Preparing for PregnancyAre you hoping to get pregnant in the New Year? If so, now is a great time to optimize your fertility and take steps to make sure you’re in the best shape possible to help you conceive.

It’s not unusual for couples to avoid getting pregnant while they’re still in school, advancing their careers, enjoying the early years of marriage, and so forth. However, once they start trying to have a baby, many couples may have a difficult time. In the United States, 15 percent of all couples will face fertility issues, and many will be diagnosed with a reproductive disorder.

Here are some ways you can optimize your fertility for the New Year:

– Healthy living
Because your weight, health, and lifestyle can all affect your fertility, it is important to make sure you are eating well, managing your weight, and exercising. Being overweight or underweight can have consequences for your fertility. Smoking can also hurt your chances of getting pregnant, so now is a great time to quit. In addition, drinking too much caffeine or too much alcohol may impair a woman’s fertility (and you will want to cut out alcohol completely once you are pregnant.)

– Healthy eating
Good nutrition can help to prepare your body for pregnancy. It is important to ensure you are eating the right foods in moderation and optimizing your health. Click here for more information about healthy eating once you are pregnant.

– Physical activity in moderation
Exercise can help reduce the elevated stress levels that many couples experience when trying to conceive. However, excessive exercise can actually cause problems in regards to achieving pregnancy. So, as the old saying goes, everything in moderation.

– Take prenatal vitamins
Did you know it’s important to take prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant? Prenatal vitamins contain many of the same vitamins and minerals found in a daily multivitamin, but they usually contain higher levels of folic acid and iron. Most of the vital organs in a developing embryo are formed by 10 weeks of pregnancy, so it’s important to have these essential vitamins on board way in advance. Optimally, levels of folic acid and other vitamins would be built up weeks or months before conceiving.

– Optimize the intercourse timing
Taking advantage of what doctors call the “fertile window” can boost your chances of pregnancy. Women who have monthly cycles generally ovulate each month. The egg, once it is ovulated, lives for only about a day or so. Sperm, on the other hand, live for up to five days. So it is important to have intercourse twice a week around the time of ovulation or during the peak fertile week. Ovulation predictor kits may be especially helpful to define this window.

If you’re under 35, doctors advise that you try getting pregnant for about a year before seeking help. Women ages 35 and older should see their doctor after six months of trying to conceive without pregnancy. Please contact Fertility Associates of Memphis at 901-747-2229 to make an appointment if it’s time for a comprehensive fertility evaluation. Through fertility testing, your doctor can very likely identify factors that are causing problems and recommend treatments that will maximize your chances for achieving pregnancy.

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