Fertility issues affect between 10 and 20 per cent of couples in the UK. Over time, it’s become an increasingly prevalent issue, suggesting that something in our environment is to blame.
Research has uncovered several ways you can modify your lifestyle as a couple to improve your chances of conception.
Excessive alcohol consumption of more than eight drinks per week has been associated with a delay in getting pregnant. Alcohol consumption is also associated with a higher rate of infertility among women.
Some natural supplements may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Women taking bee propolis, for instance, were 40 per cent more likely to get pregnant over nine months.
Exercise not only has a beneficial effect on your overall wellbeing but your fertility too. Numerous studies point to the conclusion that being more active improves the likelihood of a pregnancy.
Obese women who exercised regularly and moderately experienced a boost in their overall fertility levels. The Nurses Health Study found that women who exercised frequently had a slightly lower chance of infertility than those who didn’t.
Animal and vegetable proteins might be similar chemically, but they have vastly different effects on the body. Animal protein is invariably associated with adverse changes to the body, while vegetable protein – such as that found in nuts and beans – is universally positive. When women swap out five per cent of total calories from animal protein to vegetable protein, their risk of infertility dropped by more than half.
Not only does fibre help normalise blood sugar after a meal, but it also helps to remove excess estrogen from the body. For every 10 grams of additional fibre from grains, women over 32 experience a 44 per cent drop in ovulatory infertility.
Refined carbohydrates in cookies, white bread, white pasta, cakes, biscuits, sugary breakfast cereal and many other sources can have a detrimental effect on your health. These carbohydrates get absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, leading to elevated blood glucose levels. High glycemic index foods in the diet are associated with a more significant risk of ovulatory infertility.
The body needs antioxidants from food to protect itself against the free oxygen radicals given off by metabolic processes in cells. Men who ate two ounces of antioxidant-rich walnuts experienced a significant improvement in sperm quality.
Trans fats found in some processed foods, vegetable oils and margarine are detrimental to sexual health. Studies suggest regular consumption of trans fats may increase ovulatory infertility risk by 31 per cent.
Studies suggest that women who consume a multivitamin are more than 20 per cent less likely to have ovulatory infertility.
Feeling relaxed and contented about life may assist with fertility. Researchers believe that relaxation induces beneficial hormonal changes. Women who feel stressed about work take longer to fall pregnant than those who don’t.