Shruti Malik, M.D. shares tips on how to boost your fertility.
For every ailment it seems there’s an old wives tale that will either cure you immediately or set you back. Hiccups? Stand on your head. Headache? Try a teaspoon of salt. It’s no different for fertility, which is why Health.com sought tips on how to boost your fertility from Shady Grove Fertility’s Shruti Malik, M.D.
How much exercise is too much?
It is pretty common advice to try to get your body pregnancy-ready through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. But how much exercise is too much? While it’s great to be in shape, Health suggests quitting the intense high impact, heart rate-pumping workouts and giving your body a bit of a break. To stay in shape try switching up your exercise with aerobics, swimming, yoga, Pilates, or just taking a nice walk. For those who are undergoing infertility treatments, Dr. Malik recommends talking with your physician or nurse about when to slow down your exercise routine.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
When it comes to food there are a couple items to look out for. For all the sushi lovers out there, take note of the types of fish you are consuming. The seafood you love, especially at the sushi bar could make getting pregnant tougher. “An accumulation of mercury in the bloodstream over time has been associated with infertility. I tell women who are trying to conceive to avoid or limit consumption of those fish,” explains Dr. Malik. Some fish to steer clear from are tuna, shark, and swordfish.
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but according to one study, a large breakfast may be linked to increasing the rate of ovulation for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Getting Down to Business – How Your Sex Life Could be Impacting Conception
The next tips are about how you and your partner are actually working to make your baby. Everyone’s has at least one friend who is more than happy to tell you exactly which position is most likely to result in conception, but according to Dr. Malik, “there’s no evidence that position has any effect on fertility.” Timing rather than position has much more to do with conception. Dr. Malik advises intercourse during the 5 days leading up to ovulation and the day you ovulate. She cautions that sex every day can be stressful for some so focus on the last 2 or 3 days of that ovulation window.
While we’re on the topic of intercourse, Health and Dr. Malik have some information about lubricant that you probably didn’t know. “Certain components of water-based lubricants can make it more difficult for sperm to make their way into the cervical canal,” says Dr. Malik. These lubricants include many of the popular drugstore brands, so Malik suggests that couples who are trying to conceive use lubricants designed to mimic natural fluids or mineral oil.
A Better Sleep Routine
We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep, but did you know that you’ll get a much better quality of sleep if you sleep in total darkness? Health cautions that melatonin production could be lowered by artificial light including the limit emitted from your smartphone or tablet. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that helps boost fertility, so remember to get your z’s and turn out the lights!
When to Consult a Fertility Specialist
While there are lots of old wives to consider and new tips to try, you shouldn’t compromise on your fertility health. For most couples, if the female partner is under 35 and you have been trying to conceive for 12 months or more, or the female partner is over 35 and you have been trying to conceive for 6 months or more, it’s time to consult a fertility specialist. For women who are not ovulating regularly, have endometriosis, or a family history of early menopause, you should see a specialist as soon as you suspect you may have a problem. Early intervention offers the most treatment options and highest likelihood of success.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of March 14, 2017.
If you have questions about how to boost your fertility or would like to schedule a consult with a physician, please call our New Patient Center at 877-971-7755 or click to schedule an appointment.