I often talk about what you put in your body and how you treat it can have a big impact on your chances to conceive.
So this week I am sharing 4 things things that may be hindering your chances of conceiving without you even knowing it…
1. Too much caffeine
For women, caffeine can put stress on the adrenals and cause blood sugar to rollercoaster with high peaks and low troughs which also affects energy levels, mood and irritability. Some studies also show links between miscarriage and caffeine consumption in women who consume five or more caffeinated drinks a day. However, researchers don’t yet know for certain how caffeine levels relate to conception itself.
Coffee, tea, over-the-counter medications, chocolate and fizzy drinks all contain caffeine – and don’t forget that your latte or flat white might well contain more than one espresso-size shot. My advice is to try to cut back on caffeine-containing foods and drinks during the week, treating yourself at weekends. If you do need a shot of caffeine, take it from tea, which has much lower caffeine levels than coffee.
- Excessive amount of alcohol
For women alcohol may contribute to irregular periods, irregular ovulation and luteal phase defects, reducing chances of conception. Studies show that if neither you nor your partner drinks at all you will typically get pregnant more quickly than couples who drink regularly. However, I’m a realist – it’s fine if alcohol forms part of your normal life, as long as you drink at the lower limits of what is recommended for your age and gender.
Try to drink fewer than six units of alcohol per week remember every one metabolises alcohol in a different way (a pint of beer is two units; a large 250ml/9fl oz glass of wine is three) having alcohol free days also important
- Being overweight
Being underweight or overweight affects fertility in both women and men, so I advise that you try to do 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Regular exercise ensures that endorphins – feel-good hormones – circulate your body and improves general circulation.
Better circulation means that more nutrients can reach your ovaries (in a woman) or testes (in a man); and will improve your blood-sugar balance, which will be good for your fertility.
- Taking the pill
So many of the young women I see at the clinic in their thirties have gone on the pill at fifteen, and don’t come off until they’re in their 30s and starting to try for a baby. It’s very easy for them to get quite panicked about their cycles and their fertility returning, and how quickly your cycle gets back to normal varies from person to person.
The first month after you stop taking the pill is usually a particularly fertile cycle. After this ovulation can be disrupted for a few months in most women. For others it may take longer for ovulation to return to a normal pattern, despite regular periods.
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