From superfoods to smoking: what can help and hurt your fertility

If you're trying to conceive - or hope to do so in the future - you might be wondering what you can do to help improve your chances of getting pregnant. Fortunately, there's actually a lot you can do. Fertility health is wholly correlated to overall health, so keeping your body in great shape might be the most effective way to keep your fertility in tip-top shape. Additionally, there are lots of other things you can do to boost your fertility - and even a few things you can avoid. Read on to learn more about how to improve your chances of conception. 

Total body health

Your overall health is often a huge factor in your likelihood of conceiving. If your total body health is strong, chances are your fertility health is as well. People who stay active, maintain a healthy diet, and avoid a stressful lifestyle all have a greatly increased likelihood of conceiving quickly. Doing what you can to keep up your general health is among the best ways to promote your fertility.

Fertility nutrition

Following certain dietary recommendations can also greatly improve your chances of conceiving. Packing your diet with nutrients like folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) and vitamin D can really help to make you and your eggs healthy and prepare your body for pregnancy. Incorporate some fertility superfoods into your diet to increase your fertility health!

  • Dairy products: Regular consumption of high-fat dairy foods decreases the risk of infertility in females, while low-fat dairy products increase this risk. High-fat dairy products have calcium and Vitamin D, which are great for bones and for reproductive health. However, the calcium in low-fat milk does not get properly absorbed. Don’t simply stock up on “dairies," but make sure they are “whole" and not just “low-fat."
  • Fish: Fish contain the omega-3 fatty acid, which helps regulate the reproductive hormones while increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and herring are especially good sources of omega-3 fatty acid. If you don’t eat fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and supplements also contain omega-3.
  • Vegetable oils: The Mediterranean diet is highly beneficial for achieving pregnancy because of its richness in vegetable oils, especially linoleic acid. Moreover, this diet seems to reduce the risk of weight gain and diabetes, which can cause infertility.
  • Poultry: Lean turkey and chicken are a great source of protein and iron, which tends to boost fertility. If you don’t eat poultry, good substitutes for the protein it contains are beans, tofu, and quinoa.
  • Whole grains: Complex carbohydrates, unlike refined carbs (contained in white bread, white rice, and sugar snacks), which can disturb your menstrual cycle and your reproductive hormones, keep the blood sugar level stable and help regulate your ovulation. They also contain folic acid and zinc, two fertility superstars. Beans, vegetables, and fruits are also high in complex carbs.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber — important components of a preconception diet. Green leafy vegetables are packed with folate. Also, many vegetables represent a good protein source, a much better one than meat when you are trying to conceive. Experts recommend getting at least three servings of fruit and four servings of veggies every day.
  • Berries: Blueberries and raspberries, especially, contain antioxidants, a super healthy group of vitamins that are valuable for boosting both female and male fertility.

Self-tracking devices

Through 21st century magic, individuals who use Ovia are able to sync their favorite health tracking devices to easily enter their sleep, nutrition, weight, activity, and blood pressure data to best hone in on their fertility. Tracking your fertility and health data is one of the best ways to increase your chances of conception, and utilizing self-tracking devices make it that much easier to do so. 

Things that hurt fertility

In addition to adopting fertility-boosting behaviors, there are certain things you should also avoid when trying to conceive.

  • Drinking, smoking, and drugs: Drinking alcohol hurts fertility for both females and males. Cigarettes and other drugs can also have a negative impact on fertility.
  • Stress: Both females and males with high levels of stress may experience related issues of infertility, so it’s important to try to live as stress-free as can be when trying to conceive.
  • High BMI: Both females and males have a heightened risk for infertility if overweight, and individuals who stay within a healthy weight range are less likely to develop conditions of infertility. 

Now that you know about how to boost your fertility, learn more about how Ovia's fertility algorithm works, specifically how we’re able to use your unique health and cycle information to predict your exact ovulation date.

Read more
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