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How To Increase Your Fertility

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 26 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
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If you’re trying for a baby, then it’s worth doing all you can to keep your health, fitness and your body in tip-top condition.

Fertility is naturally a very complex area and there are numerous factors at play that will influence it. With many of these, you have no control over them whatsoever and it has to boil down to a certain degree of chance. Thankfully, however, there are some things you can do to try to give your fertility a well-meaning boost.

For a start, ensuring you have a Healthy And Balanced Diet is beneficial. A healthy diet will ensure that your body is being provided with all the key nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs. You should aim to have a good balance of protein and carbohydrate foods, with limited fat and sugar, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating a wide variety of fresh produce is good, so if you’re a bit stuck in a rut and seem to be eating similar things each week, try to make a point of trying something different for a change.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid certain foods as they could cause harm during pregnancy. Even if you’re not yet pregnant, some experts believe it could be worth avoiding or reducing the amount of them you eat while you’re trying to conceive. Items to be aware of include:

  • Liver or products such as pate that contain liver, as they contain high levels or vitamin A
  • Soft ripened and blue veined cheeses, as they can carry listeria
  • Unpasteurised sheep, goat or cow's milk
  • Raw or undercooked shellfish
  • Raw or undercooked meats, as they could carry listeria
  • Foods containing raw or undercooked eggs, as they increase the risk of salmonella


If you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, then the key supplement to have on your fertility shopping list is Folic Acid. Taking folic acid while trying to conceive or when pregnant has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of having a child with spina bifida. The recommended daily dose to take is 400mcg or 0.4mg.

Official guidelines suggest it shouldn’t be essential for women trying for a baby to take vitamin supplements, as a healthy diet should provide all the nutrients you require. However, if you do want to have a go at taking a supplement, it’s up to you. Try to choose one that is aimed at pregnant women, as these won’t contain vitamin A. Vitamin A has been linked to developmental abnormalities in babies, so a supplement without it will be fine if you subsequently become pregnant.

Get Fit

Fertility is known to be affected by weight and exercise. In fact, both being under-weight and over-weight can play a role in fertility, so achieving a good all round general level of fitness helps. This goes for your partner, too, as their weight can also play a part in successful conception. Keeping your body healthy and fit by having plenty of regular exercise will improve your fitness and have an add-on effect by improving your fertility. Aim to have a minimum of three 20 minute sessions of exercise per week.

Stub it Out

Smoking is an unhealthy habit to have and, as well as affecting your health in general, it could also negatively impact on your fertility. It not only affects getting pregnant, but the pregnancy itself and your baby, too. Smokers are at a greater risk of suffering from a miscarriage or having an ectopic pregnancy. So improve your fertility by stubbing out your cigarettes and avoiding smoking.

More Conception Advice

If you have had a miscarriage and are struggling to conceive, you'll find lots of useful advice in our feature Getting Pregnant After A Miscarriage on this site.

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