More than 5 million couples in the United States struggle with infertility. That’s about 1 out of every 10 couples. Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Gabrielle Union have been honest about their struggles to conceive, as well as the medical interventions which were required in order for them to finally achieve their dreams of motherhood.
Millions of women across the country can relate these struggles, and if you have ever battled infertility, then you know the pain and heartbreak which can often be part of the journey to motherhood.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to help protect your fertility. Here are some of the most surprising things which could impact your ability to have a baby:
Too Much Ibuprofen
Tell your man to lay off the Ibuprofen. Many men think nothing of grabbing a handful of ibuprofen whenever they have muscle aches after the gym or they are battling a headache. However, a brand-new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that men who take ibuprofen on a regular basis could suffer from hypogonadism, which is a hormonal condition that could cause infertility in men. Instead, encourage your partner to consider other natural methods of pain-relief, such as using a hot pad or having a massage.
By now, most women know that being a healthy weight is an important factor when it comes to getting pregnant. Hence, these women tend to focus on the calories and carbs they consume, and the number on the scale. But a new study suggests that these women need to be focused on the amount of iodine they are eating as well. Women who are low in iodine have HALF the chance of conceiving as women who have a healthy level of iodine. If you are concerned that your iodine levels might be low, or if you have a history of thyroid issues in your family, talk to your ob-gyn about getting your blood tested.
Luckily, there are many ways to get more iodine into your diet, such as eating eggs, seafood or dairy, or by taking a supplement with iodine. The American Thyroid Association recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women take a multivitamin containing at least 150 μg iodine per day, and this is a good practice if you are trying to become pregnant as well.
The Wrong Lubricant
Couples know that they need to enjoy lots of love-making in order to increase their chance of conception, but when it comes to making babies, not all lubricants are created equal. In fact, many lubricants can actually harm sperm and prevent pregnancy. There is only one lubricant on the market which has an FDA-cleared formula and is recommended for fertility enhancement, and that is ToConcieve.
ToConcieve was created by ob-gyns in conjunction with Callitas Health Inc. The fertility enhancing gel is unlike any other fertility product on the market in that it actually encourages the woman’s body to create more of her own lubricant, which in turn may increase the activation of sperm and the woman’s chances of pregnancy. Unlike every other lubricant on the market, ToConceive doesn’t just add chemical lubricants to a woman’s body, it actually encourages her to make more of her own natural lubricant which not only adds to her pleasure, but also may improve her chances of natural conception.
“This ground-breaking product is going to change the way that couples approach their fertility journey,” says Dr. Berman. “Now they have something over the counter that they can use before they have to spend the time and money on interventions at the doctor’s office.”
- Too much red meat. “A new Greek study has found that women who eat a Mediterranean diet are more likely to be successful on their IVF journey than women who do not. In other words, eating a plant-based diet with lots of healthy fats (such as olive oil and avocados) and lean protein like fish could help you to become pregnant.”
- Air pollution and pesticides. “Shocking research has revealed that pollution in the air could actually lead to poorer quality of sperm and hence higher levels of infertility for many couples,” says Dr. Berman. “Other research has linked a high consumption of pesticides with a woman’s inability to become pregnant. These findings are good reminders that we need to eat clean and breathe clean if we want to have optimal fertility.”