Planning a pregnancy? Here are the pointers to help you prepare
If you want to improve your chances of conceiving, start with these lifestyle changes:
- AVOID ALCOHOL: Alcohol disrupts the hormonal balance of the female reproductive system; increases risk of early miscarriage and may even cause abnormalities in the baby.
- QUIT SMOKING: Cigarettes contain toxic substances that are harmful to the ovaries and egg development.
- BALANCED DIET: It is crucial to eat a healthy balanced diet supplying at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, which are a source of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. Take folic acid supplement. Start the dose at least a month before trying to conceive.
- CAFFEINE: Cut back on caffeine. Studies show that caffeine reduces a women's success rate in conception. Besides tea and coffee, energy drinks and colas too contain large amounts of caffeine.
- EXERCISE: Regular exercise can boost fertility, especially if you are overweight, by improving insulin resistance and glucose control especially in women with polycystic ovaries.
- . WEIGHT: A BMI of 19-25 is considered to be within the normal range. Being overweight or underweight can affect your chances. Obesity disrupts ovulation and fertility by causing hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance among other things, especially in women with polycystic ovaries. Women who are underweight often have problems with ovulation and periods may stop completely .
- MEDICATIONS: Some medicines can decrease fertility , so inform your doctor or specialist that you are trying for a baby when you are prescribed any medicine. If you are on long term medication, your doctor may prescribe an alternative, that doesn't impact fertility .
- . MANAGE STRESS: Stress may have an effect on natural conception, for example by preventing ovulation or reducing the frequency of the intercourse.
- CHECK OVERALL HEALTH: Go for counselling and see a specialist if you are on any regular prescription or family hereditary of genetic disorders before planning pregnancy . If you are in the reproductive age group and not conceived after trying for a year, or are over 36-years-old, you will need to seek help. The same goes for those who have a known history (tuberculosis, extensive abdominal surgery etc..) or known cause of infertility , such as PCOS.
For appointment or queries, contact Dr Radhika Reddy Pingili, MBBS, MD, MRCOG, DFSRH, CCT (UK), Consultant ART & Infertility Specialist, Surya Fertility Centre; http:www.suryafertilitycen tre.in, firstname.lastname@example.org, Call: 040-2360873488850131000102