Theoretically, everyone knows how to get pregnant. But if getting knocked up was as easy as getting an A+ in sex-ed class, there won’t be so many hopefuls lining up outside fertility clinics.
If you are on the wrong side of 30, I have some bad news for you. Fertility is a transitory guest — it wanes with age.
“At the age of 35, a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant naturally decline by 50% and a man’s sperm quality gradually declines in his mid-40s,” says Dr Astha Jain Mathur, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Indore.
Yikes and double yikes!
The doc underscores that age is the single most important factor influencing a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.
In this feature, Dr Jain takes us through the five important tips to get pregnant fast.
Maintain a healthy weight
There’s a lot of chatter about how BMI is flawed and how the evils of obesity are overblown. That being said, weight can be a decisive factor for fertility. If you want to get pregnant, start first with how you tip on the weighing scale.
According to Dr Jain Mathur, being underweight increases the likelihood of having fertility issues as much as being overweight does. ” Although many underweight or overweight women have no trouble getting pregnant, ovulation issues are more common in these two groups.”
BMI has an impact on hormonal health, which dictates fertility. “A BMI of 18.5 or less generally leads to irregular menstrual cycles and can result in complete cessation of ovulation. Obesity can also lead to irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation,” says Dr Jain Mathur.
As far as diet is concerned, the gynecologist recommends foods rich in protein along with fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy.
Kick caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
Coffee, vodka and cigarettes got to go! Get rid of vices if you are serious about getting pregnant. That includes caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Dr Jain Mathur adds that while there’s no clear link, some studies show can caffeine can meddle with fertility and cause miscarriages.
“Alcohol should also be restricted before pregnancy. Consuming large amounts can adversely affect fertility and fetus,” says the doc.
Last but not the least, kick the butt. Smoking is during and before pregnancy is dangerous. “Smoking is harmful to the fetus and increases the likelihood that your child will develop health problems later in life. Women who smoke during their pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a lower birth weight.”
What check wellness checklist is complete without exercise? It’s the best way to get fit and prime your body for pregnancy and childbirth says the doc.
But no need to go overboard with your workouts. Moderate exercises could be more beneficial than strenuous exercises believes the doctor.
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She also has a caveat: “Discuss your concerns with your doctor. If you have maintained high-intensity exercise in the past, there may be no reason to stop if you want to get pregnant. If you haven’t done exercises before, a 30 minutes of moderate aerobics exercise for most of the week, plus two to three days of full-body strength training, focusing on the main motive should be good enough.”
Take vitamins and folic acid
If you are preparing to get preggers, supplementing may bolster your efforts. “Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement with at least 0.4 mm of folic acid. Folic acid lowers the risk of birth defects, particularly issues with the baby’s spine and before attempting to conceive, begin taking a folic acid-containing vitamin. High doses of any vitamin, especially vitamins A, D, E, and K, should be avoided. These vitamins have the potential to cause birth defects,” says the doc.
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Remember, baby-making should be enjoyable endeavour. It’s not something to stress, fret and worry over. A big part of preparing your body for pregnancy is to relax and reduce stress while trying to conceive.
” Inquire with your doctor or midwife about stress-reduction techniques. Rest and relaxation are essential. This may make it easier for you to conceive,” Dr Jain Mathur concludes.
As the cliché goes, your body is your temple, especially if you are preparing to nurture a life inside it. Some smart changes can not only help you get pregnant faster but also create the right environment for your child to develop properly. Watch this space for more info on fertility and pregnancy.