Try Not To Worry Too Much
Studies show that extreme stress can lower your chances of getting pregnant by causing hormone levels to go haywire and decreasing cervical mucus. Were talking about high anxiety here not run-of-the-mill frustrations like a demanding boss or tantrum-ing toddler.
But even if youre not at freak-out levels, it cant hurt to keep your nerves in check by avoiding work overloads, hitting a yoga or Zumba class, listening to music or venting to your partner or a sympathetic pal. Another plus to finding time for R& R now: Once you do make and deliver a baby, me time will be a whole lot harder to nab.
Don’t Forget These Other Sperm
These other fertility foods may also belong on the menu when you’re trying to conceive:
- Oysters. Were not sure if oysters are an aphrodisiac, but we do know that their zinc content pumps up the production of sperm and testosterone. If your partners not a fan, he can get his share of zinc from lean beef, poultry, dairy, nuts or eggs, though oysters have the highest concentration of this nutrient.
- Fruits and veggies. Produce is rich in the vitamins that can help protect sperm from cellular damage. He can get folate from leafy greens men who dont get enough of this B vitamin tend to have sperm with abnormal chromosomes. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and berries provide vitamin C, which can boost sperm quality. Carrots, red peppers and apricots have lots of vitamin A, which keeps sperm from getting sluggish. Sweet potatoes are rich in all three folate, A and C!
- Pomegranate juice may up sperm count and quality, per some animal studies. While it remains to be seen if it has the same effects on humans, you can always try swapping out the usual morning glass of OJ.
Prenatal Vitamins Vs Fertility Supplements
Prenatal vitamins are taken during pregnancy to support the growth and development of a fetus in the womb. Prenatal vitamins dont improve fertilitythats not what theyre intended to do. While prenatals are recommended for IVF patients, thats because its best to start them about 3 months prior to pregnancy, and IVF patients are typically hoping to get pregnant within that time frame.
PS: The most important ingredient in prenatal vitamins is folic acid or folate, which has been shown in many, many studies to prevent fetal neural tube defects which can be devastating. The reason neural tube defects are so rare in the developed world is almost exclusively due to the widespread use of prenatal vitamins along with folate enrichment in foods like bread and cereal.
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Why Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are also called prenatal supplements because they contain vitamins along with minerals and other nutrients you and your growing baby need.
Doctors recommend that women of child-bearing age take prenatal vitamins even if theyre not planning to get pregnant just in case.
While our bodies absorb the best kinds of nutrients from the foods we eat, lets face it, everyone isnt always able eat the best variety of food or very much fresh food every day.
Plus, you may not know youre pregnant for weeks or longer. From the very first month of pregnancy, lots of important baby stuff is developing, like the brain and spinal cord. This is why taking a prenatal vitamin has you and your baby covered!
For example, folic acid in a prenatal vitamin is needed to help your baby grow a healthy spinal cord and nervous system. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes. Too little of this vitamin is a leading cause of blindness in babies around the world.
Prenatal vitamins can help fill nutritional food gaps and make sure you and your baby have all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy pregnancy and birth. They can even help keep you healthy after your delivery while you breastfeed.
Not all prenatal vitamins are the same. Different formulations may have slightly different dosages of some nutrients. Ask your doctor about the best one for you.
Find Out Your Family History
Have any of your family members had a child born with birth defects, diabetes, seizure disorders, or developmental issues? Nows the time to find out and let your doctor know. It will affect what tests they suggest you have.
For instance, Tay-Sachs is a rare disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. Its most common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. If it runs in your or your partners family, a blood test can tell if you or your partner carries the gene for the condition, and the chances that youll pass it on to your child.
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When To See A Doctor About Infertility
You should visit a doctor if you’re experiencing problems with erections, pain or lumps in your testicles, you or your partner is over the age of 35, or you’ve recently had surgery involving the groin, prostate, or testicles.
General advice: See a doctor about possible infertility issues if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than a year.
Sperm quality decreases with age, especially after age 40. Additionally, John Hopkins Medicine reports that sperm disorders where men have trouble producing healthy sperm can affect fertility. This may be caused by genetic diseases, infections, hormone problems, and lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol, cigarette, and .
