There’s nothing like the start of a new year to boost motivation. Whether you have been trying to get pregnant for some time or are newly trying to conceive, put ‘Get Pregnant!’ on your list of New Year’s resolutions.
Reach a Healthier Body Weight
Having a higher-than-normal body mass index (BMI) can affect your ability to conceive. This applies to both men and women. Being overweight can create problems with your hormone levels, which in turn impacts a woman’s menstrual cycles and egg quality.
For men, being overweight can cause erection issues and reduce the quality of sperm. The good news is by making some simple lifestyle changes you can reach a healthier body weight and improve your chances of conception. Eating well-proportioned, healthy meals and exercising on a regular basis are the first steps to better overall health.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Many of us can’t make it through the day without a cup of coffee or can of pop. However, the things we consume play a role in our ability to conceive. Although researchers have not yet made a clear connection between caffeine intake and fertility problems, most professionals suggest limiting your caffeine intake to less than 300 mg per day.
Remember it’s not just coffee and soft drinks you have to worry about. Certain types of tea, energy drinks, cocoa, chocolate, and even ice creams contain caffeine.
While quitting smoking is a common New Year’s resolution, it’s an important one for women trying to conceive. Studies have found that men and women who smoke are more likely to encounter fertility problems than non-smokers. The various dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes can damage sperm and eggs, as well as hormone production and the environment inside the uterus.
Ideally, you should try to quit at least three months before trying to conceive to help ensure that the sperm is healthy. Also avoid people who are actively smoking, as exposure to secondhand smoke can also affect your health and fertility.
Take a Daily Creative Respite
Most of us spend far too much time parked in front of a computer or starting at our phones. Not only is excessive screen time bad for your physical health, it can also impact your emotional health. With social media usage at an all-time high, it can be disheartening to see your timeline filled with baby photos and pregnancy announcements.
Make it a resolution to unplug from your devices and use your time more creativity. Write your thoughts in a journal, try painting, or practice deep breathing exercises. Even taking brisk walks through your neighborhood or local park can help relieve excess stress and create a sense of peace.
Seek Help for Your Infertility
If you have yet to conceive after one year of unprotected sex, or if you are older than 35 and have not conceived after six months of trying, it may be time to consult with a fertility doctor. You may want to see a specialist even sooner if you have a history of irregular menstrual cycles, pelvic infections, endometriosis, fibroids, or have undergone chemotherapy or radiation in the past.
After meeting with a specialist, a thorough medical history will be performed as well as diagnostic tests such as blood tests, imaging scans, and a semen analysis. Depending on the cause of your infertility, your doctor may suggest treatment options to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy.
While in vitro fertilization is the most common treatment for infertility, you may have other options such as fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), high-tech assisted reproductive technology (ART), or surgery. Fertility treatments are often successful in helping couples create a family of their own.