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Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis

7 Things To Cut Out If You’re Trying to Conceive

If you are trying to conceive, you have probably already started taking pre natal vitamins and may be engaging in habits to help along the process.

However, did you know there are several things to avoid when attempting to get pregnant?

Here are 7 things that Mary Jane Minkin, MD, Clinical Professor of Ob/Gyn at Yale University recommends giving up to increase your chances of getting pregnant this year:

1. Alcohol. Studies focusing on alcohol’s effect on conception have produced mixed results, with some indicating that pregnancy is more likely if women give up drinking entirely and others suggesting that those who drink moderately might increase their chances of conception – perhaps because an occasional glass of wine makes them more relaxed. But experts agree that women who give up alcohol will increase their chances of a healthy baby once conception does happen, and that alone is reason enough for most women to quit.

2. Tobacco. Unlike alcohol, the data smoking’s correlation to pregnancy is undisputed. Both primary and secondhand smoke are detrimental to a woman’s chance of conceiving and to a developing fetus as well. Quitting is never easy, but resources and support to help you find a plan and stick to it.

3. Caffeine. As the daily substance of choice for most Americans, dependency on those morning cups of coffee or afternoon soft drink is difficult to break. But even if caffeine’s link to fertility isn’t universally upon, reputable studies exist that suggest caffeine – especially in excess – can stunt the maturation of an egg or increase the chances of a miscarriage. If giving up your cup of morning joe can help you get pregnant, the sacrifice is worth it.

4. Your Spot on the Couch. In other words, get up and move around! Couch potatoes aren’t helping any aspect of their health, but women who are trying to conceive have an extra-compelling reason to kick it into high gear. Experts agree that women who stay within their ideal weight have a better chance of becoming pregnant, and a recent study by Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that women who exercise 30 minutes or more a day had a reduced risk of ovulation disorders, which often lead to infertility.

5. Junk food. Generally speaking, any change that moves you toward a healthier lifestyle will promote fertility. But when it comes to diet, advice seems to fall all over the map. Specific fertility diets advocate for eating foods like oysters, garlic and yams, but an extensive 2009 study advised women to follow simpler guidelines – healthy fats, selective proteins, whole grains and plenty of iron and other vitamins. The sooner you can start taking a prenatal vitamin with sufficient folic acid like OB Complete One, the better! And, obviously, putting down the potato chips and the candy bars is an excellent first step to take to help you get pregnant this year.

6. Excessive Stress. Granted, this step is easier said than done, especially when the chief cause of the stress is the infertility itself. But if external factors are causing undue anxiety, a women’s chance at conception can decrease, and the stress of waiting for that positive pregnancy test month after month could be the last straw for her emotional health. Give up extra responsibilities whenever possible, talk to your boss about reducing your job stress and work in regular “mental health” days to be refreshed by activities and people you enjoy.

7. Lubricants Containing Glycerin. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) “Guidelines for Optimizing Natural Fertility”, several leading vaginal lubricants (e.g. K-Y) may decrease fertility based on their observed effects on sperm survival. Another study showed that lubricants containing glycerin had an adverse effect on sperm motility. Fertility experts recommend using a fertility friendly lubricant like Pre-Seed that is specially formulated without glycerin that will not harm sperm and allows sperm to swim freely.

Good luck!