Dr Sangeetha S Anand, IVF & Infertility Specialist – Apollo Fertility (Brookefield- Bangalore)
Fertility is a crucial aspect of human life and plays a significant role in achieving the dream of parenthood. Unfortunately, many couples struggle with infertility, which can be a devastating and emotionally challenging experience. It affects both men and women and can be caused by various factors such as age, genetics, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices. While some of these factors are beyond our control, making certain lifestyle changes can significantly boost fertility and increase the chances of conception. Furthermore, as infertility can be a sensitive and emotional issue, seeking support from family, friends, or a mental health professional can help couples cope with the stress and emotional strain associated with it. Hence, it is essential to remember that fertility is not solely a female concern and that both partners should take steps to improve their fertility.
Here’s a look at the lifestyle changes that can help increase the chances of conceiving and fulfilling the dream of starting a family-
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being underweight or overweight can have severe consequences on fertility. In women, being underweight can interfere with ovulation, whereas being overweight can produce hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation. On the other hand, in men, obesity can lower testosterone levels, resulting in low sperm count and poor sperm quality. As a result, maintaining an appropriate weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise can assist both men and women in enhancing their fertility.
Reduce Stress: Stress can have a major impact on both male and female fertility. It can affect hormone levels, resulting in irregular menstrual cycles and poor sperm quality. Therefore, finding ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, is essential.
Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help improve fertility in both men and women. Exercising helps regulate hormones, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy weight, which can all contribute to improved fertility. However, it is essential to avoid excessive exercise as it can disrupt menstrual cycles and reduce sperm count.
Get Enough Sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and can also have a significant effect on fertility. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels and reduce fertility in both men and women. Therefore, aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep each night is essential to improve fertility.
Eat a Balanced Diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help improve fertility. Nutrients such as folate, zinc, and antioxidants are essential for reproductive health and can be found in foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fruits. In addition, limiting processed and high-fat foods is also necessary, as they can contribute to obesity and hormonal imbalances.
Quit Smoking: In both men and women, smoking can reduce fertility. In women, smoking can damage the ovaries and decrease the number of eggs, while in men, smoking can lower sperm count and cause poor sperm motility. Thus, quitting smoking can improve and increase the odds of conception. Also, avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke is essential, as it can impact fertility.
Improving Fertility Through Healthy Lifestyle Choices!
Making certain lifestyle changes can significantly improve fertility in both men and women. Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet can all contribute to improved fertility and increase the chances of conception. However, it is essential to remember that fertility is a complex issue, and making lifestyle changes may not always result in pregnancy. Hence, if you have been trying to conceive for more than a year without success, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider to identify any underlying medical issues contributing to infertility.