8 Ways to Boost Your Fertility
Simple things -- diet, timing of sex, even your lubricant -- may help you conceive faster.
3. Her Fertility Booster: Watch the Beverages
Drinking too much coffee or too much alcohol can impair a woman's fertility.
Experts say that drinking more than five cups of coffee a day -- the equivalent of about 500 milligrams of caffeine -- is associated with lower fertility. But don't give up your daily cup of coffee just yet. Moderate caffeine consumption, Gibbons says, seems to be OK. Having one or two cups a day is fine. His advice for women who are coffee or soda drinkers: "Stay under 200 to 250 milligrams of caffeine a day."
Studies on alcohol intake and women's fertility have produced mixed findings. But Swedish researchers have found that women who drank two alcoholic beverages a day decreased their fertility by nearly 60%. Once again, moderation is key. Although higher levels of alcohol -- two drinks or more a day -- should be avoided when trying to get pregnant, there is no evidence to show that moderate alcohol consumption adversely affects fertility.
You will, though, want to cut out alcohol completely once you are pregnant. Drinking while pregnant increases the risk of serious birth defects.
4. Couple's Fertility Booster: Stop Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can impair both a woman's and a man's fertility. Smoking affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg. And in men, smoking can reduce sperm production and damage DNA. Experts also strongly suggest quitting smoking before you’re pregnant. Smoking while pregnant boosts the risk of miscarriage.
5. Couple's Fertility Booster: The Fertile Window
Taking advantage of what doctors call the "fertile window" can boost your chances of pregnancy. The fertile window is the six-days that end on the day of ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely to occur with intercourse within the three days before ovulation.
Richard Paulson, chief of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, says that couples often wait until the day of ovulation or later to have intercourse. But if you really want to get pregnant, “Err on the early side,” he says.
Paulson also advises keeping close track of ovulation -- either by the calendar method, figuring ovulation occurs about 14 days before the menstrual period is due, or by using an ovulation predictor kit, widely sold online and in drugstores.
6. Couple's Fertility Booster: Have Frequent Sex
Delaying lovemaking -- or as some couples say, ''saving up'' -- isn't going to boost the chances of pregnancy, McClure says.
"After about a week, the [sperm] count goes up a bit, but the motility decreases," he says. Not having sex for more than five days may affect sperm counts adversely. But intervals as short as two days don't harm sperm density.
Although daily intercourse produced the highest pregnancy rate in one study, it may pose too much stress for some couples. The same study showed that having sex every other day produced nearly as good a pregnancy rate.