Tips to conceive and prepare for pregnancy

Tips to conceive and prepare for pregnancy

Thanks to the many forms of contraceptives available, it’s much easier to plan for a pregnancy now than it was two or three generations ago.  However, there’s more to getting pregnant than just setting aside contraceptives. There are many ways to increase your chance of conceiving. We’ve summarised the key points below. 

Time: Make time for each other in your relationship and don’t put pressure on your partner. Use an interactive ovulation calendar to help determine the fertile days in your cycle. During your fertile days, having sex every two days is ideal – more reduces the number of sperm, less generally reduces your chance of conceiving.

Exercise: Regular exercise and sport in moderation reduce stress levels and increase fertility. Competitive sport can hamper your chance of conceiving.

Diet and nutrition:

  • Your normal weight is ideal for conceiving.
  • Eat a varied and healthy diet.
  • Opt for fresh and organic vegetables, fruit, salad and nuts.
  • It’s sufficient when you eat meat and fish no more than twice a week, because although animal protein is considered higher-quality than plant-based protein, it also contains more fat. Reducing animal fats in favour of plant-based fat such as olive oil or rapeseed oil has a positive impact on your blood lipids.
  • Opt for wholegrain products over refined grain products.
  • Essential protein should consist of roughly two-thirds vegetables and grain and one-third milk products, eggs, nuts, yeast products and meat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, e.g. water and herbal teas.
  • More than two cups of coffee, black tea or green tea a day is not recommended.

Vitamins: Vitamins, particularly folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, have a positive impact on fertility. Talk to your doctor about supplements.

Harmful substances: Limit your intake of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. When trying to conceive, it’s okay to enjoy a glass of alcohol now and again or drink up to two cups of coffee or tea a day. It’s advisable to give up smoking – for your partner, too, because nicotine reduces the mobility of sperm.

Teeth: It’s a good idea to undergo any complicated dental procedures before getting pregnant. Although x-rays (with lead apron) and local anaesthetics are not prohibited during pregnancy, they should be carried out in emergencies only.

Rubella: Catching rubella during pregnancy represents one of the biggest risks to your unborn child. Potential consequences include brain damage, deafness, blindness, hepatitis, cardiac deficiency and bone deformities. Infection can also cause miscarriage or stillbirth. At least three months before setting aside contraceptives, you should talk to your doctor about whether you are immune to rubella or whether you’ve already been vaccinated. After being vaccinated, wait 3 months before trying to conceive in order to avoid infection of the foetus through the vaccination virus.

Sexually transmitted diseases: Many sexually transmitted diseases go unnoticed, but can make you infertile. Your doctor can test for undetected STDs and offer immediate treatment, if necessary.

Recommended list: A reliable list of risk factors can be found here.

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