Many men and women spend a great deal of time and energy reducing the chances of pregnancy. Once the decision is made to become pregnant, conceiving can often prove more difficult than expected. There are several things men and women can do to improve the chances of conceiving. The possibilities range from simple changes in lifestyle to medical assistance.
Control Your Diet
Men should be sure to eat foods high in Zinc. Studies have shown that low sperm count can be linked to Zinc deficiency. Foods such as eggs, seafood, whole grains, and lean meat are rich in Zinc. Men should also drink milk as calcium and vitamin D can help increase fertility. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health indicated that women who drink as little as one-half cup of tea per day had a significant increase in fertility. Both men and women should keep caffeine to a minimum.
Men should avoid saunas and hot tubs as heat can prevent or reduce sperm production. Many physicians also recommend wearing boxers instead of briefs and loose fitting pants.
Have Intercourse During Ovulation
Ovulation occurs about 2 weeks before the actual period. Many physicians recommend tracking basal body temperature (BBT) to identify when ovulation occurs. Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) are also readily available. OPKs measure the levels of luteinizing hormone in urine. These levels will increase 24 to 36 hours before ovulation. The greatest chance for conceiving is within 36 hours after detecting an increase in luteinizing hormones.
Avoid Certain Chemicals
Both men and women should avoid alcohol, smoking and medicines when trying to conceive. Also avoid handling toxic chemicals like household cleaners, paint and gasoline. Women should stop taking birth control pills at least 3 months before trying to conceive. During intercourse do not use artificial lubricants like glycerin, oils, petroleum jelly or even saliva. All of these substances have the potential to kill sperm.
Get Advice from Your Physician
Schedule a preconception check-up. Your doctor may recommend certain vitamins or supplements to make conceiving easier. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to control certain hormones in order to increase fertility.
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