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Want 2021 To Be The Year You Conceive? Make Sure You’re Considering These Important Factors

Deciding to start your family might seem overwhelming at first. Things like timing, health concerns, and other fertility factors can feel daunting and complicated. Fortunately, there are many manageable ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant and making 2021 your year to conceive.

April 14, 2021
Annabeth Collis

With each new year comes new hope and new possibilities. For many couples that are interested in becoming parents, the beginning of a new year can be a great time to start and focus on the conception process. 

Although 2021 is already underway, the year is just getting started. Spring is approaching, and it’s not too late to make 2021 your year to conceive. 

a bowl of a mix of healthy vegetables
For all women hoping to conceive, there are a handful of manageable lifestyle changes that can be made to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. 

A Pre-Conception Checklist for Women

After deciding you want to start your family, you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin your fertility journey. While it might seem like there’s a lot of things you need to keep in mind, the most important things you need to do can be broken down into basic, understandable steps. 

Managing Your Weight

One of the important factors that increases your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby is being in a healthy weight range. Even if you are overweight or outside of your target weight range, losing just a small amount of weight can help your fertility and reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy. 

Getting Into a Good Exercise Routine

Did you know that getting consistent amounts of exercise is great for your general health and your fertility? If you want to conceive, consider striving for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Try moderate walking or jogging, or opt for more vigorous physical activity. Either way, you’ll be boosting your fertility and improving your overall health.

Eating Well

Part of getting your body ready to have a baby includes eating a well-balanced diet that incorporates a wide range of healthy foods.

Looking for a good example of a well-balanced diet to follow? Be sure to check out the Mediterranean diet for ideas. 

Eliminating Alcohol, Smoking, and Recreational Drugs

Regularly smoking, consuming alcohol, and taking recreational drugs can lead to fertility problems. Consuming these substances can also increase the amount of time it takes to conceive. 

Another negative? These substances can also negatively impact the quality of a woman’s eggs and can potentially harm the health of a baby. 

Reducing Caffeine Intake

Because certain studies have found that drinking large amounts of caffeine may interfere with a woman becoming pregnant, it is recommended that women trying to conceive should have 200mg of caffeine or less per day. This amount is approximately two cups of coffee.

Tracking Your Ovulation

A successful pregnancy is all about timing, and tracking your menstrual cycle can be crucial for figuring out when you are likely to ovulate. 

Not sure how to tell when you’re ovulating? Be sure to look into ovulation tests, or try this fertility calculator

a couple having a medical consultation with a doctor
Along with eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, women should also be scheduling medical appointments that will help with monitoring their health. 

Other Medical Factor for Women to Consider

In addition to prioritizing general aspects of a healthy lifestyle, women looking to conceive should also be aware of the need for specific medical check-ins and maintenance. 

  • Taking Pre-Pregnancy Supplements - Taking certain supplements at least one month before conception can reduce the chances of your baby having serious birth defects. These supplements can include 400 micrograms of folic acid each day and 150 micrograms of iodine each day. 
  • Reducing Exposure to Harmful Chemicals - Certain chemicals in both the home and the workplace can negatively affect a woman’s reproductive health. Unsure which chemicals will reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant? Check out this list of chemicals to avoid
  • Getting a Dental Check-Up - Gum disease can impact both your health during pregnancy and the health of your baby. If you are trying to conceive, be sure to see your dentist for a check-up to guarantee that your teeth are healthy. 
  • Managing Your Health Conditions -  Fertility can also be impacted by certain medical conditions, including PCOS, endometriosis, diabetes, and sexually transmitted infections. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, it is important to get advice from your doctor about how these conditions could impact your pregnancy and what medications you are taking. 
  • Booking a Pre-Conception Health Check - If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll want to book an appointment with your general practitioner to ensure that you are the healthiest you can be. At this appointment, checking if your vaccinations are all up to date will also ensure that you will be able to fight off infections while pregnant. 
an electronic scale with a blue tape measure laying on top
Women are not the only ones who can make lifestyles changes to increase fertility. In fact, there are many ways for men to increase their partner’s chance of becoming pregnant. 

A Pre-Conception Checklist for Men

Just like women, men can also take action to increase and improve their fertility. 

Because it takes about three months to make new sperm, experts recommend that men looking to improve their fertility implement these changes at least three months before conception

  • Managing Your Weight - Aiming for a healthy weight range is not just a goal for women looking to conceive. If a man is overweight, both the quality of his sperm and his chances of conceiving with his partner can be reduced. 
  • Eating Well and Exercising Regularly - Sperm health can be improved through regular physical activity and a healthy diet. Generally, men looking to conceive with their partner should strive for 30 minutes of exercise per day. 
  • Eliminating Smoking, Avoiding Recreational Drugs, and Limiting Alcohol - Partaking in smoking, drug use, and heavy drinking can lead to male fertility problems. Also, consuming these substances can lead to damaged sperm, which can in turn affect the health of your baby. 
  • Keeping Your Testes Cool - Avoiding spas, saunas, and hot baths can be important for improving male fertility, because high temperatures can reduce the quality of a man’s sperm. 
  • Booking a Pre-Conception Health Check - Haven’t had a check-up with your general practitioner in a while? If you’re looking to start your family, scheduling an appointment is a good idea. If you’re as healthy as possible, then your chances for having a healthy baby will increase.
a baby playing with blocks on the ground
Every fertility journey starts with learning more about what you can do to conceive. This year, be sure to explore all the ways to improve your health, and if you have additional questions, contact a medical professional. 

Deciding to start your family might seem overwhelming at first. Things like timing, health concerns, and other fertility factors can feel daunting and complicated. Fortunately, there are many manageable ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant and making 2021 your year to conceive. 

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