Trying for a baby? Here are some tips from a expert to make it happen quicker
If you have decided you are ready for a(nother) baby, chances are you want to make it happen right away.
But according to experts many of us are prone to hanging onto some commonly held fertility misconceptions – and that some of these could even hamper your baby-making efforts.
We have chatted to nutritionist Gaye Godkin to get her to myth-bust some of these misconceptions and share her advice on how to best support your body when you are trying to conceive. Here is what she had to say:
During conception, a single sperm penetrates the egg: True
The sperm carries the father’s genes, while the mother’s genes are contained in the egg. Once the egg has been fertilised by a single sperm, no more sperm can enter.
An egg can be fertilised 24 hours after it has been released from the ovaries. True
An egg lives for about 12-24 hours after it’s released from the ovaries and in order to conceive, a sperm must fertilise it within this time. Sperm can also survive in the fallopian tubes for up to seven days. This means that fertilisation can occur even if sperm entered the fallopian tubes before an egg was released.
When trying to conceive you need to have sex every day: False
Regular sex does improve your chances of getting pregnant and you’re most likely to get pregnant if you have sex within a day of ovulation, which typically occurs 14 days after the first day of your last period. Ovulation trackers are great for checking when you are most fertile but scheduling sex and trying to conceive every day can make the experience of trying for a baby quite tense, so many experts would instead recommend that couples who are trying to conceive have frequent sex, every two to three days, and focus on taking the stress out of trying for a baby.
Maintaining a healthy body weight will help you to conceive: True
Maintaining a healthy body weight through regularly exercise and a balanced diet is incredibly important when trying to conceive. Exercise can be incredibly beneficial as not only does it enable you to maintain a healthy weight it can also help to release stress or tension. However, care should be taken not to over-exercise, as being underweight can also negatively affect your fertility and the hormonal balances involved in reproduction.
You only need to take Folic acid when trying to conceive: False
It is important that women have the right amount of folate in the body before trying for a baby – the recommendation is to start taking this supplement three months before conception to achieve the necessary level in the body. However, this is not the only vitamin to consider. Other key vitamins needed for the body during conception are:
- Vitamin B6 for the regulation of hormonal activity
- Vitamin B12 for cell division
- Magnesium for psychological function
- Vitamin D for immunity support
- Vitamin E to protect cells from oxidative stress
- Vitamin C to help produce good quality cells
- Omega-3 DHA to contribute to maintenance of normal brain function
The best way to ensure that you are meetings the body’s needs for these nutrients is by taking a comprehensive supplement, such as Proceive, that contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, CO-Q10 and Omega 3 DHA
The older a woman is the harder it can be to conceive: True
A woman’s fertility peaks in their mid-twenties, and starts to decline from age 30 onwards. This is because as women get older the quality of eggs decreases and periods become more irregular. From age 35, women’s fertility declines further4. This does not mean that conception is impossible after 35 but it does heighten the need to support your reproductive system.
Men can have a baby at any age: False
It is a myth that age does not affect a man’s fertility. It is estimated that the causes of infertility are evenly split – 33% women, 33% men with 34% unknown-and the reality is, that from mid to late forties men will experience a reduction in sperm motility and genetic integrity. It’s important that men support their reproduction systems nutritional needs as they age and Zinc is one of the most important minerals for male fertility. Not only can increasing your Zinc intake boost sperm volume it can also help improve the sperms' structure and function and is a good quality anti-oxidant which helps protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.
Taking a supplement specially tailored to support your nutrition can help you conceive: True
There are many factors that can determine a couple’s chance of conceiving a healthy pregnancy and one of these is nutrition. Men need to produce between 40 and 300 million sperm cells to be fertile and a nutritional deficiency can affect this. Nutrients also play an important role in ensuring that a woman’s hormonal cycle can develop a good quality egg whilst also preparing the womb for fertility, maternal tissue growth and cell division.