By Dr Rita Bakshi
The positive result of a pregnancy test is good news for couples intending to start a family. However, getting pregnant can often be an uphill task, with women often struggling to conceive despite several attempts. This inability to conceive can be attributed to several factors.
The process of infertility is not only affected by the to-be mother’s lifestyle decisions, but by both the man and woman. Therefore, it is very important for the couple to take care of their health and lifestyle as these shall definitely increase the chances of getting pregnant.
Here are some tips that can increase the chances of getting pregnant:
Ditch the smoking habit
The habit of smoking impedes and obstructs proper functioning of the body. As severe and alarming as concerns are for active smokers, passive smoking can be a serious issue as well. Most of us are not aware of the fact that smoking is not just injurious to health, but our fertility levels too. It affects and lowers the quality of the egg, while contributing to low birth weight of babies. Smoking has an adverse effect on ovaries and on the quality and quantity of sperms.
Cut down on caffeine
It is very important to lower your caffeine intake as it can significantly hamper conception. It should be brought down to minimal and it’s a good idea to avoid all caffeinated products like tea, soft drinks and coffee, of course.
It is really important to indulge in activities that make you and your spouse feel calmer and happier. Pamper yourself, go shopping, enjoy movies and long drives. Our stressful lives have become a challenge to the process of fertility. Stress intervenes in menstrual cycles in women and obstructs sperm production in men.
Get the right vitamins
It is essential to spoil yourself with foods that contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals while you are trying to get pregnant. Lack of minerals result in poor egg quality and create problems in proper ovulation whereas people with vitamin deficiency undergo some major hormonal imbalances. Therefore, it is important to have a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Also, there are some vitamins that boost hormone levels and protect eggs and sperms from free-radical damage.
It is necessary to make exercise or physical activity an important and vital part of your daily routine. Regular workouts have innumerable benefits and help you fight several ailments like PCOS and obesity, which can be important factors obstructing your fertility levels. However, brisk walking, light cardio and yoga are also effective options for exercise. One must dedicate at least 45 minutes to an hour daily for light workouts.
Avoid using lubricants
There are some lubricants that can obstruct the sperm from reaching the egg. Try and avoid using lubricants while you indulge in intercourse to speed up and ease the intercourse.
(The writer is Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre.)