Tired of trying to get pregnant and still don’t have a bun in the oven?
While the cause of it can lie in uncontrollable factors such as being above 35 years of age, having PCOS or faulty genes; plenty of other factors exist that are entirely under your control.
These mainly include lifestyle changes.
Yes, the lifestyle you follow can significantly affect your chances of conceiving.
So, if you want to boost your chances, here are 10 lifestyle factors you should take scrutiny of and modify ASAP.
1. Your Job
Believe it or not, the kind of job you have can adversely affect your chances of conceiving. A study conducted by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine has discovered that women who have physically strenuous jobs are less likely to conceive easily (1).
According to this study, women who regularly lift heavy objects at their workplace had 8.8% fewer eggs in total and 14.1% fewer mature eggs when compared to women who didn’t have physically strenuous jobs. The research also said that women who did jobs with varying shifts were also likely to face the same results.
2. High BMI
The fact that your body weight can cause problems when you are trying to conceive isn’t exactly news. However, did you know that your man’s weight matters too?
Researchers at the National Institute of Health have discovered that obese couples may take 59% more time to get pregnant as compared to those who have the ‘right’ weight (2). This means that shedding those extra kilos can actually improve your chances.
3. Stress Levels
Stress is not only harmful to a woman who is already pregnant but also for one who is trying to get pregnant.
A study published in the journal Human Reproduction tested 400 couples to assess the relationship between stress levels and conception. They discovered that women who had very high levels of stress biomarker, ‘alpha-amylase’ were twice as likely to become infertile than those who had low levels (3).
Stress relieving activities such as yoga and meditation can help.
Although exercise is great, over-exertion is not advised if you want to get pregnant.
Research has shown that women who indulged in intense workouts for up to 5 hours per week took more time to get pregnant than women who didn’t (4). Moderate exercising, on the other hand, was considered to be good and could boost your fertility levels. That said, women should have some amount of body fat to help with ovulation.
5. Watching TV In Excess
This one applies to the guys.
Men who spend too much time being couch potatoes may have poor sperm quality, which can cause problems in conceiving. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, men who stayed glued to the television for more than 20 hours each week experienced 44% lower sperm count and concentration than those who didn’t watch TV (5).
6. Eating Processed Foods Regularly
One for the boys again!
Men who eat a lot of processed or red meat are more likely to suffer from a lower sperm count. In fact, their sperms would turn out to be slow swimmers too. And all this is directly proportional to the amount of meat they consume (6). Fresh poultry is considered to be a good alternative to processed meat. Poultry can even help men produce sperm that is quick to fertilize an egg (7).
7. Keeping The Phone In The Pocket
Men who keep their phones in the front pocket of their jeans, shorts or trousers are likely to have weaker sperm than those who don’t (8). The electromagnetic radiation that phones emit can damage a man’s DNA and affect the ability of his sperm to fertilize an egg. Additionally, cellphones also heat up a man’s testicles, which hinders sperm production.
8. Having Too Much Sex
Having sex too frequently can bring about a drop in a man’s sperm count, which can delay conceiving. Hence, yes, couples should increase their sexual efforts around the ovulation period to maximize their chances of getting pregnant. That being said, during the rest of the month – take it easy.
9. Not Having Enough Sex
This may sound contradictory, but hear us out.
It’s all about balance. While it is true that too much sex can potentially damage your man’s sperm; too little, on the other hand, affects the woman’s body. Sex sends signals inside the female body that help her immune system focus on reproduction (9).
One of the most common causes of female infertility is smoking, which is responsible for 13% of infertility cases in total (10). While it reduces the egg supply in women, in men it reduces the sperm count.
If you manage to make positive adjustments to your lifestyle and get rid of or modify the abovementioned factors, you will raise your odds of getting pregnant. Bonus? It will improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy as well. Double win!