How to get pregnant? It can sound as a weird question to some of you, but the reality is that currently one out of ten healthy couples have difficulty conceiving, some as 7.3 million women of reproductive age in the U.S. are impaired in their ability to have children, and pinpointing the exact cause most of the time is really difficult. That’s when this question comes in our mind.
Well, as you probably know, many events must work together perfectly for a pregnancy to occur: ovulation, fertilization of the ovum by the sperm, and the journey of the fertilized egg through the fallopian tube to reach finally the uterus. If something get wrong, we fail to conceive.
And the causes are not always woman-related. Statics show indeed, that about one third of the cases of infertility can be traced to the woman, another one third to the man, and in the last third the problem can’t be identified or is with both the man and woman.
As there’s no clear answers to the question: “How do I get pregnant?” Neither a magic potion to drink, there are some Do’s and Don’ts you can observe to improve your probabilities of conceiving a baby. Here’re some…
DO’s & DON’Ts
DO maintain a balanced diet
As well as in your everyday life, a balanced diet is important for both men and women, and even more when you are trying to have a baby or when you are already pregnant.
Keep in mind that obesity can lower the sperm count due to the increase of estrogen levels in males with an excess of body fat.
For women, obesity can cause hormonal imbalances and consequential problems with ovulation.
Based on that, try not to consume fried, or fatty junk foods.
Eating trans fats typically leads to higher blood sugar and insulin levels which lead to reduced fertility.
Trans fats have to be replaced by food rich in healthy fats as:
Also, try to reduce to the minimum the consumption of animal fats, and animal proteins.
Concerning that, a study published in 2008 shows that female who replaced animal proteins in their diet with vegetable sources reduce their infertility risk.
Try not to consume refined sugars and pasteurized fruit juices, such as bottled ones containing concentrated sugar, which consumption can throw off your blood sugar levels and negatively affect your immune system and consequently your body ability to conceive a baby.
Also, it is proven that excessive caffeine consumption may prevent some women from becoming pregnant.
Do eat pumpkin seeds. They can be considered as important male fertility boosters, because they contain large amounts of Zinc, very important for the correct functioning of the reproductive organs.
You can also assume Zinc as a supplement with a suggested dosage of 80 mg daily.
Do consume bee pollen (attention: may cause allergic reaction), or royal jelly, both well known among trying-to-conceive women, due to their capacity to increase vitality and support optimal hormonal balance.
DO quit Smoking
Do not smoke, and avoid being around cigarette smoke.
The relationship between cigarette smoking and infertility has been studied for many years, and it is proven that Smokers are more likely to have fertility problems than nonsmokers.
Marijuana and cocaine also lower the sperm count.
DO NOT STOP EXERCISING
While some studies have shown that strenuous, high-intensity workouts in women can alter the entire menstrual cycle changing body’s hormonal balance, other researches have shown that leading a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to fertility as well.
The key here is, as always, balance. Regular exercise and non-sedentary behaviors are to be preferred to the stay-seated-parked-on-your-butt-all-day-long kinda habits.
But choose a moderate, low-impact exercise routine such as yoga, walking, swimming, light jogging aerobics or Zumba.
Instead, try to avoid:
Exercising over an hour long
Running for many miles each day
Extreme “boot-camp” training
Do Not Stress Out
Be aware that psychological issues, such as stress, may contribute to infertility as well.
Since most of the time stress is the result of infertility, not the cause of it, try not to think constantly about getting pregnant: some people may have already said to you, "Just relax and it will happen." And although it can feel insulting, there's a kernel of truth to it.
Stress in fact, can affect your ovulation and your body balances affecting your body hormones levels that regulates appetite, emotions, and the ones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If you're stressed out, you may ovulate later in your cycle or not at all.