Has the novelty of peeing on a stick (aka POAS) worn off but everyone still says, “just keep trying”? If it’s “only” been a few months or you’re still relatively young or if you just can’t face the idea of making the jump to see a Fertility Specialist yet but you’re pretty keen to figure out why you’re not getting pregnant, then we reckon these natural fertility tips are the right kind of baby step for you. First up, here are two simple baby steps to improve your natural fertility:
We’re often asked, when’s the right time to seek help? The doc says, seek help if you’re under 35 and you’ve been trying for 12 months or more with no luck. If you’re over 35, seek help after six months of trying without success.
However, the reality is that the right time for you to seek help is when you become worried about not conceiving. Don’t waste time worrying and getting frustrated, contact our Fertility Advisors below and we’ll help you explore your options and make a plan.
Chat with our Fertility Advisor
Don’t panic, your path to parenthood doesn’t have to be an express service straight to IVF.
* Applicable for Medicare eligible patients. No-out-of-pocket Fertility Assessment is for an initial virtual consultation with our Fertility GP. Additional costs may be incurred for fertility investigations.
Fertility Lifestyle Tips
When you’re ready to start trying for a baby, it’s important to run a lifestyle audit. Here are the main points to consider:
1. Your weight
Being underweight or overweight can impact fertility - and that includes the guys. Use a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to check if your weight is in the healthy range which is 18.5 to 24.9 for both men and women. For women, being underweight or overweight can affect your ability to ovulate. In men, obesity can lower sperm counts by up to 50 per cent and overweight men are more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction and have a higher rate of DNA fragmentation in sperm.
2. Your less than great habits
Do you smoke? Women who smoke cigarettes (and those regularly exposed to passive smoke) are less likely to conceive and more likely to miscarry or have an ectopic pregnancy. Smoking in men has been found to have detrimental effects on sperm DNA. So, we’re not going to sugar-coat it, it’s very important that you both stop as soon as possible.
Studies also show that regular users of marijuana have a greater risk of infertility compared with those who don’t partake.
While the exact number of alcoholic drinks needed to affect your fertility is unclear, the best advice remains to reduce how much you drink to no more than one or two glasses a day or cut it out altogether. Caffeine is another area where there is no hard and fast rule, it’s recommended not more than two cups of coffee a day.
Top tips for weight loss
Being overweight or obese has been proven not only to reduce the chances of conceiving naturally, but it also means fertility treatment, such as IVF, is less likely to be successful.
Working long hours, eating on the fly or gravitating towards pre-packaged food for convenience – all hugely understandable habits – can unfortunately contribute to an unhealthy diet. Throw in a global pandemic and you’re faced with less energy and probably weight gain.
The good news is that you can improve your fertility by losing a relatively small amount of weight (or gaining a small amount of weight if you are too thin). But with hectic lifestyles and so many weight loss influencers out there, it might be difficult to know what is right for you. Here are Genea’s top tips for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle while Trying To Conceive (TTC):
1. Know your goal weight
Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) to find out your optimal weight. In both men and women, a BMI of 18.5 - 24.9 is considered normal. If your weight loss target is a little daunting, set yourself weekly targets - creating smaller, more achievable goals.
2. Aim for a healthy, unprocessed and nutritionally optimal diet
Include as much fresh food as possible in your diet and organic options where possible. Try to choose good quality protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, high fibre, low glycaemic carbohydrates and good fats such as those found in olive oil, nuts and fish. Avoid trans fats found in biscuits and fried foods.
3. Increase exercise
If you are finding it difficult to reduce the amount you are eating, try stepping up the exercise to burn away the rest. Ideas for fitting more exercise into a busy routine include taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking further away from your destination and walking the rest of the way or going for a walk after dinner to help digest your food.
4. Add in a prenatal vitamin
Folate is well recognized for its benefits in reducing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects. Vitamin D and iodine are both also considered an essential part of a woman’s preconception care.
5. Support one another
An unhealthy weight in both men and women can affect fertility so, team up to get your BMI into shape. Get competitive if that’s your thing – there's plenty of apps out there to help you track and challenge each other.
Visit an experienced nutritionist who specialises in fertility
A fertility nutritionist can provide specific advice and guidance tailored to your personal circumstances.