Any time the decision is made to add a member to the family, it is more than reasonable to expect that a few (or maybe more) lifestyle changes will need to occur. What often gets overlooked is the lifestyle changes that need to occur while trying to conceive in the first place.
Here are five things to avoid when you’re trying to conceive:
1. Smoking, Alcohol and Recreational Drug Use
As stated, there are some more obvious options for things to avoid when trying to conceive. Alcohol intake, smoking, and any drug usage should cease when trying to conceive and certainly after becoming pregnant.
The toxins from these different substances may hinder a woman’s reproductive capability, damaging natural cell growth and development. Additionally, all are known to have negative effects on regular menstruation, creating a smaller window of opportunity for women to get pregnant in.
When trying to conceive, it is important to consume a healthy and well-balanced diet. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients helps to ensure sexual health is at optimal levels, promoting regular menstruation.
Specifically, foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol should be avoided. Each has the ability to increase unhealthy weight gain, increasing the risk for miscarriage early on in the pregnancy. Low-fat dairy, high-mercury fish, and deli meats should all also be avoided to maintain a healthy weight with limited fat intake.
If you have certain dietary restrictions, talk to your physician and a certified nutritionist to make sure you are still meeting all of your caloric needs while working to create an optimal environment for conception. Putting your health first will ensure that your baby’s health has the ability to flourish.
3. Prescription Medications
It is always advised to discuss any and all medication use/cessation with your physician regardless of whether or not you are trying to conceive. However, there are a number of medications that have been linked to difficulties in conception.
Some medications that are advised to avoid are acne medications, clotting medications, medications for hypertension, and medications for epilepsy. Additionally, it is advised that anti-inflammatory steroids are avoided unless otherwise specified by your physician.
Regular over the counter medications are usually safe in small amounts but NSAIDs aside from Tylenol are usually best to avoid for general uterine health.
4. Beauty and Personal Care Products
Many everyday beauty and personal care products such as toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, lotions, and even shampoo, contain a variety of endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals.
If you want to set yourself for the best chance of success while trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to take an audit of the products you use and look for “clean” alternatives. Do the same for household products such as cleaning supplies.
There is still a lot to be learned about whether a link exists between stress and infertility. But, high amounts of stress can have adverse effects on your health whether you are trying to conceive or not. While avoiding stress completely isn’t realistic, it’s a great time to seek out new ways to help you better manage stress such as yoga, acupuncture or meditation.
Some of these may seem fairly obvious based on general health guidelines, but there are others you may not have considered. Changing lifestyle and regular dietary habits are not always easy, but avoiding these five things are important for both the health of the mother and the health of the baby. These changes may seem daunting at first, but they are all changes that are advised you make once you become pregnant anyway so consider it a jump start.
While these changes can certainly improve your overall health and chances of conception, some individuals may still need additional treatment for infertility. Contact Laurel Fertility Care for a free consultation to discuss your fertility challenges. With our knowledgeable staff led by our highly credentialed medical and lab directors, we have achieved remarkable success and can offer you the best chance of having your family in the shortest time possible.