Stress, alcohol and smoking can all affect fertility
If you are having trouble conceiving, it can sometimes feel like you are the only people in your situation. The stress, helplessness and frustration you experience can often make you depressed if you don’t know how to identify and cope with such feelings. Alongside your diet, exercise routine and other physical changes that you can make, there are a number of positive lifestyle choices for female fertility that you can adapt to improve your chances of conceiving.
Four ways to cope with pregnancy stress
Everyone experiences a certain amount of stress, worry and confusion during their pregnancy – it’s completely normal. But if your negative mood and emotions are dominating your everyday life and affecting your attempts to conceive, some basic coping techniques may help.
Allow yourself more sleep – going to bed an hour earlier or waking up an hour later can reduce tiredness and improve your overall mood. The general rule of eight hours sleep still applies before and during pregnancy, but if your body tells you it needs more then you should listen to it.
Keep a fertility diary – putting your thoughts, fears and feelings down on paper can help to keep depression at bay and keep you feeling positive about conceiving. If keeping a fertility journal doesn’t help to keep negative thoughts and fears under control, consider talking to your consultant or doctor about your options.
Make time to socialise – sharing your concerns and frustrations with friends, family and your partner can help to reduce the tension that comes with trying to conceive. Having the opportunity to forget about pregnancy every now and then helps you keep a sense of perspective.
Enjoy sex without worrying about conceiving – your sex life can suffer if it becomes a physical function rather than a form of pleasure and enjoyment. A weekend away can relieve pressure by offering a new environment and opportunity for quality time together.
Will alcohol really stop you conceiving?
Recreational drugs and alcohol can destroy your chances of having a baby. Most women already understand the danger that recreational drug use can put you and your baby in. But there is some confusion when it comes to alcohol consumption.
Generally, a small glass of wine once or twice a week is considered to be OK during the first few weeks of your pregnancy. But to completely protect yourself against any increased risk of miscarrying or damaging your baby’s development, it is recommended that you avoid all alcoholic drinks while you are trying to conceive.
Why is smoking bad for female fertility?
Smoking – whether that’s through direct inhalation or passive smoking – can damage the cells in your womb and create an uncomfortable environment for your baby to grow and develop in. Smoking during your pregnancy can affect the way your baby’s cells develop inside your womb.
Research shows that regular smokers are twice as likely to suffer from fertility problems as non-smokers, and delayed conception is much more common among regular smokers. Women who smoke regularly also tend to experience the menopause much earlier than women who don’t smoke.
But the good news is that your body can probably reverse much of the damage done by regular smoking if you take a long enough break from cigarettes. Suggesting that your partner also quits, or at the very least agrees not to smoke anywhere near you, will also help your efforts to conceive.
If you or your partner need help giving up smoking, please speak to a member of our team about your options.