11 Things To Avoid While Trying To Conceive
Trying to conceive can feel like one big waiting game. Not knowing if this will be the month that it finally turns positive. Sure, tracking your cycle and following all of the baby making tricks, but sometimes what you don’t do is just as important. Here we will break down 10 foods, activities, and habits to avoid when trying to conceive.
You’re probably already planning on quitting smoking once you get pregnant (and you definitely should), but avoiding cigarettes now will be a huge benefit too. Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. In fact, the habit wreaks so much havoc on fertility that female smokers who have in vitro fertilization have to attempt it almost twice as many times as nonsmoking women do in order to conceive. Oh, and your partner should quit smoking too— research shows that men who smoke cigarettes have lower sperm count and motility (swimming speed), and more sperm abnormalities.
- TOO MUCH CAFFEINE
You don’t have to cut out your morning cup of joe. In fact, studies have concluded that consuming up to 200 milligrams a day of caffeine doesn’t appear to affect fertility or risk of early pregnancy loss. However, experts suggest capping it at 200 milligrams—which means limiting your caffeine consumption to about 12 ounces of coffee a day, depending on the type of coffee and how much caffeine is in it. During pregnancy you will have to cut back anyway so this is good practice!
- EXCESSIVE DRINKING
Sorry to break the news, but you might want to skip your friends’ bar crawl while you’re trying to conceive, or at least stick to sparkling water while you’re there. That’s because drinking to excess (more than two drinks each day) is linked to irregular periods, lack of ovulation and abnormal estrogen and progesterone levels, which can make it harder to conceive.
- EXTREMES IN WEIGHT
Extremes in body weight isn’t good either. Having a low BMI or high BMI could cause you to have irregular or missed periods, and being extremely underweight could make you stop ovulating altogether. Obesity can increase the risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, birth defects and the need for a c-section. So it’s important to be at a healthy weight when you’re trying to conceive. If you fall into either of these categories, talk to your doctor about how to get to a healthy weight.
- SKIPPING THE VEGGIES
The jury’s out on whether certain foods actually make you more fertile, but there’s one thing the experts agree on and that is if your body’s in a healthy state, you’re more likely to conceive, so eating right is essential.
- NEGLECTING YOUR TEETH
If you’ve been lax about dental hygiene, now’s the time to get back on track with your dentist appointments and make sure you’re flossing. Poor oral hygiene can affect a man’s sperm count, and if you have gum disease, it could increase your risk of having a premature delivery and low-birth-weight baby.
- BEING A COUCH POTATO
One study found that doing regular, moderate physical activity—like brisk walking, leisurely cycling, golfing and gardening—cut down the amount of time it took women to get pregnant.
- EXTREME EXERCISE
You want to stay fit, but you don’t want to overdo it. In the same study we mentioned above, vigorous exercise increased the amount of time it took women to get pregnant. We’re not saying to skip your morning run if that’s what you’ve always done, but working out to the point of interfering with your menstrual cycle, as some marathon runners and gymnasts experience, can mess with your fertility.
- STRESSING OUT
We’ve all got a little bit of stress in our lives, and experts disagree on whether stress can cause infertility. But there’s evidence that chronic or intense stress can do a number on your reproductive system. So if you feel that your stress levels might be affecting your health and your ability to conceive, talk to your doctor about ways to cope.
- HIGH-MERCURY FISH
Some fish are higher in mercury than others—most notably marlin, orange roughy, tilefish, swordfish, shark, king mackerel and bigeye tuna. High levels of mercury in the blood have been linked to fertility issues in both men and women. Plus, mercury can stay in your system for a year or more, and can harm a fetus developing brain and nervous system, so avoiding it will increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
All in all just take care of yourself mama, listen to your body. After all, once you conceive you will have to be intune with your body so why not start now