Tips to improve fertility

Posted by Randall Bremner, M.D.
May 14, 2015

Randall Bremner MD

Most couples achieve pregnancy within the first six months of trying. Overall, 90 percent of couples will become pregnant after a year. For any couple wanting to have a baby, the journey to conception can feel like an eternity. 

To become pregnant, the complex processes of ovulation and fertilization need to work just right. The best time to try to conceive is several days before through one day after ovulation. Ovulation usually occurs at the middle of the cycle.

Here are some strategies that may increase your chance of becoming pregnant.

For women:

  • Exercise moderately. Regular exercise is important, but if you’re exercising so intensely that your periods are infrequent or absent, your fertility may be impaired.
  • Avoid weight extremes. Being overweight or underweight can affect your hormone production and cause infertility.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Limit medications that may impact fertility. The use of some prescription and nonprescription drugs can decrease your chance of getting pregnant or keeping a pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about any medications you take regularly.
  • Limit caffeine. Women trying to get pregnant may want to limit caffeine intake.

For men:

  • Avoid drug and tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid high temperatures as this can effect sperm production and motility.
  • Limit medications that may impact fertility.
  • Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is directly related to testosterone levels, which is a key hormone responsible for sperm production. Eating a balanced diet provides the necessary nutrients to optimize sperm function. 

You may want to consider seeing a board certified gynecologist to improve your fertility if you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies to assist with fertility.

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