Planning Ahead: How to improve your chances of conception

Are you and your partner planning to start a family? Getting pregnant may not always be as easy as it may seem. Conception could be achieved in a few weeks or it may take a few years (at times), depending on what factors are affecting your fertility. To maximize your chances and avoid heartbreaks, it is important for the two of you to sit together and plan in advance, which should be at least 3 months before you stop using the contraceptive. Good planning can lead to quicker results and a healthier pregnancy. Here are a few factors to consider before you give it a go:

1.    Are you and your partner prepared to have a baby?
When you plan to have a baby, both you and your spouse should be fully fit and prepared to take the leap – mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.

2.    Do you or your partner have a family history of inherited disease?
There are some medical conditions like Hemophilia, Thalessemia, and cystic fibrosis, which can be passed on to the baby genetically. If one of the partners or their close relative has a   history of inherited disease, it is always better to consult a doctor before planning pregnancy. If required, the doctor may advise you to see a genetic counselor. So always check with your family members about any serious genetic disorders in the family.

3.    What is your age?
The best age to conceive is before you turn 30, but it isn’t uncommon to find many couples wanting to have a baby after 30. While most healthy women will be able to conceive naturally even at a higher age, there could be challenges for many others, especially after the age of 35. If you are over 35, you may take a longer time to conceive or have greater risk of miscarriage after conception. You and your partner need to be prepared for challenges like these.

4.    Are you suffering from any medical condition?
If you are suffering from any medical condition that requires long-term treatment with medication, you should consult your doctor and seek advise before trying to conceive. Your drug therapy could make it difficult for you to conceive or might affect the development of your baby. Consulting a doctor could help you avoid these problems.

5.    Are you obese or overweight?
Obesity is one of the risk factors for infertility. Couples who are overweight should aim at attaining the right weight in order to improve their chances of conception. Being both overweight or underweight may have an adverse effect on your hormones and thereby your fertility.

6.    Do you eat a healthy diet?
You have better chances of conceiving when you eat a healthy balanced diet rich in all the essential minerals and vitamins. Avoid high sugar and high fat diets. Instead focus on consuming more healthy fats like Avocado, fish, nuts and extra virgin olive oil which can balance your reproductive hormones. Experts often advise couples to take multivitamin supplements every day, if they are trying for a baby. Folic acid supplements can also improve your fertility levels. Good diet will help improve the egg and sperm quality.

7.    Do you exercise regularly?
Fitness and good health always go hand in hand. Keep your body fit by regular exercising. Exercise regulates body metabolism and corrects any hormonal imbalance.  It also improves the semen health in men.

8.    Do you have any addictions?
Alcohol and tobacco can adversely affect both male and female reproductive health. Both you and your partner should consider reducing the intake of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as soon as you start planning for a baby

9.    Are you susceptible to any kind of occupational hazards?
If you or your partner has a job that requires constant exposure to harmful chemicals or radiations, you need to talk to your doctor about any possible problems with respect to conception or risks to the baby after conceiving.

10.    Do you or your partner have any kind of stress?
Work related stress is often linked to poor fertility. If you or your spouse has a demanding job, work towards reducing the stress. Yoga, meditation and evening walks are great stress busters that also improve reproductive health.

 You might also like to read 5 reasons why women are more prone to stress and How Yoga works on Body and Mind.

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