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Ways of Boosting Your Fertility

Maintain a healthy weight. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, a BMI of 20 to 24 puts you in the “fertility zone”, the ideal weight for getting pregnant.
Eat a fertility-boosting diet. Chavarro offers these dietary guidelines for optimizing fertility:
• Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and iron. Folic acid will decrease the risk of birth defects and may influence ovulation and help women get pregnant faster.
• Avoid trans-fats, found in fast food and commercial products.
• Eat more vegetable protein (like beans and nuts) and less animal protein.
• Drink a glass of whole milk or having a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt every day; temporarily trading in skim milk and low or no-fat dairy products for their full-fat versions.
A healthier diet is also proven to increase sperm quality and motility (the ability of sperm to move) so get your partner on board with a healthy diet too.  Find out the best fertility-boosting foods.
Make healthy lifestyle choices. Exercise, get enough sleep, don’t smoke, and limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
Reduce your stress. Domar suggests that women who are having difficulty conceiving take concrete steps to lower their stress levels, “Pick up a cognitive behavior book which will teach you some stress management skills, see a therapist, or ask your primary care physician for a cognitive behavioral therapist. Get a relaxation CD and listen to it every day. There are a lot of things you can do on your own to reduce your stress.”
Get treatment for depression and/or anxiety. Depression and anxiety are known to hinder fertility. If you are suffering from either of these conditions, talk to your primary care physician to get a referral for treatment.
Reduce your exposure to toxins. Follow these guidelines from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, to cut down onpotential harmful chemicals in your diet and home that may hinder your fertility.
  • Avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury, dioxin, and PCBs (like swordfish and albacore tuna)
    • If possible, eat organic. Wash and peel conventional produce before eating to remove pesticides.
    • If necessary, filter water at home.
    • Reduce or stop using pesticides and herbicides for home, lawn, garden, and pet care. Try non-toxic alternatives.
    • Avoid sports/water bottles and other products that contain BPA (Bisphenol A).
    • Don’t microwave foods in plastic.
    • Use personal care products that are free of phthalates and other harsh chemicals.
    • Use a “green” dry cleaning service. If that’s not an option, air out dry-cleaned clothes before bringing them into your car or home.
    • Rid your home of indoor air pollutants. Keep your home ventilated, especially when vacuuming, cleaning, painting, or doing anything that stirs up toxins.
    • Avoid use of synthetic air fresheners, fabric softeners, and fragrances.

Get a preconception checkup.  Meet with your OB/GYN to get an assessment of your overall health and see if she can help you identify lifestyle changes that could improve your chances of getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Ask these questions on your visit.
Increasing your chances of conception
Upping your odds of getting pregnant requires optimizing your fertility and getting the timing of your um, efforts right. If you were daydreaming in 10th-grade bio, brush up on your ovulation basics. It will also help to learn the signs of ovulation.
There are lots of tools that can help you track your ovulation. Use our ovulation calendar to find your most fertile days and the best time to TTC (try to conceive), and our fertility chart to track the signs of ovulation including your basal body temperature and cervical mucus. If you want to step up your efforts, think about getting an ovulation predictor kit and read up on our tips for getting pregnant.
When To Seek Treatment
The recommendation from both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is that women under age 30 try to conceive for 12 months before seeking treatment and that women over age 30 try for six months before seeking help from a fertility specialist.
However, a new study shows that the majority of women who have not conceived in six months are not likely to conceive by simply trying for another six months. By the end of six months, 56 percent of participants were pregnant. By the end of 12 months, 8 percent were pregnant. Only 15 percent of women got pregnant by trying to conceive for an additional six months. If you have been trying for six months, no matter what your age, it could not hurt to check-in with your OB or a reproductive endocrinologist.
You and your partner should visit a fertility specialist together. Your doctor can give you and your partner a fertility workup, which will start the process of figuring out if either of you has an infertility problem. If a couple is struggling to get pregnant, often the woman assumes that the problem is hers but infertility is an equal opportunity offender — one-third of infertility issues are attributed to women, one-third are attributed to men, and one-third is attributed to a combination of factors.
There are dozens of effective fertility treatments available and assisted reproductive technology (ART) is always improving. Although 1 in 7 couples have difficulty conceiving, two-thirds of couples that are treated for infertility go on to have babies.

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