To examine male fertility factors, James Grifo, MD, PhD, the program director at NYU Langone Prelude Fertility Center and chief executive physician at Inception Fertility says you should see a fertility urologist for further evaluation and testing. This specialist can look for semen analysis abnormalities, anatomic abnormalities, ejaculatory problems, or any masses felt in the testicles.
“Any male who is experiencing infertility may benefit from a skilled urologic work-up,” says Grifo.
Why Take Prenatal Vitamins Before You Are Pregnant
What is the main reason to start taking prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant? Its for the folate. Folate supports early neural tube development from the time of conception and in the first 3-4 weeks after conception. This important time is when babys brain and spine start to form. Since folate takes some time to build up in the body and since most women dont know theyre pregnant until around 2 weeks after conception , taking folate regularly before pregnancy can help avoid a gap. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that women who could get pregnant should be taking the equivalent of 400 mcg of folate daily.
Another reason to take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy is to start building the habit! Add prenatals into your regimen today, and when youre pregnant it will already be a solid part of your self-care.
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What Can Improve Your Chances Of Conception
Though taking a prenatal before and while youre trying to get pregnant likely wont impact your chances of conception, there are some steps you can take to increase those odds:
Should You Take Vitamin Supplements
Its important to get the nutrients you need through a healthy diet, or with the help of supplements if thats what your doctor recommends. For those with specific vitamin deficiencies, taking a supplement may help.
But what if youre not really missing anything nutritionally? Will a vitamin supplement boost your fertility? The answer isnt clear. Some studies say yes, but many have not found that supplements improve fertility factors compared to a placebo. Many studies on micronutrients are also small or not well designed. With that said, below are vitamins and minerals thought to be essential to fertility health.
Benefits Of Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins help prepare your body for pregnancy in several ways. They typically contain the following ingredients:
- Folate to prevent neural tube defects .
- Iron to help your body produce the extra blood your baby needs to grow and develop.
- Calcium and vitamin D to help the baby grow healthy bones.
- Iodine for healthy neural development in baby and thyroid function for mom.
Some prenatal vitamins also contain omega-3 fatty acids to help your babys brain develop.
Whats The Difference Between Geritol And A Prenatal Vitamin
Dr. Kaylen Silverberg, a Texas-based fertility specialist, says one key difference between Geritol and prenatal vitamins is the amount of folic acid: Theres more folic acid in a prenatal vitamin.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that plays a key role in a babys early spinal development. Not having enough can cause spina bifida, a potentially disabling condition that happens when the spinal cord doesnt form properly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that women take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily at least one month before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend taking a higher amount, depending on your existing levels and whether or not youre getting enough through diet.
I tell all my patients to take prenatal vitamins. Im unaware of any studies that specifically link Geritol to pregnancy, says Dr. Silverberg.
Another key difference, according to Dr. Silverberg, is that prenatal vitamins include a stool softener. This is to help lessen the side effects from taking iron as a supplement. The mineral can cause problems in the digestive tract, including constipation.
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Protect Your Pregnancy Before You Conceive
Many women know they need to take extra care of their health during pregnancy. But if you know you want to try to have a baby, its a good idea for you and your partner to start making some changes about 6 months before you actually get pregnant.
That creates the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, says Sherry Ross, MD, an OB/GYN at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
Go through this to-do list as youre getting your body ready for baby.
What If You Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome , a hormonal disorder, is one of the most common reasons for female infertility. It affects between 6% and 12% of American women of reproductive age.
There is no single test to identify PCOS, but a doctor will determine if a woman fulfills two of the following three criteria,the CDC said:
- Irregular periods or no periods, caused from lack of ovulation
- Higher than normal levels of male hormones that may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne or thinning scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
It is not clear why some women develop this syndrome, although it is often diagnosed when they struggle to get pregnant.
There is a strong link between PCOS-related infertility and weight. About 40% to 60% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and healthy eating and exercise have been shown to improve reproductive problems in women with PCOS, according to a 2019 article in the journal Therapeutic Advcances in Reproductive Health. A number of prescribed medications may also induce ovulation and regulate insulin levels, such asletrozole and metformin. High levels of insulin push thepituitary gland to release large amounts of hormones thatdisrupt ovulation.
Doctors recommend in-vitro fertilization if other interventions have not worked, or as a primary treatment if monitoring, cost and accessibility are not issues.
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Can The Birth Control Pill Boost Fertility
A study shows that women who’ve stopped taking oral contraceptives after five years can conceive just as easily as non-users.
