September 09, 2009
Fertility and reproduction are basic desires and functions of being human, so it’s important to take care of your mind and body. Dr. John Jain, a fertility specialist and a pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine, offers the following tips to increase your chances of conceiving.
1.) It takes two to make a baby, so be honest with your partner about your frustrations and anxiety, and work together. Get it out in the open, get on the same page.
2.) Find a way to de-stress (preferably together). Exercise, yoga, acupuncture and counseling all help decrease the stress hormones.
3.) Take care of your body ” no radical diets or drastic weight loss. Also, gain a little weight, if you’re too skinny. It will help.
4.) Eat healthy. Maintain a balanced diet, and cover all of the food groups. It’s OK to have some whole fat dairy, like ice cream ” it helps some forms of infertility. Drink lots of fluids.
5.) Take multivitamins, including iron, calcium and folic acid for women, and zinc and selenium for men. Foods high in antioxidants are great, like brightly colored fruit, strawberries, cherries, and plums.
6.) Stay away from smoking, recreational drugs, and limit or eliminate alcohol. Men should avoid too much heat to the testicles, such as tight shorts, long bike rides and hot tubs.
Simple Tricks for Pregnancy
1.) The egg lives 24 hours, and sperm lives up to three days. It is best to have sperm present before the egg is released. Know when you’re ovulating and start having intercourse three to four days before. (The day of ovulation is typically 14 days before a woman’s period starts). You can check ovulation by examining cervical mucus or checking your urine with an ovulation prediction kit. Intercourse at least every other day in this prime period is best.
2.) No sexual position is better than the other. Choose positions that are enjoyable, as orgasm could help fertility.
3.) Be careful with certain lubricants, as they could damage sperm.
4.) There is a 20 percent chance of pregnancy per month if the female partner is under 35. Chances drop to 10 percent per month by age 40. So trying for a year if you’re under 35 is reasonable as 90 percent of couples will be pregnant. You should seek fertility counseling after six months of trying, if you are near 40, since the number of years of fertility is less and the chance is decreased, and after one year if you’re under 35.
5.) There is nothing you can do to increase the chance for twins, short of fertility treatment. One study said ice cream could help (probably due to hormones in the feed of cattle).
6.) Sex of the baby is determined by sperm. There is no way to increase the chance of one sex naturally; you can’t even select male and female sperm in the lab. A woman needs to do in vitro fertilization with DNA testing to select for a boy or girl.
1.) All of fertility is about increasing the odds, but there is no guarantee.
2.) If your mind and body are not healthy, fertility treatments work less. Couples need to support the pregnancy with a healthy environment.
3.) You’re going to see the fertility specialist many times. Make sure you have an open relationship, where you can ask questions and be supported emotionally.
4.) Primary care doctors and gynecologists are a good place to start, but ask for a referral if you’re not getting pregnant. You could be losing valuable time.
5.) If you’re not ready for pregnancy, you can get a fertility check up or freeze your eggs or embryos.