5 Things to avoid when trying to conceive
Updated: May 15
Trying to conceive might not be easy and straightforward for many women globally. This is why it is important to take some precautionary measures that ensure you are creating the best conditions for your body to aid conception. Some of these measures may require you to embark on a change of lifestyle and forego certain things in order to increase your chances to conceive. Besides, sometimes it takes a small sacrifice to get you where you want to be.
Here are 5 simple things to avoid:
Smoking, alcohol & drugs
You are probably aware of this one and have already been told many times. However, do you know how it affects conception and why it is important to avoid them? Here’s why
smoking has been proven to affect several factors in the ovulation process. Conception journey or not, ovulation has always been key. If an egg is not fertilized you will bleed but if it was fertilized you will conceive. Should the entire process be compromised then it not only affects whether or not you will see your period but also if you conceive. In addition to that, in some cases, smoking may lead to decreased growth of the fetus.
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Alcohol on the other hand has been scientifically proven to affect the development of the fetus and increase the risk of malformation. This mainly happens during the first or early stages of pregnancy. Grace Health recommends all women trying to conceive avoid alcohol consumption.
As for drugs, they pass through the placenta which connects the mother and the fetus. The major risk of this is brain damage of the child. It is important to note that a baby born to a mother who uses drugs regularly during pregnancy could result in a drug-addicted child at birth.
Excessive use of caffeine
Some of you who have read this are already asking, “How can I do without that cup of coffee in the morning to kick-start my day?” Well, you can still keep that cup of coffee! Drinking 1 or 2 cups of coffee daily will not affect your chances to conceive. A small scientific study proved that your chances of conceiving are compromised when you indulge in more than 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day. Therefore, Grace Health recommends no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day. That is equivalent to a medium-sized cup of coffee. Remember caffeine includes all your favourite energy drinks as they also contain large amounts of caffeine.
Having a high or low BMI
First things first, BMI stands for body mass index. It is a measure of body fat that applies to height and weight in adult women and men. Please note that the purpose of BMI is not to diagnose fat and health in the body. In order to determine if an individual's BMI is a health risk or not, further assessments are required to be done by a healthcare provider. A BMI that is either too low or too high could cause your ovulation to be irregular or disappear entirely and you cannot conceive without ovulating. A high BMI also presents itself as a major risk for pregnancy and delivery.
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Using unknown herbal remedies
Yes, herbal remedies might be much easier to come up with due to readily available ingredients and in many cases, they are much cheaper than prescribed medication. However, the fact remains that little to no research has been done on many of these remedies making their effects on a growing fetus unknown. Simply put, due to the many remedies out there and the fact that almost anyone can come up with one, there’s no telling how much harm it could cause to a developing fetus. It is for this reason that is recommended to avoid herbal remedies, especially in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. The next time you come across a herbal remedy when trying to conceive think, twice.
This is under a type of medication known as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that help reduce inflammation, which often helps to relieve pain. You can buy over-the-counter (OTC) medications without a doctor’s prescription. Some common ones you might be familiar with are high-dose aspirin and ibuprofen. However, just because they can be bought without a prescription doesn’t mean they are completely harmless. NSAIDs are intended for occasional and short-term use and should not be used frequently or mixed with other types of NSAIDs simultaneously. The increased usage could affect a woman trying to conceive in two ways. One is that it affects ovulation and the embryo implantation process. Secondly, it poses a small risk of malformation of the fetus's organs.
These are just a few of the things you could change to increase your chances to conceive. Which one did you not know about? Share with us in the comments.
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