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Trying to Get Pregnant? Here are Some Dos and Don’ts

Trying to Get Pregnant? Here are Some Dos and Don’ts

Fertility may seem complicated, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive for a while. But there are a few things you need to learn about what to do and what not to do when you’re trying to get pregnant.

Although you may still need additional help getting pregnant, you want to make sure that you’re doing the optimal things for your body to create the conditions to support a pregnancy. Dr. Edward J. Ramirez of The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF explains more about the dos and don’ts of trying to conceive.

DO try to eat an optimal diet. This should include drinking lots of water, eating vegetables that include plenty of iron and protein (like broccoli, beans, corn, and kale), and consuming a lot of whole-grain carbohydrates.

DON’T go on a radical diet to gain or lose weight. Even if you’ve been told you should lose or gain weight, now isn’t the right time to make drastic changes. Making major changes to your diet can disrupt your menstrual cycle.

DO continue to exercise, but keep it at a moderate level. Intense exercise, like running marathons or doing CrossFit, can disrupt your menstrual cycle and make it harder to get pregnant. But getting a regular amount of moderate exercise can actually improve your odds of getting pregnant, especially if you’re overweight, so don’t be a couch potato.

DON’T delay starting a family too long. You don’t have to start having kids when you’re just out of high school but the later you wait, the more your fertility will decline. By the time you’re in your mid-30s, your fertility is substantially less than what it is in your 20s. The same is true for men, too: male fertility significantly decreases after age 50.

DO get enough sleep every night. You should aim for about eight hours of sleep each night. One-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, which can negatively impact your fertility by causing your brain to release fewer hormones related to fertility. Cultivate healthy sleep habits by avoiding stimulating substances like caffeine for five hours before bed and by winding down toward sleep with calming activities.

DON’T drink too much alcohol if you’re trying to conceive. Because half of all pregnancies are unplanned, you never know if you might already be pregnant when you go out and overindulge a bit at happy hour.

Furthermore, if you’re undergoing fertility treatments like IVF, having four or more drinks per week lowers your chances of getting pregnant. Your man should avoid drinking, too; alcohol lowers testosterone levels and increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.

DO start taking prenatal vitamins. You don’t have to be pregnant already to get the benefits of prenatal vitamins. In fact, some of the vitamins in prenatal vitamins — folic acid, in particular — are beneficial even before you get pregnant.

DON’T smoke. Even just having an occasional cigarette has negative effects on your health and fertility. Smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day greatly lowers your odds of getting pregnant. Smoking also increases your chances of having a miscarriage and may damage your ovaries so you produce fewer eggs. If you smoke and are trying to quit, ask for help.

If you’re hoping to get pregnant and it’s not happening for you as quickly as you’d like, it might be a good idea to schedule a pre-conception appointment. Call Dr. Edward J. Ramirez at 831-649-4483, or request an appointment online.

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