Even if having a baby is not in your immediate future, it doesn’t hurt to implement some healthy lifestyle habits, which will have a positive impact on your fertility. We call on the experts to answer how to increase your chances of getting pregnant, from taking supplements to practicing self care…
How to increase your chances of getting pregnant
1. SWAP WINE FOR NO LOW DRINKS
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t know a few couples… okay LOTS of couples who conceived off the back of an alcohol fuelled night of passion. Whatever helps you to get in the mood right? Interestingly, women crave alcohol a week after their period because oestrogen makes a drink ‘much more rewarding’. But the problem lies with regular drinking, like that glass of wine that turns into two or three every night. As much as we love a full bodied Malbec or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to take the edge off, the high alcohol volume along with regular consumption has a negative impact on our health and our fertility. Instead swap for no low drinks such as an alcohol free beer or a hard seltzer.
2. MANAGE YOUR STRESS TO REST RATIO
We need stress in order to survive, develop and grow. Happy hormones like dopamine fire when we put a little stress on ourselves to stay motivated towards our goals, and endorphins surge when we put stress on our bodies to perform our workouts. The secret lies in how much we balance stress with rest and recovery. Are you carving out enough time to spend with your partner? Nothing will increase your chances of getting pregnant more than actually making time for sex. Are you factoring in some meditation or yoga to balance out those runs and HIIT workouts?
Setting boundaries is also key to keeping your stress to rest ratio in check. It can be as simple as banning your phones and laptops from the bedroom, planning a regular date night or setting reminders in your calendar to do some yoga or meditation.
3. EAT A HEALTHY, BALANCED DIET
At DOSE we are all about “healthy hedonism”, which essentially means that we are healthy most of the time but are pleasure seekers aka hedonists at heart – so indulging in what we love is also important to our wellbeing. It’s about finding a balance. Try to eat healthily by packing in lots of good fats and protein but allow yourself some treats in moderation. Not only will eating better improve your mood and general health but it will have a positive impact on your fertility too.
According to Kat Boyd ND, a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet are important when trying to conceive. In fact, improving nutrition and lifestyle for as little as three months before trying to conceive can make a noticeable difference to both genders, as both the male and female reproductive systems need adequate nutritional support to contribute to sperm and egg quality.
Nutrients are best obtained from a balanced organic diet; however many of us find it hard to eat this way all of the time. Due to the importance of some nutrients and the difficulty obtaining them; she recommends a comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplement like Proceive to make sure both men and women are getting all the nutrients they both need for a healthy conception. She shares the vitamins and minerals that are important when planning a pregnancy and where to find them.
If you’re following a vegan diet, make sure you pack in the iron and protein. Nutritionist Gaye Godkin shares some advice on the plant based diet in relation to fertility and conception.
4. GET THE RIGHT DOSE OF EXERCISE
We know that exercise makes us feel good and releases a cocktail of happy hormones. It not only reduces feelings of anxiety and depression but it boosts our resilience, confidence and helps with sleep (more on that later). But we don’t have to push ourselves to the brink to get the benefits. Aerobic exercise like walking, running, biking and swimming increases serotonin in the body. You only need about 30 minutes to get the serotonin ‘high’.
To increase chances of getting pregnant, men should do at least half an hour of exercise three times a week, which scientists say may boost sperm count. Men who took up running and stuck with it had more ‘healthy swimmers’, according to the research. As for women, Nutritionist Gay Godkin says if you want to increase chances of getting pregnant, exercising less intensely is key.
“For women, exercise improves blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, and generally improves mood. However problems can arise when it is taken to the extreme”. She suggests making adjustments to your fitness routine, such as avoiding overexertion and switching to lower-intensity activities that don’t induce inflammation in the body, such as Pilates and yoga. “These activities have been shown to be effective for easing stress levels, promoting weight loss and in the case of yoga, even promoting fertility”, she says.
5. GET A SLEEP HYGIENE ROUTINE
Remember, your bedroom should be for two things – sleep and sex. Spending too much time in your room will make it likely your mind associates your bedroom with other mind stimulating activities, thus disrupting your sleep patterns.
A key to sleep hygiene is having the ultimate night-time routine. Creating a routine will help your body recognise that it’s time to relax – which is key for increasing your sex drive. Start your routine 30 to 60 minutes before bed. It can include things like reading, meditation or a warm bath.
Sleep affects your hormone production, which is undeniably important when trying for a baby, say fertility experts Proceive. “Both men and women should be aware that the same part of their brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones, such as melatonin and cortisol, also regulates your reproductive hormones too. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body will not produce the correct amounts of hormones.
It is also thought that your sleep-wake pattern can affect the reproductive hormones that trigger ovulation in women and the sperm-maturation process in men. If this is the case, not getting enough sleep can affect the regularity of menstrual cycles in women, which can make it difficult to use an ovulation calculator and take advantage of your most fertile days. In men, it can prevent their sperm from being as strong and able to fertilise the eggs”.
How to boost fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant is easier than you think with these expert tips from stressing less to taking a supplement. Proceive contains a significantly higher number of key nutrients at optimal dosage levels compared to any other brand.
This is a partnership feature with Proceive.
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.