The impact of diet and lifestyle on your fertility
Even before conception, diet and lifestyle contributes significantly to fertility — both in women and men. So what is there to be considered, and how can you increase your chances of getting pregnant naturally? And, if getting pregnant has worked out — how can I shape my child’s health in a positive way?
The impact of diet and lifestyle on your fertility
Nutrition also plays a decisive role in the desire to have children.
Even before the onset of pregnancy, gynaecologists often recommend taking folic acid (also known as vitamin B9). This promotes the cell division process and tissue growth . Since the folic acid level in the body rises only very slowly, it makes sense to start taking it early. In addition to vitamin preparations, folic acid can also be taken in naturally through food. A high concentration of folic acid is found, for example, in chickpeas or green vegetables such as broccoli and beans.
Women who are planning a pregnancy should take 400 µg of folic acid per day in addition to a balanced diet.
The intake should start at least 4 weeks before conception and be continued until the end of the 1st trimester.
Nutrition for those who want to have children: Other vitamins you should consider
Vitamins B12 and B6 affect both female and male fertility. Vitamin B12 helps the body process folic acid and is found in cheese, fish and meat. Vitamin B6 generally supports metabolism, as well as testosterone production in men, and is found mainly in beans, broccoli and potatoes.
Vitamin E can also support the likelihood of pregnancy and helps the female body to implant the egg in the uterus. This is found, for example, in egg yolks, peppers or sunflower oil. Calcium, which is found in dairy products, for example, can promote ovulation. Foods such as yoghurt, quark and kefir should not be missing from a man’s diet either, as they increase the quality of the sperm.
Vitamins C and E are also important for good sperm formation. Men should also make sure they have a sufficient supply of zinc, as this can have a positive influence on the constitution of the sperm cells. There are many products available on the market that are specially designed for those who want to have children. Vitamin supplements can help, but a balanced diet is the be-all and end-all when planning to have children .
A balanced diet is important even before you become pregnant! Try new recipes and try new and different food. The main ingredients should be vegetables, fruits and wholegrain products. On the other hand, animal foods should be consumed in moderation. You should also drink plenty of water .
Sweets, sugary drinks and snack products, as well as fats with a high proportion of saturated fatty acids and oils should be consumed sparingly. Use vegetable oils instead, such as olive oil .
Avoid being overweight
In Germany, about one third of women of childbearing age are overweight or obese . Maternal obesity is associated with increased levels of inflammation, hormones and unfavorable metabolites, which can negatively affect the development of the egg and the embryo and increase the risk of chronic diseases in the child. Obesity in males negatively affects sperm quality, quantity and motility and is also suspected of increasing the risk of chronic disease in offspring. Weight reduction would therefore be recommended for both subsequent mothers and fathers .
Even before pregnancy, the best possible approximation of body weight to a normal weight is desirable.
An appropriate weight gain during pregnancy for normal-weight women is between 10 and 16 kg.
Eliminate risk factors
Alcohol and smoking are taboo. It is also advisable to abstain from daily cigarettes and alcoholic beverages even while trying to conceive . Smoking has a negative effect on fertility and is clearly taboo during pregnancy . Even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can have a negative effect on the foetus .
Avoid alcohol and smoking as early as the childbearing stage.
Pay attention to dental health
Women who are planning a pregnancy should check their dental health and, if necessary, have specific treatment carried out. Untreated maternal periodontitis has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight in studies .
Make an appointment with a dentist to clarify dental problems and practice adequate oral hygiene.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
Women who want to have children and pregnant women should follow the general exercise recommendations for adults . Again, it is important to pay attention to your habits. If you have done sport before, there is nothing to stop you continuing into pregnancy. If your job is mainly sedentary and you don’t do much exercise, it is advisable to go for a walk, for example. This helps you and your potential offspring to stay healthy and prevents complications during pregnancy .
At Fertilly, we have made it our mission to accompany couples (homosexual and heterosexual) and singles on the way to fulfilling their child wish. In doing so, it is important to us to create transparency in the area of fertility services, to provide information and knowledge on the topics of pregnancy and fertility and to help you to find the most suitable Fertility Center. Through cooperation with first-class Fertility Centres and clinics in Europe, enquiries about Fertilly are given preferential treatment. This means that our patients avoid the usually long waiting times and get appointments more quickly.
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