Both men and women can work towards improving their fertility potential by making the following changes.
A balanced diet ensures that your body is healthy enough to conceive, carry and nourish a pregnancy. A healthy diet also helps to keep sperm production at optimum levels.
All women trying for a baby should take folic acid supplements every day to help prevent conditions such as spina bifida in your child.
Being under- or overweight can make it less likely to become pregnant on your own or with treatments. Fertility treatments work better if you are in the ideal weight zone. A combination of diet and exercise should help you achieve ideal weight.
Regular, moderate exercise of around 30 minutes a day is recommended. It boosts levels of endorphins (happy hormones), which help to reduce stress.
Alcohol affects fertility and sperm quality and your weight. It will be best if you can go alcohol free whilst you are trying. Reducing your alcohol intake will positively increase your fertility potential.
Treatments of certain medical conditions adversely affect fertility. Optimising these treatments will improve fertility either when trying yourself or taking treatment. You should tell us about any medicines you are taking so that we can look into it. Illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine should be completely avoided.
Smoking has been linked to infertility and early menopause in women and to sperm problems in men. It is also a factor in premature or low birth-weight babies. Hence we strongly recommend that you quit smoking to improve your chances.
Keeping the testes cooler than the rest of your body may help maximise sperm production. Some studies suggest that, wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear and trousers, and avoiding saunas etc. are of help.
Here's everything you need to know about IVF
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