Fertility Answers - Helping Build Families

Lifestyle Changes for Maximum Fertility

Lifestyle changes can make you healthier and improve your fertility.

Lifestyle changes for maximum fertilityIt’s the new year and it’s not too late to set some intentions and resolutions to make the next 12 months better than ever. Our Louisiana fertility physicians hope that your resolutions will also include lifestyle changes aimed not only at making you healthier and happier, but also more fertile.

Just as positive lifestyle changes can affect your mood and overall health, they can also have a dramatic influence on your and your partner’s fertility. While some factors may be beyond your control, if you are trying to get pregnant there are several ways you and your partner can make lifestyle improvements to achieve maximal chances of conceiving. And if you are already going through fertility treatments, it becomes even more important to have a healthier lifestyle, especially as the treatment becomes more complex (such as with IVF).

Fertility enhancing lifestyle changes for women:

Women generally think more about their health after they conceive to ensure a smooth pregnancy and birth. However, it is equally important to consider pre-conception health as many lifestyle habits can directly affect egg quality and lead to female infertility.

  • Maintaining an ideal body weight is critical for conception. Your body mass index, roughly calculated using your height and your weight, is an important indicator of your overall health and also indicates your chances of conceiving. Women with a low BMI, typical of endurance athletes, have decreased chances of conception. On the flip-side, women with a BMI greater than 35 have a 2-times higher chance of having a stillbirth and a 50% higher chance of prematurity (<32 weeks).
  • Quit smoking.
  • Limit caffeine intake to 1 cup of decaf coffee or tea during the time trying to conceive.
  • No alcohol during treatment cycles.
  • Healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, less red meat, and no trans fats (doughnuts, fried foods, etc.).

Fertility enhancing lifestyle changes for men:

Protecting and enhancing male fertility is just as important as it is for the female partner.

  • Quit smoking or using other tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco.
  • No smoking marijuana. Multiple studies suggest that cannabis use has a detrimental impact on male fertility. Specifically, marijuana appears to have negative effects on sperm count, sperm morphology, and sperm motility – all of which are important for getting pregnant.
  • Limit caffeine intake to 3 cups of coffee or less (sperm are less sensitive to caffeine than eggs).
  • Minimize or eliminate alcohol. For men, it is recommended to have no more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks per week.
  • Healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, less red meat, and no trans fats (doughnuts, fried foods, etc.).
  • Stop using performance enhancing supplements. Anabolic steroids used to enhance strength and fitness can actually drastically lower a man’s sperm count, sometimes even to zero in many cases. Similarly, testosterone supplements can also cause sperm counts to plummet.

So here’s to a healthier, happier and more fertile new year. Contact our Louisiana fertility clinic for more information or to begin your journey to a healthier future and a possible family.

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