Female Infertility and Lifestyle

1) Fertile period and frequency of coitus

Regular intercourse three to four times per week beginning soon after cessation of menses should ensure that intercourse falls within the fertile period and semen quality is optimal.

2) Eat healthily

A balanced diet will help ensure your body is healthy enough to become pregnant and nourish a developing baby. It also helps to keep sperm production at optimum levels.

A “fertility diet” consists of: higher monounsaturated to trans fat ratio(peanut oil, whole grain wheat, cereal, oatmeal, sunflower oil, etc.), a high percentage of protein from vegetable rather than animal sources(kidney beans,white beans, soybeans, asparagus etc.), low glycemic index carbohydrates(ie foods with a glycemic index of  <55 eg apples, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, etc), high-fat dairy foods(ice creams, etc), and use of iron and multivitamin supplements.

3) Caffeine

Women contemplating pregnancy can probably have one or two cups of coffee per day without impairing their ability to conceive.

4) Exercise regularly

A BMI of 18.5 to 25 kg/m2 is associated with little or no increased health risks and, for this reason, is desirable for both women and men irrespective of fertility issues.

Weight reduction is best achieved by a combination of reducing calorie intake (a balanced diet) and increasing calorie expenditure (exercise).

Regular, moderate exercise of around 30 minutes a day helps to maximize your fitness and keep your weight in check.

It also boosts levels of endorphins, the body’s own ‘happy hormones’, which may help to reduce stress. Some people find relaxation techniques or complementary therapies also help them relax.

5) Drink wisely

Alcohol may affect fertility and sperm quality (as well as affecting your weight), so do limit your drinking to the Government’s ‘Sensible drinking’ guideline of a maximum of:

  • 20-30ml of spirits a day for women
  • 60-80ml of spirits a day for men

It is also a good idea to leave at least two alcohol-free days after heavy drinking. Women who are pregnant are advised to drink less than the maximum recommended or no alcohol at all.

6) Medication and drugs

Some prescription medication can lessen your changes of conceiving, so if you are taking regular medication and trying for a baby, talk to your doctor about alternatives that might be more appropriate.

Illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine should be completely avoided.

7) Quit smoking

Smoking has been linked to infertility and early menopause in women and to sperm problems in men. Smoking causes premature depletion of the ovarian pool of oocytes and premature aging of the ovary by one to four years. It is also a factor in premature or low birth-weight babies.

Quitting smoking may help to improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.