It is estimated that around 1 in 7 couples have difficulty conceiving and although there are many things which may contribute to the issue, taking simple steps to improve your lifestyle can have real benefits. Drinking water and staying hydrated is just one factor which can improve the chances of getting pregnant alongside a healthy, active lifestyle.
Research has shown that there is a link between the hydration rate of cervical mucus and its ability to allow sperm to penetrate through it. Therefore, if the cervical mucus is thick and has a low water content then sperm have difficulty travelling through it which can directly impact on the ability to get pregnant. Therefore, if you are trying to conceive you should limit your intake of sugary, fizzy and caffeine-containing drinks as well as alcohol which contributes to dehydration.
Men should also increase their water intake and limit their alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol to excess can affect sperm quality and thus impact on fertility.
If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant here are some helpful tips to help improve your chances.
Maintain a healthy weight
Weight issues can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Being both under and overweight can affect your chances of conceiving. For females having too little or too much body fat can cause irregular periods or can stop them from occurring altogether.
The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Females who have a BMI under 19 or over 30 may have difficulty getting pregnant, while men with a BMI over 30 may have reduced fertility.
Reduce your alcohol intake
It is recommended that females who are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant already avoid drinking alcohol altogether as this reduces risks to the baby. Men should keep their units of alcohol to 14 or less per week. These should be spread out over 3 days or more and alcohol-free days should be incorporated into the week. Excessive alcohol drinking can impact on the quality of sperm.
Choose the right time
Women are most likely to fall pregnant if they have sex within a day or two of ovulation. Ovulation is where the ovaries release an egg which can be fertilised by sperm. It usually occurs around 14 days after your last period. Eggs usually survive up to 24 hours after being released, so it is important sperm reach the egg within this time. Sperm, on the other hand, can live for up to 7 days in the body.
To increase your chances of getting pregnant, you should aim to have sex every 2-3 days throughout the month. There is no need to try to coincide with when you might ovulate if you follow this pattern.
Drink water throughout the day to keep your body well hydrated. The water will also to help increase the water content of cervical secretions, making it easier for sperm to move through them and potentially reach an egg.
If you have been trying for a baby for over a year without success, speak to your GP for advice.