So it’s your year to have a baby! Congratulations! How do you get started on getting your body ready for making a baby? Start with eating healthy foods, getting plenty of rest, and taming stress. They’re all common sense efforts that help your body function optimally. Sometimes, though, it’s easy to over look those healthy habits or inclinations that can get in the way of fertility.
Don’t smoke. Cutting down won’t cut it. You must stop completely. Smoking alters a woman’s estrogen metabolism, increases the risk of tubal (ectopic) pregnancy, boosts the rate of miscarriage, among other things. Male smokers have significantly lower sperm counts and a high incidence of abnormally shaped sperm than non-smokers.
Forget recreational drugs. Even occasional use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and all hallucinogens can interfere with ovulation in women and sexual function in men.
Curtail alcohol consumption. A glass of wine is just fine. But even in the short term drinking can lead to abnormal sperm production in men and menstrual disorders in women.
Limit caffeine. Current thinking is that excessive caffeine impairs reproductive function. There is no adequate definition of “excessive”. Play it safe and stick to one cup of coffee or caffeine-laced side per day.
Moderate your exercise regimen. While trying to conceive, women should suspend the heavy duty workouts (think marathon running) that result in irregular menstrual periods. Both men and women should avoid any activity that gets them overheated. And by all means, everyone must stay well hydrated.
Swear off appearance-enhancing drugs. Anabolic steroids build up the body builder, but they’ll also make him impotent. Hair growth formulations such as Rogaine and Propecia may interfere with male reproductive systems. Given that it takes 90 to 108 days to make and release a sperm, these treatments could cost a couple three or more months.
You can also boost your chances with any of the do it yourself, over the counter fertility predictors! Check out your ovulation and sperm count! Get a base line!
And here’s to happy baby making in 2013!
|Pamela Madsen was the first Executive Director of RESOLVE NYC and is the Founder of The American Fertility Association. Pamela is an internationally known fertility advocate who has appeared on Oprah and countless other major media outlets. Currently, Pamela is a fertility coach and publisher of The Fertility Advocate. She is also a blogger for Psychology Today and SpermCheck Fertility.|