Optimizing Natural Fertility to Increase the Chances for Getting Pregnant
Correcting physical and hormonal barriers can reverse infertility. However, in some cases, carefully timed intercourse and/or simple lifestyle changes can lead to success. Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates provides these tips to try at home to help optimize your chances for conceiving naturally.
Prepare your body for pregnancy.
- Ensure your body is in good condition prior to conception. You can begin by making an appointment with Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates. This is a good time to ensure vaccinations* are current, and to discuss risk factors and family history. There are many preconception chromosome-based diagnostic tests available today that could potentially prevent over 100 genetic diseases. After discussing risk factors, our fertility doctors can help you determine if genetic testing is recommended.
- Discuss any prescription or over-the-counter medications (even herbal remedies) you are taking. Check with your fertility doctor prior to starting any new medication.
- Make sure any medical professional (including your dentist) you visit during this time knows that you are trying to get pregnant.
*Particularly the influenza vaccination during flu season.
Evaluate your current diet and lifestyle to optimize fertility.
- A healthy diet is essential during pregnancy, and may also enhance fertility. Try to eat a balanced diet, including iron, calcium, folic acid, Vitamin C and D. This is a good time to start taking additional vitamins such as a women’s multi-vitamin or a prenatal vitamin.
- Exercise is a plus. Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, you should be able to maintain your regular exercise routine throughout the conception period and pregnancy. Statistically, women with a BMI within the “normal” range experience fewer problems conceiving and have easier pregnancies.
- Take into account risky behaviors such as smoking, excess alcohol consumption and the use of illegal/recreational drugs. If you are considering becoming pregnant, now is the time to stop. These factors not only inhibit fertility, but also can cause long-term damage to your unborn baby.
- Studies have shown smoking can cause up to a 66 percent chance of increased infertility and a 70 percent increased chance of miscarriage. Even secondhand smoke can affect fertility.
- Marijuana, alcohol and many common street drugs can hinder conception by decreasing sperm production in men and interfering with ovulation in women. Substances ingested while pregnant will also be ingested by the growing fetus and may cause severe birth defects, mental retardation, stillbirth, preterm delivery, low birth weight and newborn addiction to the substance.
- If you are currently using drugs, be sure to share this information openly with your fertility doctor and OB/GYN.
Tips for successful conception include:
- Women are most fertile mid-cycle, but every woman is different. Couples should pinpoint ovulation, and have sex every day, or every other day, during this peak fertile time. Abstinence for more than 10 days is not ideal as it can deplete sperm count.
- An over-the-counter ovulation kit can help gauge optimal fertility.
- Avoid the use of commercial lubricants as these can hinder sperm motility.
When to seek a fertility specialist:
- It’s time to visit a fertility specialist if you are under the age of 35 and have not conceived after trying for 12 months. If you are 35 or older, visit a fertility specialist after 6 months.
- Couples with a known, existing issue should consult a fertility specialist right away. Some causes for concern include either partner having a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, CF, hypertension or cancer or having had an STD.
- Women who have experienced irregular cycles or abdominal or pelvic surgery should also waive the waiting period.
Feel free to make an appointment with Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates if you are concerned about any of these issues, or if you would like to find out more about optimizing conception. Contact us to reach our Dallas or Southlake office.