How to Keep Your Body in Baby-Making Shape

Sure you are spending a fair amount of energy trying to keep yourself from conceiving. But you’d like to think that when the baby cravings kick in, you’ll be able to get pregnant without a hitch.

The thing is women peak reproductively in their 20s. By the time they hit 35, the risk of infertility rises to 22 percent. Before you panic and try to get your boyfriend to knock you up, or remember that women’s body clocks are all different. Some women can get pregnant easily at 40. Some already experience problems while still in their 20s.

But while you can’t stop your body clock from counting down on your most crucial fertility factor (your age), there are several lifestyle changes that you can do to up your odds of getting pregnant in the near future.

If you want to get pregnant in the next 5 years

See you doctor

If you want to remain in baby-making shape, you have to get rid of health issues that could rob you of your fertility. This is where your doctor comes in. Get health conditions such as diabetes, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or endometriosis under control with the help of your doctor. Diagnose and treat STDs. You and your doctor can also create a healthy diet and exercise plan. If you’re over 35, you can ask your doctor to see what he or she can find out about your ovarian reserve.

Oral health

You’d never think but oral health has in impact on your fertility. According to Susan Karabin, D. D. S., a spokesperson for the American Academy of Periodontology, "Several studies have indicated that a woman’s oral health may be related to her reproductive success."

According to a research published in the Journal of Periodontology, women who needed fertility treatments had higher levels of gum bleeding and inflammation than those who conceived naturally. Karabin recommends that you "Brush and floss every day and get a professional cleaning and exam every six month."

Practice safe sex

You might think it ironic that practicing safe sex would come up in a pregnancy ‘To Do’ list. But it is actually a very important factor in your future chances of getting pregnant. Safe sex protects you from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or Chlamydia, both of which can leads to a serious condition called pelvic inflammatory disease which can damage the fallopian tubes and cause infertility.

Quit smoking

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) estimates that lighting up is linked to 13 percent of infertility cases.

Tobacco ruins your fertility in a number of ways. First, it makes your eggs deteriorate faster, than they normally would with age. Smoking also raises your chances of early miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and can bring on early menopause (up to 4 years earlier, compared with nonsmokers). If you ever end up needing in vitro fertilization, smoking reduces your chances of success by 34 percent.

The good news is that, once you quit smoking, your fertility level will go back to normal after a year or so. And while you’re working on quitting, influence your family and friends to quit as well. New research in Tobacco Control indicates that women who were exposed to second hand smoke 6 or more times a were 36 percent more likely to have difficulty conceiving.

Take your vitamins

Jorge Chavarro, M. D., an instructor at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Fertility Diet, says that "every woman of reproductive age-even, if they’re not actively trying to get pregnant, should take a multivitamin containing folic acid." Chavarro says that folic acid seems to improve fertility by stimulating ovulation and giving the embryos essential proteins necessary for survival.

Source: Women’s Health