8 ways to increase fertility

March 27, 2012 at 11:56 am (Intro) (, , )

As we start yet another cycle of not being pregnant, I wanted to do some research into what we might be able to do to increase our odds. Webmd.com had a good article that got copied on other sites so I thought that would be a good one to go over with my husband.  You can find the article at: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/8-ways-to-boost-your-fertility.  It’s definitely not from the Mayo Clinic, but there were some interesting points.

1. The article said that women who are overweight may take twice as long to get pregnant, and women who are underweight make take four times as long!  I have always struggled with my weight, and we do know that this is an area we need to work on. We’ve recently purchased a bicycle (that my husband still can’t figure out how to ride!) and are working on eating healthier together. When I was pregnant, pre-miscarriage, I followed a heavily defined diabetic eating plan and I struggled because it was very restrictive.  Hubs and I have talked about both of us going to back to that sort of a plan, with a few modifications.

2. I found it interesting that the article was all for limiting hot tub and hot bath use in men, but it felt that boxers vs. briefs was an old wives tale and that the laptops on laps was inconclusive.  Apparently the issue is genital warmth and making sure the sperm stay healthy.  When Hubs and I discussed this, he decided to alternate between boxers and boxer-briefs. I bought us a laptop desk that provides some protection and if we are watching a television episode, I’ll put the laptop on my legs instead of his lap.  We also only go hot tubbing once a month or less.  The article did mention a concern about men who keep their cell phones in their pants pockets, but I’m not sure if we’ll address that.

3. Too much alcohol and caffeine can be a bad thing.  Okay.   We may drink one or two bottles of wine a month and neither of us are coffee drinkers, so this didn’t seem to be a place where we had any concerns.  I drink maybe 1-2 sodas a week if we eat out, and even then I normally have iced tea. Hubs drinks even less soda than I do.

4. People who want to get pregnant shouldn’t smoke. In men, smoking reduces sperm count and motility; women who smoke may have issues with the uterus creating a healthy environment for the egg.   Neither Hubs or I light up and we try to not spend much time in surroundings that expose us to second-hand smoke. 

5. One caution the article had was for couples who wait until ovulation day. Instead, it recommends keeping track of your cycle to the point where you can start having sex consistently a few days before you ovulate.  It did compare studies of couples who were intimate every day versus every other day and found that there was only a small difference between the resulting number of pregnancies, but that the stress of sex every day was a challenge for many couples.  Hubs and I have tried both approaches and have found that every other day does work better for us.  If you are trying every day it can make something that is supposed to be fun into a chore and that’s not how we want to treat sex and intimacy.

6. Apparently most commonly sold lubricants contain some degree of spermicide.  The best types of lubricants to use are those that contain no spermicide and are oil based. The article actually recommended using canola or peanut oil, straight from the kitchen. We don’t normally need lubricant, but if we do, we have a small bottle of KY that has lasted for quite a while.  Usually we are fine with what our bodies produce.  On man mentioned in this part of the article actually used soap! Ouch!!! His poor partner!

7 and 8.  Depending on the industry in which you work or spend time, there may be harmful toxins.  Men or women who work around pesticides and women who work around dry-cleaning chemicals may have difficulties getting pregnant.  Although Hubs works for a dry-cleaner, he does their sales training and driving and isn’t exposed to any of the chemicals, plus his work is an all-natural cleaner, so we shouldn’t have any problems there.   I work at a bridal salon, so I’m guessing that I’m safe. 

All in all, it was an interesting article to look at in regards to boosting fertility.  It sounds like Hubs and I are definitely on the right path and primarily need to focus on eating healthy and me losing weight.  Being diabetic means that I need to focus on that regardless, so it looks like I know where we’ve got to work!


1 Comment

  1. Really Rachel E. said,

    I had heard the tip about starting to have sex a few days before ovulation as opposed to on the exact day. But, the month I got pregnant, we didn’t have sex at all leading up to ovulation day because I was really sick. We did it once on ovulation day, and once 2 days later, and we got pregnant! Just thought I would share an alternative story. Thanks for this post!

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