In these worrying and uncertain times, it can feel as though youâ€™ve lost control over even the simplest things. Itâ€™s impossible to plan ahead and even a quick trip to the shops can become overwhelming.
Your fertility doesnâ€™t need to be one of these things.
In fact, nowâ€™s the perfect time to take control of your fertility. Give it a boost while you have time to make some simple lifestyle changes and enjoy regaining some charge over your health and life again.
Hereâ€™s how you can jump-start your fertility when trying to conceive during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Watch What You Eat
With our usual routines thrown out the window and our trips to the shops being less frequent, many of us are finding it hard to maintain our usual healthy habits.
From indulging in takeaways to snacking during your work-from-home setup, itâ€™s easy to find yourself gaining weight. But maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) is crucial to conceiving. The BMI to aim for is between 20 and 25. Anything below 19 or above 35 can result in complications when youâ€™re trying for a baby â€“ and the same goes for your partner as well.
2. Experiment with â€śFertileâ€ť Foods
If you have a little extra time on your hands, why not give your culinary skills a workout and boost your fertility at the same time?
Look for recipes and foods that are known to aid fertility, including cooked tomatoes, lentils and beans, liver, asparagus, walnuts, pomegranates, and maybe even an oyster or two.
Additionally, research suggests women who eat full-fat dairy products (within recommended daily limits) are more likely to conceive than those who eat low-fat, as theyâ€™re less likely to suffer from ovulation problems.
3. Exercise a Little and Often
Exercising isnâ€™t the easiest thing to do right now, but there are numerous ways you can improve your fitness levels.
Look for online classes you can take part in such as yoga, or simply enjoy some fresh air on your daily permitted walk.
Exercise can help increase your chances of conceiving and itâ€™s also great to help de-stress and lose weight. However, itâ€™s important not to take your exercise to an extreme. Too much exercise can lower your levels of progesterone and may inhibit ovulation. Develop a plan that works well for you (up to 5 hours of vigorous exercise a week) and keeps you within your healthy BMI range.
4. Get Rid of Any Habits Known to Be Harmful
It goes without saying drinking alcohol or smoking throughout your pregnancy is a huge no-no.
But did you know these habits could also be reducing your chances of conceiving?
Even passive smoke can reduce your fertility levels, so try to avoid this and alcohol as much as possible while youâ€™re trying to conceive. And, if you can, encourage your partner to do the same. While they donâ€™t need to cut out alcohol completely, itâ€™s important they remain within the healthy limits (no more than 14 units per week) so their sperm quality isnâ€™t affected.
5. Be Mindful of When Youâ€™re Most Fertile
Do your best to be mindful of when youâ€™re most fertile so you can make the most of it!
The biggest window of opportunity comes just after youâ€™ve ovulated, which tends to be around 14 days after your period ended. This is when an egg is released from your ovaries and this egg will be viable for around 12 to 24 hours.
Donâ€™t worry, though â€“ the timeframe isnâ€™t that restricted, as sperm can remain viable up to a week inside your body.
Therefore, having sex from day 9 to 16 of your ovulation is the best time to conceive. However, this may vary depending on how long your cycles are.
Making Changes to Last a Lifetime
As you can see, all these changes are simple and easy to implement.
And the best part?
When all of this is over, youâ€™ll have introduced healthy habits thatâ€™ll put you in good stead for your pregnancy and beyond.
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer that shares two beautiful girls with her husband, Ryan. She loves spending time with her family, reading great books, and drinking good wine. She is passionate about supporting other couples trying to cope with infertility.