Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for women and men trying to achieve pregnancy. The following are tips and advice for optimal fertility for couples who have made the decision to start a family.
- It is advised that both partners quit tobacco use as well as decrease or cease alcohol intake (< 2 drinks per day).
- Women whose BMI is > 35 may take twice as long to conceive a pregnancy compared to those whose BMI is < 35. Similarly, in women whose BMI < 19 may take 4 times as long to conceive compared to those whose BMI is > 19. Therefore, maintaining or achieving a healthy weight prior to attempting pregnancy is important.
- It is recommended in women who are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant that caffeine intake be limited to less than 2 cups of coffee per day (200 mg of caffeine).
Most pregnancies will occur in couples within the first 6 months (80% of pregnancies). The timing of intercourse should be based around the time of ovulation and happen every other day. Keeping track of ovulation can be done using menstrual cycle calendars or ovulation predictor kits. Couples should avoid commercially available vaginal lubricants during intercourse when trying to conceive as they may be toxic to sperm. Finally, the time of conception increases with age. Women who are less than 35 years old and have been trying for a year or longer should seek an evaluation for fertility if no success. Women 35 or older should seek a fertility evaluation if they have been trying for over 6 months. If you and your partner are not having success with getting pregnant, consult your doctor or call Boston IVF at The Women’s Hospital at 812-842-4530 or visit www.deaconess.com/bivf
for more information.