Trying to Conceive?Amy Soukup
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1: Cut back on the caffeine
As painful as it may be to give up your morning cup â€˜o Joe, research shows that too much caffeine may hurt fertility. Studies performed at the University of Nevada School of Medicine found that caffeine reduces muscle activity in the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from a woman's ovaries to her womb, therefore making it harder to conceive.
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2: Don't Stress
Studies suggest that stress may inhibit your ability to conceive, so its important to keep anxiety levels as low as possible — easier said than done, we know! The average TTC couple has sex 104 times — about 4 times per week for 6 months — before conceiving, but some couples have reported success once they stopped actively trying. Of course, everybody (and every body) is different, so this may not work for you, but if nothing else, taking a break may be the best thing for your mind.
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3: Take up yoga
Though there is no hard evidence proving that yoga increases fertility rates, moms everywhere are claiming it helped them conceive. And it makes sense, considering yoga is said to lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels and impair the immune system. Relieving tension is a good step toward a healthier mind and body, and thus a better chance of conception.
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4: Break out the floss
If youre trying to conceive, now may be more of a time than ever to catch up on your regular dental cleaning and make a habit of good brushing and flossing. Doctors say poor oral health can delay conception by about two months. Sounds weird, right? But the underlying cause is inflammation, which, when unchecked, can lead to damage of the bodys normal workings, including reproduction.
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5: Eat your Brussels sprouts
Now you have a whole new reason to eat your greens! Studies show that the folic acid, especially high in Brussels sprouts, can aid in fertility and conception. And make sure your partner eats his Brussels, too. After all, it takes two to tango and his fertility is just as important as yours.
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6: Give your whole diet a makeover
Why stop at Brussels sprouts? There are many food changes you can make to help increase your chances of conceiving. One diet change thats found to help womens fertility is consuming at least one full-fat dairy product a day (like whole milk, full-fat yogurt, or even ice cream!). Upping your water intake and choosing beverages loaded with Vitamin C and anti-oxidants can also help, especially when combined with fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats, iron-rich foods, and plant proteins (i.e. lentils, beans, peanuts).
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7: Send in the clowns
Laughter really is the best medicine, and now theres a study to prove it! At his clinic in Israel, Professor Shevach Friedler conducted a study of over 200 women receiving in-vitro fertilization. After their IVF treatments, half of the women were given the usual post-procedure routine. The other half were treated to 15 minutes of medical clowning — a show of jokes and magic tricks. The results: 36% of the clowning group had successful IVF, compared to only 20% of the control group.
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8. Join an infertility support group
An infertility support group can be important for mental and emotional wellbeing, however, theres also proof that it can directly impact fertility. A 2000 study done by the Harvard Medical School showed that participation in an infertility support group increased womens chances of conceiving during any given cycle by 54 percent.
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9: Consult your doctor
Of course, many couples would much rather conceive as naturally as possible, but if youve been trying for a considerable amount of time without luck, theres a slew of medical treatments you can try. Clomid, HCG shots, IUIs, IVF — the list of treatments available can be overwhelming, but your doctor will be able to help walk you through what may or may not be right for you and your partner.
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10: Try soy oil
If you decide to try in-vitro fertilization, a soy oil infusion called IntraLipid may help you get the results you want. Some cases of infertility are caused when excess white blood cells fight the placenta and embryo as if they were a disease. IntraLipid is meant to counteract the overactive immune responses as well as reduce the bodys production of harmful chemicals that contribute to miscarriage. The treatment is said to make the success of conceiving through IVF six times more likely.
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