Factors Affecting Fertility
Staying healthy will certainly help you boost your fertility. Changes to your lifestyle and diet can take just three months to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
The HFEA provides couples who are trying to conceive with advice on how to boost their fertility:
Eating a balanced diet will help to ensure that your body is healthy enough to conceive and nourish a developing baby. A balanced diet also helps to keep sperm production at optimum levels.
Eat plenty of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables because these are rich in antioxidants.
Include a small handful of nuts and seeds every day, because these are a good source of zinc - much needed for hormone synthesis, egg and sperm and embryo development. Brazil nuts contain selenium, which may increase sperm count.
Oily fish contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids which contribute to improved sperm quality and motility. Good sources include salmon, mackerel and herring. Stay away from tuna and swordfish since these contain mercury which have been shown to affect fertility.
Drink in Moderation
Alcohol can affect the fertility levels of both men and women. Excessive alcohol intake also increases the risk of miscarriage.
Smoking has been linked to infertility in both men and women, and has been linked to early menopause in women. It also increases the risk of low birth weight and premature birth.
Regular exercise helps to maximise your fitness levels and keeps your weight in check. It also boosts endorphin levels, which help you to feel happy.
Keep It Cool
The testes should be a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the body in order to maximise sperm production. We recommend that men wear loose-fitting underwear and trousers and avoid activities that increase the temperature of the testes, such as saunas and hot showers.
The government recommends that all women trying for a baby should take 400mcg of folic acid a day to help protect against conditions such as spina bifida.
Watch Your Weight
Being overweight or underweight can disturb your menstrual cycle and affect your fertility.
Certain prescription drugs can reduce your chances of conceiving - ask your doctor for advice if you are taking prescription drugs while trying for a baby.
Caffeine intake is another factor affecting fertility. Indeed, a recent study in Manchester found that the caffeine intake of many women exceeded the recommended limits. So far, the effect of caffeine intake on infertility and other health problems is relatively unknown.
Reduce your intake of synthetic chemicals
Synthetic chemicals are very similar to oestrogen so can be hormone disruptors. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals, drink unfiltered water, limit tinned foods, avoid cooking food in plastic containers. Try to opt for Organic versions of foods with the highest levels of pesticides - such as apples, peppers, cucumbers and potatoes.