Lifestyle and fertility: Can you prepare for fertility treatment?

You can’t eat your way to pregnancy or change your fertility. Still, there are ways for you to improve your lifestyle before starting fertility treatment. In this article, we’re going through some of the things you can do to positively affect your fertility and prepare your body for pregnancy.


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wawa fertility

19. september - 2022


Alcohol

When trying to get pregnant, your alcohol intake should be as limited as possible since alcohol is known to reduce fertility.

Men, however, can still consume a normal amount of alcohol, as long as it isn’t excessive. Large consumptions of alcohol can reduce the sperm quality and reduce chances of getting pregnant in treatment.


Tobacco

It’s known that smoking reduces fertility in women. For men, smoking reduces the sperm quality. That’s why quitting smoking is a good idea if you’re about to undergo fertility treatment - and preferably a long time before starting treatment.


Folic acid

Supplements of folic acid are recommended for everyone trying to get pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. But actually few people know why: Folic acid reduces the risk of the baby getting spina bifida. 400 micrograms of folic acid per day is recommended.

If the woman has previously given birth or aborted a child with certain malformations in the brain or spine, the recommended dose of folic acid per day is 5 mg. Consult with your doctor if you’re in doubt.


Vitamin D

Newer research indicates that vitamin D is low in people living in countries with limited sun more than half of the year (like Northern European countries). The research also points to vitamin D as being beneficial for infertility issues related to low sperm quality.


Medicine

If you’re taking medicine for some reason, be aware of the effect it has on getting pregnant or if it can have consequences for the fetus. This is something you need to discuss with your doctor. Some types of medicine can be replaced with another type that won’t hurt the pregnancy.


Coffee / caffeine

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and soft drinks like Coca Cola. Nothing indicates that a moderate intake of caffeine impacts fertility. Some studies show that a large amount of caffeine (more than 5 cups of coffee a day) can worsen your chances of getting pregnant as a woman.


Weight

Weighing too much or weighing too little can both have a negative impact on your chances of getting pregnant. There’s also a bigger risk of complications during pregnancy and birth connected to being overweight.

When talking about fertility treatment, “normal weight” and overweight and underweight is determined by BMI (Body Mass Index). A BMI between 20 and 25 is considered optimal when trying to get pregnant. Studies show that your fertility can be decreased if your BMI is less than 19 or more than 29.


Work

Few types of jobs have an impact on your chances of getting pregnant. Jobs where you’re at risk of exposure from chemical substances (like substances for controlling pest infestation) or radiation (like from X-rays), may have an impact on your fertility. Talk to your workplace or your doctor if this is a concern of yours.


Extreme physical workout

Extreme physical training can actually lead to your period stopping and it can affect your ovulation, making it harder for you to get pregnant. If you’re trying to conceive, think about the level of exercise that you’re doing. Exercise isn’t bad for you at all, just consider slowing down the intensity and pick some milder forms of exercise like swimming, aerobics, yoga or cycling.


Rubella

Generally, it’s advisable to get the rubella vaccination. Many countries offer it to children when they’re young. If you haven’t had the vaccine and get rubella while you’re pregnant, there’s a risk of malformations in the child.


Sexlife

Worth mentioning as well, is that having a normal and active sexlife during fertility treatment is recommended. And it doesn’t interfere with your chances of getting pregnant in relation to the treatment.


Relax and take time off

Taking a day off from work on your day of egg retrieval and maybe even the few following days as well, can be a good idea. Taking it slow and not stressing the body is important.


Family and friends

Studies point to the fact that talking to friends and family about what you’re going through can reduce the psychological pressure of going through fertility treatment.

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