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2023-04-27 21:10:16

7 Tips to Support Healthy Fertility

man and women holding a pregnancy test

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that in the United States, among married women between 15 and 49 years old who’ve not yet given birth, about one in five aren’t able to get pregnant after trying for one year. About one in four have a hard time getting pregnant or carrying their baby to term. Infertility can strike anytime, anywhere. While there are various factors at play — like genetics and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — lifestyle factors also play a role. In this article, let’s go over some basic tips to support healthy fertility that women can put into action today!

Fertility tracking will make it easier to determine your likelihood of getting pregnant (and when it is an ideal time to try). eNational’s fertility tracking panel quantifies two of the most important fertility factors: progesterone — which gives insight into your current fertility — and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) — which gives an idea of your overall ovarian health as it corresponds to your egg count. Order your test today.

How to Improve Fertility: 7 Tips

It’s always a smart idea to speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle. That includes your diet and exercise. Let’s get into seven ways you can improve fertility naturally, right at home.

1. Find Healthy Ways to Manage Your Stress

You probably don’t need us to tell you that stress will impact your physical and mental health. But how exactly does it affect fertility? Well, for one, women with a history of depression might be twice as likely to experience infertility. Anxiety can also make it harder to get pregnant.

While it might take some trial and error, it’s crucial to find stress-management techniques that work for you. Meditation, journaling, and physical movement are all proven ways to boost your mental health.

Woman writing in journal

2. Ditch Smoking and Drinking

Smoking can reduce fertility, hurt hormone production, harm the reproductive system, and damage the DNA in sperm. Exposure to smoke (even secondhand) is still dangerous. Similarly, alcohol can impact your hormones and ovulation, which can make it harder to get pregnant. In particular, heavy drinking can lead to heavy or irregular periods, which can hamper fertility.

If you don’t want to totally give up the experience of drinking alcohol, try non-alcoholic beer or mocktails.

Psst! Do you like this article so far? You might be interested in learning about high fertility vs peak fertility.

3. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Being overweight or underweight can make it harder to get pregnant. Furthermore, it can lead to complications in pregnancy and health issues with your newborn. There is no magic number or ideal weight because there are so many variables at play, including your height and how much muscle you have. A healthy weight could look completely different between two individuals.

If you’re not sure if you’re at a healthy weight, try speaking with a dietician. Remember, this isn’t about looking a certain way! It’s about creating the perfect environment to conceive and carry a healthy baby to term.

4. Avoid Extreme Physical Activity

Yes, staying active is important for your fertility, not to mention your overall health! However, too much exercise can actually work against you. For example, undergoing grueling training sessions in preparation for a marathon might not lead to healthy fertility.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here. Your training regimen should be specific to you. For instance, if you’ve been an athlete your whole life, a healthy and safe workout routine will probably look different than a woman who’s mostly been sedentary. A safe place to start is 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day.

Woman stretching outside before workout

While workout plans are highly individualized, some healthcare providers recommend keeping your heart rate below 140 BPM. This may or may not be suitable for you, so talk to your provider for more personalized advice.

5. Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is always important, and even more so in order to support healthy fertility. Not drinking enough water can lead to worsened egg health. It’s also key to regulating all of your hormones — which are needed for fertility — and it plays a role in the production of cervical fluid.

Not sure how much water you should be drinking? You can gauge this by checking out the color of your urine! If it’s very pigmented, then you’re probably dehydrated and need to drink more. If it’s light yellow, you’re on the right track.

6. Beware of Environmental Toxins

Environmental toxins can disrupt the endocrine system, damage the female and male reproductive systems, and impair fetal viability. Common culprits include pesticides, herbicides, chlorination in drinking water, heavy metals (like mercury), and air pollutants (such as smoke).

We know it can be hard to completely avoid these things — you don’t exactly have complete control. Here are a few simple pointers:

7. Limit Caffeine

While more research is needed, some studies suggest that drinking too much caffeine can hurt fertility and lead to higher rates of miscarriage and low birth weights. While healthy adults can typically drink up to 400mg of caffeine a day with no serious side effects, women trying to conceive should consider modifying their daily coffee kick with caffeine-free beverages.

If you’re trying to conceive, you can remove some of the guesswork with eNational’s fertility tracking panel. This is a simple blood draw and results are available in four to 10 business days. Get ahead of your fertility and order a test today!