Preparing for a pregnancy or actively trying for one yields results for different women at different paces but if you are going to up your chances and rule out any lifestyle causes for delay, there are at least 8 habits that you must avoid so you don’t stand in the way of your own positive test.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to boost your odds of getting pregnant each month. For instance, you can track your ovulation, take prenatal vitamins, eat healthy among other tips. Sometimes, however, what you don’t do is just as important.
Here’s 8 things to avoid when trying for a pregnancy:
Smoking is slowly becoming prevalent among women in this part of the world, unfortunately the habit has telling effects on the fertility of women. Apart from the potential hazards of lung and pancreatic cancer, smoking can jeopardise your chances of conceiving.
Women who smoke accelerate the aging process of their ovarian follicles, which in turn can lead to early menopause and an increased risk of infertility. So, by all means, shun smoking.
2. Excessive Caffeine Intake
We know about the calming smell of brewing coffee and the general appeal of the taste but you may want to consider cutting down on the number of cups you consume per day. There are varying outcomes of researches, but to be safe, it is best to stick to a maximum of two cups per day.
A 2016 paper from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine indicates that drinking more than five cups of coffee a day is associated with decreased fertility, and that once you do become pregnant, drinking more than 200 mg of caffeine a day (the equivalent of about two cups of coffee) may actually increase your risk of miscarriage.
Please note that tea, hot chocolate, energy drinks and certain sodas have caffeine too.
3. Too Much Alcohol
It is unclear exactly how alcohol affects fertility but research suggests that consuming more than two drinks a day may decrease fertility rates and increase the time it takes for a couple to conceive.
So when you are trying for a baby, drink sparingly or not at all. Remember that when you do become pregnant—no amount of alcohol is considered safe once you have a baby in the womb.
Being a couch potato won’t get you closer to your goal of getting pregnant. In fact, the daily recommended amount of activity for every adult is about 150minutes for overall well being. If you are getting less, you need to step it up.
Research suggests that women who engage in moderate exercise (where you’re breathing hard but can still talk) are able to conceive a bit more quickly than those who don’t and those who exercise too much. Start slowly and increase the pace and intensity gradually.
Find a sport or other physical activity you can stick to, and there are a number of really good exercising apps that can help you get the work in even if you are home often.
HA-ha – This one. Stress is a familiar part of lifestyle for for most of us, but feeling constantly stressed particularly for long periods can interfere with hormonal balance and delay conception for women wanting to get pregnant.
Recent research suggests the higher the perceived stress, the harder the time women had conceiving. If managing stress is a problem for you, speak with your doctor, try other approaches like breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation.
6. Junk Food
Junk food including soda may slow down your pregnancy chances. There’s good evidence that women with infertility related to irregular periods may benefit from minimizing their intake of sugar and processed foods, and increasing their intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and plant-based proteins.
Research also suggests that low fruit and high fast-food consumption is correlated with taking a longer time to get pregnant. A balanced diet ultimately helps you position your body for conception.
7. Harmful Lubricants
When pregnancy isn’t happening, you are likely to get a lot of advice on things you can do to increase your odds. A number of people will recommend that you get lubricants, so your husband’s sperm can swim faster.
That’s not a bad idea in itself, but make sure that whatever lubricant you are getting is sperm-friendly and will not counter the purpose for which you are opting for a lubricant in the first place.
Bisphenol-A—found in many household products—is an endocrine-disrupting chemical, which means it can interfere with your body’s hormone function, including the hormones related to your reproductive system. It is important to note that even the slightest hormonal changes can prove to be a nagging problem in the face of conception.
Infertile women have higher levels of BPA in their blood than fertile women and higher levels of BPA may reduce success of fertility treatment, a study suggests.
Scientists are still trying to understand how BPA might affect fertility, but if you’re trying to conceive, it’s best to avoid it: Opt for fresh or frozen foods instead of packaged foods; shun canned foods; store leftovers in glass instead of plastic containers and use glass or stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic ones.