As we kick off a New Year and resolve to turn over a new leaf, this post suggests 5 easy-to-do things to boost fertility at home right now.
1) Get on the wagon
Yes, it’s true. Popular lifestyle choices, such as caffeine and alcohol consumption, can have a significant effect on fertility. Caffeine, in amounts as little as is found in 1 cup of Starbucks coffee (~300 mg), has been shown to impact fertility. Time to conception is lengthened and the chance of miscarriage is increased. For alcohol, we know that it can be detrimental to fertility, we just don’t know how much is “too much”. Studies have linked excess alcohol to both decreased implantation, hormonal fluctuations and disturbances in ovulation. We suggest 1 cup of decaf coffee or tea per day and alcohol should be minimized or eliminated.
2) Weigh in on your weight
We know our body weight can have a profound impact on fertility. Extremes of weight, both too high and too low, can literally shut down your body’s ability to conceive. Body mass index (commonly known as BMI) is calculated according to your weight and height. Optimal BMI is between 18.5 – 24.9. See where you stand: BMI calculator
3) Revisit your diet
Most of us think we eat well but simply avoiding fast-food may not be enough. Research suggests that many couples trying to conceive have room to improve their diet. The Mediterranean diet, characterized by high intakes of vegetable oils, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, and legumes, low dairy intake, and moderate intake of alcohol appears to be associated with a greater chance of conception. More vegetable protein and less animal protein intake has been associated with less risk for ovulatory dysfunction. Start a dietary diary and critically analyze your intake.
4) Consider supplements
If our diet comes up short, there are a plethora of supplements we can use to boost our body’s ability to successfully conceive. Many of these are beginning to establish themselves with real evidence-based data as to their efficacy. Antioxidants, for example, fight our body’s accumulation of free radicals which damage our cells, including eggs and sperm. Essential fats can increase blood flow to pelvic organs. Some of the supplements you may want to consider:
-Omega 3 fatty acids
5) Find that one thing
Whether it is yoga, meditation or acupuncture, we all need that “one thing” to unwind. We know that any activity that lowers our stress, aids our fertility. Less important is what we choose to do to unwind and more important is the fact that we actually do something. Make it a ritual. Breathe deep, let the mind clear and the oxygen flow. Take the time for that one thing that resets the day.