Boosting your fertility…Tips to help you along the way!

The first and most obvious tip is to be as healthy as possible when trying to get pregnant. This includes a range of topics:

Alcohol, smoking and drugs- all decrease your fertility

Eating- Healthy eating helps you body prepare to get pregnant, purely by making it run as efficiently as possible. This can be supplemented by vitamins, especially Folic Acid, which is a crucial vitamin regarding pregnancy. For more details see our previous blogs ‘What foods will help us get pregnant’ and ‘What Vitamins should I be taking’.

Sleep- Likewise if your body doesn’t have enough sleep, it won’t be able to repair itself properly. So make sure you are not tired, and this can help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Weight- Your weight can play an important part in getting pregnant, and that means both being over and under weight, as both can affect your fertility, as females with BMI within the ‘normal’ range are shown to have a greater chance of being able to conceive. With exercise proven to help control weight, as well as flooding the body with oxygen and lowering stress levels.

Stress- Couples who are experiencing high levels of stress, due to whatever reason, be it work or family problems, or even not getting pregnant, are shown to have a lower chance of getting pregnant. As our body reacts to stress in a fight or flight reaction, both of which direct blood away from our genital areas, as such fertility will be decreased, and therefore having a baby is made a lot more difficult. So the advice, relax and put things in persepective.

The last bit of advice is regarding sex itself. As we have previously mentioned in other blogs, sperm can live for 3-5 days, so it is important to have sex in the lead up to ovulation, as after ovulation the egg is no longer able to be fertilised. So therefore it is recommended that couples use ovulation tests to help them plan when you will be ovulating (as working off a calendar system can be problematic), so can make sure intercourse occurs in the lead up to it. However, sex must remain fun, as if it is only a case of having sex for the sake of becoming pregnant, it may become like a chore or even a job, which you will start to resent and possibly cause relationship problems. So general advice online is have sex approximately 3 times a week, and make it fun, have a romantic evening, or try new things in the bedroom, to keep you both entertained, while making sure it doesn’t become stressful and lose the fun.

Most couples normally get pregnant after a year of trying (once all contraceptives and the like are out of their system), so if you have been trying for over a year and still had no luck, it may be time to go and see your doctor, who can advise what may be causing the problem and help direct you to relevant help or treatment.

Thanks for reading

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So why do I have to wait so long?

Today I was at the doctors, for something unrelated to pregnancy, unfortunately. Anyway, as I was there, I thought that I would ask the doctor, when we would be able to be tested regarding mine and my partners fertility. She informed me that it would be 1 year after the 1 year it takes for the Depo-Provera injection to get out of your system. So that is 2 years after you finish the depo. Although hopefully I will be pregnant within 2 years this seems like a very long time.

I understand the reasoning (to a point), that it means people don’t finish the depo and immediately want to know if they are fertile. However if your body has returned to normal (normal periods) then why do you still have to wait for this 2 year point. Shouldn’t it be like a year  after they have returned to your normal pattern? And why do you have to have a year of trying, as be it by luck or planning, I am sure that within 6 months 99% of couples will have sex while she is ovulating at least once.

And yes there are testing kits that you can buy (as mentioned in previous blog: Fertility Tests) to monitor and plan when you are ovulating, but should I really have to pay for this, when there is an option available for free from the NHS.

Also, and I think that I have said about this before, but if the Depo injection does not leave your body for one year, then why do you have to have an injection every 3 months and not once a year??? And I know of a friend, who got pregnant while having the depo every 3 months as prescribed, so really I don’t think they actually know how long it will affect different people, but should it really be a widely used contraceptive if this is the case??? I often wonder this, and can find no suitably adequate answer either on the internet or from medical professionals.

So now its a case of waiting with fingers crossed, hoping that I am fortunate enough to fall pregnant within the next year and a half, before we are allowed to have tests on the NHS, to make sure that we are able to have children naturally.

What vitamins should I be taking????

Tonight I’ve been wondering what vitamins should I be taking when trying for a baby. My doctor told me when I came off the depo shot, 8 months ago, that I should be taking folic acid (400mg a day) which I have been doing, it’s not expensive to buy, I picked mine up from my local asda store for a few pounds, I’m sure other shops sell folic acid, with a cheap price tag.

You can also get folic acid from your diet, such as in leafy vegetables, breakfast cereals and bread it’s always best to check the food labels. It is though impossible to make sure you are getting enough folic acid from the food you eat (only way to make sure is to take a supplement)

Why is folic acid good to take?

It can reduce the risk of having a baby with a spinal cord problem, such as spina bifida. This is because a baby’s spinal cord needs a regular supply of folic acid, during early pregnancy. Evidence also shows that folic acid reduces the risk of a baby having heart defects, cleft lip and palate and the risk of premature labour.

After looking online today, I have pretty much gone around in a circle and ended up more confused than I was when I started looking.

From what I have seen online it varies a lot from what people say, there isn’t a clear yes and no as to what to take apart from the folic acid, that seems a must to take at least 3 months before conceiving and keep taking until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Something I found interesting, is you shouldn’t take vitamin A supplement or any supplement containing vitamin a, due to a risk of harming the baby (birth defects)

Other vitamins people say to take before pregnancy.

Zinc: as this can help with ovulation and fertility in women and also seman and testosterone in men

Coenzyme Q10: there have been studies to show this can help with both female and male fertility.

Omega 3: particularly if you are having IVF. Human body can’t produce it, so need to get from foods, such as fish, plan and nut oils. It is meant help to improve embryo quality.

Iron: pregnant women need 27mg daily, which is more than normal female RDA. Iron is involved in the production of haemoglobin, which is vital for carrying oxygen around the body, and hence will help with the development of the embryo.

Calcium: as all the adverts tell us we need calcium for healthy teeth and bones, therefore it should not be a surprise that the growing foetus also requires it. Meaning that pregnant/and planning women need to raise their intake to allow for this.

Vitamin B6: meant to help prevent morning sickness if taken pre-conception.

You can buy packs of vitamins such as
Vitabotics Pregnacare Conception, Vitabotics Pregnacare Plus and Vitabotics Pregnacare His and Hers they have some of the vitamins in that I have said above. This sounds like a easier way of taking, than taking lots of different supplements.

I am happy to give anything a go, if it means the outcome is to be a baby. I believe that the placebo effect can really work when it comes to pregnancy. So if you think these extra vitamins can work, then maybe they will!

Please feel free to comment if you have any experience in supplements or aids to getting pregnant.

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