Keeping your reproductive system healthy
Most people understand that a woman's health plays a large part in the development of her baby when she is pregnant. But did you know that your preconception health affects your fertility, as well as your pregnancy? Make sure you are taking the right steps now, before you conceive, to optimize your reproductive health.
Nutrition for Reproductive Health
Diet plays an important role in your ability to conceive. If you are on a strict diet that results in significant weight loss, your ovulation can be disrupted. Severe dieting in men has been linked with a reduction in sperm formation, as well. On the other hand, obesity can negatively impact your chances of conceiving, so it's critical to gain the proper nutrients your body needs without overdoing it. A balanced diet with plenty of protein, folic acid, and vitamin E is recommended by gynecologists and other reproductive health experts; you can also start taking prenatal vitamins before you are actually pregnant to ensure your body is getting the nutrition it needs.
Alcohol has been found to have a slightly negative effect on a woman's chances of conception; it's a good idea to consider switching to non-alcoholic beverages if you are getting ready to conceive. Caffeine poses a somewhat negative impact on women's reproductive health, but ironically it is actually beneficial for the male reproductive system as it increases sperm mobility. Smoking is good for neither females nor males who are thinking about having a baby.
Other Factors in Achieving Optimal Reproductive Health
A wellness checkup is an excellent idea for both of you; visit an OB/GYN for a pap test and pelvic exam to ensure that your female reproductive system is in working order, review any prescription medications you are on, and ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to optimize your health. Have your partner visit his urologist to do the same. Make sure you visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months, since untreated gum disease has been found to be linked with a higher incidence of preterm births.
Maintaining a regular exercise program is one of the best ways to help increase your reproductive health. Women who are fit have an easier time with their pregnancies and an easier time losing the baby weight after the baby's arrival. Just make sure that your partner doesn't spend too much time in the hot tub after a workout, as higher temperatures can contribute to a lower sperm count.
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