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You are here: Home > Fertility & Trying to Conceive > Fertility Health

12 Things to Avoid When Trying to Conceive

by Katlyn Joy | March 1, 2013 8:57 AM
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Preparing for a family doesn't start with a positive pregnancy test. Ideally, you and your partner have adopted a healthy lifestyle that is well suited to growing a baby before you even toss the birth control. What are the things still lurking in your life that you need to banish prior to pregnancy?

1. Birth control. Take a break from your chemical birth control or IUD at least two months before trying to get pregnant. Your body needs time to adjust hormone levels and this will make things much easier for you to know your cycles and when you are most fertile. It will also make dating a pregnancy easier.

2. Excessive exercise. While some experts say to continue with your workout regime until you become pregnant, others recommend you scale things down to a moderate to mild level when trying to conceive. Too much exercise can even make you stop menstruating which will in turn affect your fertility.

3. Tobacco. Smokers will generally take longer to get pregnant and will have a 30 percent increase in infertility rates over non-smokers. Additionally, babies born to smokers are at risk for prematurity, low birth weight and SIDS. If you decide to drop the habit, consult your doctor for help if needed. Should you take a smoking cessation medication, make sure you have been off the medications for at least a month before trying to get pregnant.

4. Stress. Couples under stress are less likely to conceive and if they do, stress is not good for the baby or the couple. Take time out for yourself and for you as a couple. During your special time outs, don't focus on fertility issues but rather just enjoying your special time. Take walks, lingering baths, trade off massages with your mate and enjoy a good and previously neglected pastime or hobby.

5. Caffeine. When pregnant you'll want to cut out or greatly scale back the caffeine found in colas, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate. However, it's a good idea to start now in limiting or eliminating caffeine. It may be linked to infertility and miscarriage.

6. Over the counter medications. Certain medications may interfere with conception such as antihistamines, NSAID pain relievers and herbal products or vitamins. Plus if a medication is off-limits for pregnant women, you should remove them from your medicine cabinet now.

7. Alcohol. You know that alcohol consumption in pregnancy can cause dire consequences and even fetal death in some cases. Alcohol may also thwart pregnancy.

8. Weight problems. Being either over or under weight is linked to fertility issues. Get to a healthy weight before trying to conceive. Forget packing on pounds with junk food or going on a crash diet to drop pounds.

9. Chemicals. Of course there are chemicals all around us, but if you work somewhere that you are exposed to harmful substances you will need to make a change. Don't use harsh chemicals at home either. Look into healthier green options for cleaning like vinegar or baking soda. Also, wash your fresh fruits and veggies thoroughly before eating to wash away pesticide residues.

10. Sexual lubricant. While it may be sex on a schedule when trying to conceive you can't use just any lube to get things going. Some lubricants can kill sperm so make sure yours is sperm-friendly.

11. Mercury-heavy fish. While fish are good for getting those wonderful omega-3 oils and boost brain development in babies, too much mercury can harm a fetus. To be careful avoid fish such as swordfish, King mackerel and shark.

12. Raw meats or unpasteurized milks or cheeses and cold lunchmeat or hot dogs. The reason? Food poisoning. Bacteria and viruses can be found in such foods such as listeriosis in lunch meats, salmonella from uncooked eggs, and soft cheeses such as brie, Blue cheese, feta and Mexican cheeses should be avoided as well.


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