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How Lifestyle Modifications Can Help With Infertility

How Lifestyle Modifications Can Help With Infertility

Deciding to try for a baby and then struggling to get and stay pregnant is incredibly difficult and emotional. Infertility is generally diagnosed when a couple doesn’t get pregnant within a year of trying, or within six months if the woman is over 35. It’s something no one wants to face, but you’re not alone. 

Up to 15% of couples experience infertility, and treatment can help. While many common causes of infertility are out of your control, certain lifestyle factors also play a role — and lifestyle modifications could naturally improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Katie Ostrom, MD, and our team in Homer, Alaska, take a compassionate, holistic approach to fertility care. We specialize in diagnosing and treating gynecologic issues affecting fertility as well as evaluating your lifestyle and making recommendations to improve fertility.

Here are a few lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your infertility, and how modifying them might help.

Your diet

Eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best, so it’s probably no surprise that your dietary choices can affect your fertility.

Choose foods rich in antioxidants, like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to boost fertility. Start choosing vegetable proteins instead of meat proteins at mealtime, and avoid foods high in carbs and trans fats.

Consider cutting back on certain foods and drinks, including those with alcohol and caffeine. Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to infertility, and avoiding alcoholic beverages can improve fertility. Experts also recommend limiting your caffeine intake to less than 300 mg when trying to conceive.

Your tobacco use

Along with other serious health issues like cancer and heart disease, smoking cigarettes increases your risk of infertility. Tobacco use ages your ovaries and depletes egg count prematurely, which can make pregnancy more difficult.

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting can improve your fertility. Ask Dr. Ostrom for guidance on smoking cessation.

Your activity level

Exercise is a critical element of any healthy lifestyle, and most adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. But when you’re trying to get pregnant, moderation is important.

Too much intense exercise may inhibit reproductive hormones and negatively impact your fertility. Aim for no more than five hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week to get the benefits of exercise without overdoing it.

Your weight

Your body weight has a significant impact on fertility since the amount of fat in your body influences your menstrual cycle and ovulation.

Carrying too much weight can prevent ovulation, which means you can’t get pregnant. Being underweight can also make your menstrual cycle irregular and contribute to infertility.

If you’re over or under the recommended weight range for your height, talk to Dr. Ostrom and our team about weight management. We can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which can make your menstrual cycle more regular and increase your chances of pregnancy.

Your stress level

Trying to get pregnant can be very stressful, especially when you’re facing infertility. Unfortunately, high stress levels affect your hormones, and stress can make it harder to get pregnant.

Finding ways to effectively manage stress can have a positive impact on your fertility. Prioritize self-care, and consider journaling, mindfulness, or meditation to help relieve the stress you feel in day-to-day life.

If you’re struggling to get pregnant, help is available. Schedule a fertility consultation with Dr. Ostrom to start learning about your treatment options. Call our office at 907-435-0555 or request an appointment online now.

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