10 Steps to Optimize Pregnancy

Trouble conceiving can be incredibly challenging, both physically and emotionally. However, there are several steps that women can take to optimize their chances of pregnancy. Here, fertility expert Dr. Zaher Merhi, Director of Research and Development in IVF Technologies at the New York City-based New Hope Fertility Center, offers ten steps that can help in the process:

  1. Track your menstrual cycle frequency – A woman’s egg is fertile only 12-24 hours after its release
  2. Monitor ovulation – Women with regular cycles ovulate two weeks before the arrival of their periods and those with irregular cycles typically ovulate 12-16 days before theirs
  3. Have sex every other day during ovulation – The ovulation window spans 6 days, the five days leading up to ovulation and the day of
  4. Aim for a healthy body weight – Being both overweight and too thin can make it harder to conceive
  5. Take a prenatal vitamin – For those who do become pregnant, this helps their system adjust to the vitamin, making it easier to stay on while expecting
  6. Eat a well-balanced diet – Consuming lots of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, dairy, and healthy fat all help women get the nutrients needed
  7. Don’t overdo it with exercise – While being physically active on a daily basis can help prepare for pregnancy, strenuous exercise can interfere with ovulation
  8. Be aware of age-related infertility – Keep in mind that a woman’s fertility begins declines in their 30’s, with a sharper decline at 37, and even steeper decline at 40
  9. Kick the smoking and drinking – Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes decreases both male and female fertility, while alcohol ages a woman’s eggs
  10. Keep in mind your unique needs – Many things can factor into a woman’s fertility, such as history of miscarriages, history of pregnancies, and more

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