Women

The Countdown To Conception (Part 3) - You want to get pregnant … within the next 12 months

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You want to get pregnant … within the next 12 months

Swerve sugar

The best diet for maximising your fertility is a low GI one. ‘Refined carbohydrates such as sugar cause a rapid release of glucose into your bloodstream, followed by a spike in insulin,’ sxplains Dr Glenville. ‘Studies show  raised levels of this hormone cause your ovaries to produce more testosterone, which can lead to polycystic ovary sundrome (PCOS) and prevent ovulation.’ Symptoms include irregular periods, weight gain and excess body hair, so if you are worried, see your GP.

‘Whether you are showing symptoms or not, you should avoid sugar and refined carbs (white bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits) and go for wholegrain foods (wholemeal bread. Nrown pasta and rice), which release energy slowly,’ she adds.

Description: You want to get pregnant … within the next 12 months

You want to get pregnant … within the next 12 months

Book a holiday

A sunshine break will not just put you in a more romantic mood, it could make you more fertile, too. ‘Sunlight triggers the skin to produce vitaminD,’ explains Dr Glenville, ‘a deficiency of which is linked with infertility, as it plays a role in balancing sex howmones in women and improving sperm count in men. Studies also show that vitamin D dampens your immune response, which means your body is less likely to reject the foreign DNA contained in the embryo (half of which belongs to your partner).’ If your budget will not stretch to a holiday, even just stepping outside for 20 minutes of natural light every day can make all the difference.

Enjoy the ride

Nothing kills the moment like peeing on a strick. ‘Too many couples get caught up in ovulation kits and “baby making” sex, when they should be simply enjoying themselves in bed,’ says Michael. ‘Not only will this help you both stay connected, but there is evidence that passionate- rather than functional- sex can increase the sperm content of your man’s semen by 50%.’ Switch the conception books for Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James (Arrow, $12.18), the new erotic novel everyone is talking about.

Easy on the espressos

If you can not funtion without coffee, it is time to cut back. ‘There is plenty of evidence to show that caffeine, particularly coffe, decreases fertility,’ warns Dr Glenville. ‘In fact, drinking as little as one cup of coffe a day can halve your chances of conceiving. Try to cut out all caffeine- containing foods and drinks, including cola, chocolate, black teas and coffee, for at least three months before trying to conceive to maximise the quality of your egg. This is how long it takes for a new egg to mature before  release.’

Make room for a baby

Description: Make room for a baby

Which we do not mean decorate the nursery. ‘So many couples get hung up on trying to get pregnant, that they do not stop to think about the end product,’ says Emma Cannon, author of The Baby- Making Bible (Rodale, $22,84). ‘The subconscious is a powerful thing- if you are not ready for a baby emotionally, it could get in the way of conception.’ Dr Glenville agrees: ‘Stress is a contraceptive. It can disrupts ovulation and in men it can alter sperm count and even structure,’ she says. ‘Take this time to have an emotional clear- out and to make way for a baby, whether that is taking on less at work or focusing on your relationship.’

He should be .. keeping his cool

Testicles dangle like they do because sperm production requires a lower temperature than the rest of the body. Anything that raises it- tight pants, hot baths, long bike rides or car journeys, hours spent with a laptop on his knees- can affect this. So remind your man to stick to baggy boxers and showers, take the train and rest his laptop on a hard surface from now on!  Meanwhile, a good pre- natal supplement, such as Fertility Plus For Men ($45.36 for a month’s supply, naturalhealthpractice.com), will help keep his swimmers healthy.

Do it now!

Description: Pregnacare Conception

Pop a pre- natal pill. Eating a well balanced diet is important, but to make sure your body has the optimum dose of folic acid (a B vitamin essential to foetal development), it is also vital to start taking a pre- natal supplement such as Pregnacare Conception ($15.47 for 30 capsules, vitabiotics.com) at least three months before you conceive.

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