If you’ve stopped taking your birth control pill in the hopes of conceiving, don’t be surprised if a plus sign on a home pregnancy test follows soon after. A 2002 study from Brunel University in the United Kingdom shows that women who’ve taken oral contraceptives for at least five years are able to conceive just as easily as non-users.
What’s more, researchers found that the longer women took the Pill, the greater their chances of getting pregnant within six months to a year after they went off of it.
Prospective parents can breathe a sigh of relief, since these findings refute older research suggesting that the Pill delayed conception after women discontinued it. “It’s been a long-standing myth that women on the Pill have a lag time in returning to conception,” says David Plourd, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Naval Medical Center in San Diego. “We know that if you miss one pill you can get pregnant.” After the last pill is taken, levels of hormones drop immediately, allowing women to revert to their normal fertility levels right awayand with no effect on future fertility, says Dr. Plourd.
Great Prenatal Vitamins For Anyone Whos Pregnant Or Trying To Be
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When youre pregnant, there is a lot to think about. Your mind cartwheel from best prenatal vitamins to child-proof furniture to can I seriously not eat soft cheese anymore? As exciting as this time can be, it can also be stressful when you want to give your future child the best but you dont know what that is. Especially when it comes to that whole prenatal vitamins thing.
Prenatal vitamins are supplements containing vitamins and minerals that help to support pregnant people by preventing common nutritional deficiencies that can arise during pregnancy. Most pregnant people use thema 2017 survey from the March of Dimes found that 97% of U.S. women between the ages of 18 and 45 who have been pregnant or who were pregnant at the time of the survey reported taking prenatal vitamins or multivitamins during their pregnancy. This is a good thing, as vitamins play a pretty important role in pregnancy health.
Amber Samuel, M.D., a maternal fetal medicine specialist at HCA Gulf Coast Division Hospitals in Houston, tells SELF that prenatal vitamins can help promote fetal development and maternal health and decrease the risk of birth defects. But are all prenatal vitamins created equal? How do you know which is the best one for you? Read on to find out.
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Tips For Taking Prenatals
You may wish to take a prenatal multivitamin with food to help keep the tummy settled. Look for products that can be taken on an empty stomach, such as fermented multivitamins.
It also helps to know your habits in order to set yourself up for success. If you always take your vitamins with breakfast once a day, a one-tablet-daily prenatal may be the best choice for you. However, if you like spacing out your vitamins, other prenatal vitamins are designed so that a daily dose is spread out between multiple tablets that can be taken throughout the day.
Its best to listen to your body and notice if your prenatal is causing any queasiness, so then you can adjust from there. These days some prenatal multivitamins are even formulated with tummy-soothing ginger for morning sickness built right in, which can help if youre experiencing pregnancy-related nausea. Your healthcare professional may also have suggestions to help with any queasiness, such as spacing multi-dose vitamins throughout the day or taking with meals or water.
The key thing to remember is that adding a reliable prenatal multivitamin to your day can help maintain solid nutritional foundations. Whether youre planning to be pregnant or already expecting, these supplements offer highly tailored support for this important time in your life.
Supplements All Women Trying To Get Pregnant Should Take
A prenatal vitamin should be taken before you become pregnant, not just when you find out that you are having a baby. Along with prenatal vitamins, there are additional supplements that may improve your fertility health and help with conception. But it is best to start taking supplements a few months or more before conception, since it may take a few months to get their full benefits. There are so many supplements available. But to keep things simple, here are six that have the best chance of giving your fertility a boost and increase your chance of having a baby.
Co Enzyme Q 10:
Is the source of fuel for mitochondria and is needed for the basic functioning of cells. Our recommendation: If you are up to 37 years old take 200-400 mg and if you are over 37 years old take 400-600 mg.
Studies have shown that despite taking a prenatal vitamin, women were still low in Vitamin D. There is typically not enough Vitamin D added to a prenatal pill so it is important to check. Low Vitamin D levels in early life is linked to schizophrenia, diabetes and skeletal disease. Appropriate levels of Vitamin D intake can prevent or reduce depression, dementia, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Our recommendation: Take 2,000-3,000 IU daily.
Preliminary studies have shown that this supplement may help prevent miscarriage. Selenium is an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. Our recommendation: Take 200 mg daily.
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