carbs can raise insulin levels, which may increase the risk of infertility and make it harder to get pregnant.
+Eating more protein from vegetable sources, instead of animal sources, may improve fertility levels in women.
+Replacing low-fat dairy products with high-fat versions may help improve fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
+Consuming iron supplements and non-heme iron from plant-based food sources may decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.
The last piece of the puzzle that we are sharing is the impact that the stress or worry will have on conception. We know of several examples of woman who were so stressed/anxious/uptight about the whole process and when they gave up and stopped trying so hard- guess what they FELL PREGNANT!
As your stress levels increase, your chances of getting pregnant decrease. This is likely due to the hormonal changes that occur when you feel stressed. Having a stressful job and working long hours can also increase the time it takes you to become pregnant.
In fact, stress, anxiety and depression affect around 30% of women who attend fertility clinics.
Receiving support and counselling may reduce anxiety and depression levels, therefore increasing your chances of becoming pregnant.
Our next article on fertility is going to be on the small percent of woman who conceive fine in the first pregnancy and then struggle with their second (second infertility). This actually accounts for a whopping 50% of infertility cases.
The above information has been collated from a range of sources and research papers.