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19 Pressing Questions About TTC Lifestyle

Caffeine? Sauna? Lubricants? Alcohol? Learn what you need to abstain from when trying to conceive and find out more about healthy TTC habits with Flo!
A couple living healthy TTC lifestyle

What is a balanced diet for those who want to get pregnant?

A balanced diet increases the chances of bearing a healthy baby. 

Supplement your daily menu with vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cereals) and calcium-rich dairy products.

Pay attention to high protein foods: meat, poultry, fish, soy and beans, nuts and seeds.

Lack of nutrients has a negative impact on the menstrual cycle, affecting ovulation.

To conceive successfully, what should a male partner eat?

The diet of your partner affects the quality of his sperm, and hence successful conception. It is important to get a sufficient number of such vitamins and microelements as zinc, vitamins C and E, folic acid.

Cut down on saturated fats, fast food, and smoked foods.

What weight of the potential mother negatively affects conception?

Optimal weight is one of the most important parameters in preparing for pregnancy. A low percentage of fat in a woman's body may lead to reduced estrogen production. This can disrupt the menstrual cycle and ovulation, making it difficult to conceive.

High body mass index (BMI) reduces the chances of getting pregnant, increases the risk of miscarriage at an early stage and, in extreme cases, leads to infertility. Normalizing the weight is the way to mitigate these risks.

What weight of the potential father negatively affects conception?

Men with high BMI or obesity are more likely to have worse sperm quality. Their spermatozoa are less mobile, have damaged DNA, and their number is reduced. The concentration of sperm cells in the semen may be lower for underweight men.

Does the partner's age matter for conception?

In couples where the male partner is over 40 years of age, difficulties with conception are more common than in younger partners, all other things being equal.

Already after 35 years, men, especially those leading an unhealthy lifestyle, have lower sperm mobility, which makes it difficult to fertilize the egg.

In addition, as years go by, the number of sperm cells with an irregular structure increases, which can impede fertilization and adversely affect the maintenance of pregnancy.

What kind of physical activity is ideal while trying to conceive?

Moderate exercise for 30 minutes daily is recommended. Among other things, you can walk, ride a stationary bike, or swim.
For stretching, yoga and special stretching exercises are ideal, which can be continued during pregnancy, if there are no contraindications.

If you haven't exercised for a long time, start with walking for 10–20 minutes a day, try to go on foot even where you aren't used to walking (for example, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, don't use transport for short distances).

Does physical activity of your partner affect the success of conception?

Moderate physical activity positively affects such sperm characteristics as the total number and concentration of sperm cells, their mobility, and morphology.

However, the amount of exercise is important, too. Men who exercise for an hour 3 times a week have higher sperm analysis rates than men who work out more often or with higher intensity.

Do you and your partner need to take folic acid?

Folic acid is recommended as a food supplement for all women 3 months before conception, as well as during the first 2–3 months of pregnancy. It is vitally important for the full development of the fetal brain and spinal cord.

Taking folic acid by a man improves his sperm quality. The recommended daily intake for men and women when preparing for pregnancy is 0.4 mg.

Healthy TTC Lifestyle Couple walking at the train station

Can prenatal vitamins help you get pregnant?

Taking vitamins is recommended 3 months before the expected conception or immediately after you start trying to get pregnant. Prenatal vitamins positively affect fertility, prepare the body for pregnancy and reduce the risk of congenital pathologies in the fetus.

You can be prescribed: 

  • folic acid
  • iron
  • calcium
  • vitamins C, D, E
  • omega-3 
  • complex preparations

Does tobacco smoke influence your chances to conceive?

Even as early as the planning stage of pregnancy, tobacco smoke has a negative impact on the female body. In one way or another, all of the above reduces the ability to conceive and bear a baby to term. Avoid tobacco smoke in public places, and protect yourself from secondhand smoke. 

If you are a smoker, even just occasionally at parties, planning your pregnancy is the strongest motivation to give up the bad habit once and for all.

Does drinking alcohol reduce the ability to conceive?

It is not known for certain how much alcohol will be detrimental for the conception and development of the unborn baby. Doctors generally recommend that you abstain from alcohol completely for 3 or more months before the planned pregnancy, as well as during the entire pregnancy. 

Alcohol molecules can have a negative impact on the sex cells. This affects the future child's intellect and immunity, and sometimes, it is fraught with even more serious consequences.

What factors influence the partner's ability to successfully conceive?

Giving birth to a healthy baby greatly depends on the quality and quantity of sperm cells. To increase the chances of success, a man should pay attention to his lifestyle 3 months before the alleged conception or immediately after the beginning the attempts to get pregnant.

It is necessary to keep in mind the influence of alcohol, drugs, smoking, antibiotics, anabolic steroids and hormonal agents, X-rays.

How does increased stress level influence conception chances?

An increased level of stress can adversely influence conception. 

Avoid deliberately the factors that can affect your peace of mind in a negative way, don't worry about the little nothings of life, don't get obsessed with the idea to conceive as soon as possible.

A happy TTC lifestyle couple

Is it necessary to assess your financial capacity before planning pregnancy?

Evaluation of your financial situation will help to realistically look at the forthcoming costs. Make lists of current spending and expenses during pregnancy, childbirth and when the baby is at home. 

Provide for the purchase of vitamins, cosmetics, and clothes for pregnant women, etc. If it is difficult to budget successfully, you can borrow certain necessities for the mother and child from friends and relatives.

What chemicals and environmental factors reduce the probability of successful conception?

You and your partner should minimize all contacts with potent agents (radiation sources, pesticides and other chemicals, solvents and highly active detergents).

If this is not possible, consult your OB/GYN on how to protect yourself as much as possible and reduce the risks of negative environmental influences.

How to reduce the risk of contracting infections while trying to conceive?

Many infections do not pose great danger for an adult, but are critically harmful to a developing fetus, especially in the early stages. When planning a pregnancy, it is better to avoid interacting with infectious patients or visiting areas with high epidemiological danger.

You should observe the rules of proper hygiene, housing, and cooking. It is also recommended to get vaccinated against influenza.

How does a hot shower or sauna affect the partner's fertility?

Excess heat can damage sperm cells and adversely affect sperm production. During conception, men had better avoid baths, saunas, whirlpool tubs, and even a long hot shower.

Overheating of the scrotum can also occur because of wearing too tight and non-breathable underwear from synthetic materials or, for example, excessive cycling.

How do lubricants affect fertility?

Natural vaginal lubrication (when a woman is aroused) contributes to conception. Lubricants such as saliva and various oils, as their pH is not suitable for conception, can reduce sperm motility and change the trajectory of sperm cells, reducing the chances that the egg will be fertilized.

The results of the studies are ambiguous. If you still choose to use lubricants, give preference to plain water or lubricants marked "suitable for pregnancy planning".

How does caffeine in the diet affect conception and pregnancy?

Studies have shown that drinking too much caffeinated beverages (more than 200 mg of caffeine a day) increases miscarriage risks.

Reduce caffeine consumption while preparing to conceive, so that the habit doesn't bother you during pregnancy.

 

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