What should you avoid when trying to conceive?

Published on April 28, 2020

Your lifestyle and your nutrition decisions are likely to influence your chances of getting pregnant, as well as the baby’s development once you are pregnant. Eating the right food at this stage can also affect your developing baby and their long-term health.

It would be a good idea for you and your partner to pay attention to both your conception diets. The primary difference between a conception diet and a pregnancy diet is that in the conception stage, you partner’s nutrition habits matter as much as yours. The different foods to avoid when trying to conceive are similar to those you should avoid when you are actually pregnant, meaning you would not have to switch your diet after you would have gotten used to it.  Apart from food intake amounts, there are some other things to stay away from or limit as much as possible to try and make conceiving less strenuous.

First and foremost, and this is not just for the ladies trying to conceive, but for anyone and everyone in general – avoid stress as much as you can. Of course, each one of us has got some stress in our lives, and many experts disagree on whether stress can cause infertility. However, it has been proven that regular stress or intense stress can affect the reproductive system. So speak to a doctor about your stress and discuss the best ways to cope with it.

It is important to keep things in balance as much as possible when trying to conceive. This means that intense, excessive exercising should be avoided as it might interfere with the menstrual cycle. On the other hand, wanting to conceive means that you should do some form of exercise, be it walking or cycling.

There are some fish that women who are trying to conceive should stay away from. This is because they are high in mercury and high levels of mercury in the blood have been linked to infertility. Some of these fish include big eye tuna, shark, swordfish and marlin. On the other hand anchovies, crab, haddock, oysters, salmon, scallops, and squid to name a few are low in mercury. So try to look out for the right fish.

Studies show a correlation between drinking more than 2 drinks a day and difficulty in conceiving due to lack of ovulation and abnormal estrogen and progesterone levels, not to mention fetal alcohol syndrome. So its safest to stick to water when possible.

Heavy caffeine intake has been linked to fertility issues, so it is very important to limit caffeine consumption to a minimal amount. It is interesting to note that caffeine interferes with the ability to absorb iron, and in high doses can increase the risk of miscarriage as well as preterm birth.

Poor oral hygiene can have an effect on the man’s sperm. Having gum disease can also increase the risk of having a premature delivery and a low birth weight infant. A visit to the dentist for both you and your partner would be ideal when planning on getting pregnant.

Folic acid is extremely important when trying to conceive, and there are many vitamins on the market containing folic acid. One should never pass on vegetables, as we are all aware of the health benefits they possess. This holds even truer for women trying to conceive. This essential B vitamin are also found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas and dried beans. So go ahead and eat your greens – not only to help conceiving, but also during the pregnancy.

Last but not least, do not smoke! This increases the risk of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that “it takes longer for smokers to conceive, and smoking makes a woman’s eggs more prone to genetic abnormalities”.

All the above mentioned points also hold true for the partner as they could have an effect on the sperm count as well as sperm abnormalities. The partners should also lose extra pounds, get health conditions under control, get regular physical activity, quit smoking, slow down on the drinking and avoid long stay in saunas and hot tubs, as this would increase scrotal temperatures, decreasing sperm count and quality.

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