How Diet and Weight Affect Fertility

Most women are aware of the fact that a number of health concerns and lifestyle choices may play a role in fertility. For example, the best time to conceive is when you’re ovulating, and you’ll have a much easier time getting pregnant before the age of forty in most cases. As for your lifestyle, smoking and drinking can have a negative impact on your ability to get pregnant, as can high stress. What you might not know is how much your diet and your weight can contribute to or detract from your chances of getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term. And your relative level of activity can be important, as well. However, if you don’t know what your weight, your diet, and your exercise regimen are supposed to be in order to achieve optimum fertility, you might be trying to conceive in vain. So here are a few pointers that should help to get you on track for starting the family you’re dreaming of.

The first thing you should probably do is speak to your preferred healthcare provider, either your OB/GYN or your general physician (or both). These medical professionals can give you information about a healthy weight based on your BMI (body mass index), as well as help you to set up a plan for proper nutrition and exercise. They can also refer you to specialists like nutritionists and physical therapists that can coach you through the weight-loss process and get you to a state of fitness and health that are sure to give you the best chances for conception (barring other medical issues concerning fertility).

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to struggle with being obese for your weight to affect your chances to conceive. Sometimes losing just twenty pounds can make a difference for an otherwise healthy woman in her prime childbearing years. And women that are underweight could have similar problems, not only with getting pregnant but with maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This is not to say that weight is your only potential issue. But if you’re significantly over or under your recommended weight range, it definitely bears consideration.

Of course, even if you’re a healthy weight, the way you eat and your level of activity could also play a role in overall fertility. For example, ingesting any kind of stimulant or depressant (coffee or alcohol, respectively) could affect your odds of conceiving. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The modern diet consists of a lot of sugar, sodium, fat, and preservatives. And if you’re skipping the nutrients found in natural foods you could be doing so at the risk of your general health and fertility. If you’re not sure what your diet is supposed to look like, consider visiting the USDA food pyramid at ChooseMyPlate.gov – their guidelines for pregnant women can show you the kind of healthy diet that could not only help you to get pregnant, but to see your pregnancy through to a healthy delivery.

Your fertile future does not depend solely on your ability to eat right, get fit, and maintain a healthy weight, but these facets of your lifestyle could all have a marked effect on whether or not you’re able to conceive. They aren’t the only factors to consider, but for otherwise healthy women with no family history of fertility issues, they’re a good place to start. And considering that your diet, exercise, and weight all contribute to your overall state of health, addressing them is a pretty good idea either way.

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