Preparing the “Family” Way
While modern medicine offers today’s aspiring moms and dads an amazing range of options for boosting their fertility, from fertility medications to IVF, there are still plenty of things these folks can do to optimize their own natural fertility. Good health, good timing, good diet — all these factors can improve your odds of making a baby the old-fashioned way.
Nutrition, weight, physical fitness and pre-existing conditions all come into play when you’re trying to conceive and carry a healthy baby to term. You might need to take certain vitamins, adjust your diet, get more exercise or deal with a chronic ailment before attempting to get pregnant. Avoid foods that contain mercury, and stay away from caffeine, alcohol and other drugs. Women should keep their weight within a normal range, as significant variations can affect fertility.
What about timing?
Generally, women have a 5-day to 6-day “conception window” just before ovulation in which their chances of getting pregnant hit a peak, and ovulation generally takes place about 14 days after a menstrual period begins. And since a man’s sperm levels tend to decrease the longer he goes between ejaculations, it’s probably best to have intercourse every couple of days, at least on those days when the chance of fertilization is highest.
One other item for your natural fertility “to-do” list:
Don’t smoke! Most of us know that smoking can contribute to low birth weight, but did you know that it can also lower sperm counts and reduce fertility for men and women alike? Smoking can even affect the success rate of IVF procedures.
The Natural Choice for Fertility Help
Want to learn more about how you can stack the odds in your favor? Talk to your friends at Palm Beach Fertility Center — we’re “pregnant” with ideas!
More information from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine on Optimizing Natural Fertility