A few tips to help you conceive

  • Diet and folic acid
  • Relaxation and exercise
  • Medical check and temperature method

A healthy diet

Low-fat, highly nutritious food is always good for the body, but it is particularly important for supporting our reproductive functions. Most of the things our body needs are found in a balanced diet, such as vitamins and minerals in fresh fruit, salad and vegetables or calcium in yogurt, rice and orange juice. Iron is also essential for the oxygen supply in our blood (red meat, pulses, wholemeal bread), as well as iodine for the thyroid function (fish or kiwis).

A healthy diet also helps increase the quality of sperm. Your partner can do his bit by making sure he is getting lots of vitamin C, E and B12. This probably won't even involve any major lifestyle changes, as all three vitamins can be found in a wide range of foods.

You should give up or cut down on alcohol and nicotine and talk to your doctor about your plans to try for a baby before taking medication. Caffeine has also been proven to have a negative effect on fertility, but you can still have enough to kick-start your day in the morning - up to two cups of coffee or black tea each day is fine.

Annabel Karmel's book Eating for Two guides expectant mothers throughout each stage of their pregnancy, offering tips and advice on what to eat and avoid including the best foods to eat to promote conception.

Sufficient folic acid

Act early to reduce the risk of folic acid deficiency. Folic acid is a B vitamin that supports metabolic processes such as cell and red blood cell renewal. Folic acid has been proven to promote fertility and can be found in foods such as spinach, tomatoes and beetroot. But even eating these foods won’t give you all the folic acid you need for your planned pregnancy. Your body will need so much folic acid during the first three months of pregnancy that it is best to speak to your doctor now, who will be able to recommend folic acid supplements available from the chemist.

 
Desire for a baby

Practice relaxation

What you need most of all to conceive is lots of time and fun with your partner. If you don’t conceive straight away, stay calm. Passionate, romantic intercourse is proven to be a much more effective way to conceive than "calendar-based sex", where you are both under pressure to perform. For around 75 percent of couples, the wait will pay off within just one year. And this figure increases to 90 percent after two years.* So the odds are high that you will be welcoming a new addition to the family before too long.

* Source: Qualimedic.com AG

Lots of exercise

As a general rule, the healthier you and your partner are, the sooner you will be able to conceive. Regular sport is therefore one way to get your body moving; jogging, cycling and swimming get the circulation going and are excellent ways to work off stress, which in turn, helps increase your fertility. Fitness and being in good physical condition will also help you through the last months of pregnancy.

 
Desire for a baby

Medical check for you and your partner

It is always best to have a full medical check up carried out by your doctor from time to time – especially if you are having difficulty getting pregnant despite ongoing attempts. This can sometimes be due to medical reasons which can be easily treated. It's best to take your partner along for a check-up too. Ideally, you should have your doctor take a blood sample from both of you for tests. This will show if your hormones are balanced or if, for example, the heavy metal levels in your body are too high, thus reducing your fertility.

Measure your temperature

The more familiar you are with your menstrual cycle, the more accurately you will be able to determine your most fertile days. With the temperature method, the results are accurate almost down to the hour. Simply measure your temperature at the same time every morning on waking up. A significant increase in your temperature is a sign that you are ovulating and that now is a good time to conceive. If you continue to monitor your temperature over the course of a few cycles, you will be able to predict the time of your next ovulation almost exactly. The best time to conceive is in the few hours following ovulation.

 

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