Nutrition And Exercise
A healthy body not only increases your chances of conception, but can impact the health of your future child as well. Eating balanced meals and maintaining a healthy weight will ensure your body works to the best of its ability.
Buffalo IVF recommends that our patients be at their healthiest prior to attempting conception. Healthy nutrition and BMI impacts fertility for both men and women. Here are a few things we recommend for optimal nutrition:
- Daily PreNatal Vitamins
- Folic Acid
- The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that women of childbearing age obtain a minimum of 400 (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid each day. Folic Acid helps reduce a baby’s risk of neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.
- Folic acid may also be obtained naturally through leafy, dark green vegetables like spinach or kale, citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fortified bread and cereals. These foods can be supplemented with a prenatal vitamin which usually contains 800mcg of folic acid.
- It is recommended that women get a minimum of 1,000 mg (three 8 ounce glasses of skim milk) of calcium per day if they are considering getting pregnant. Calcium may also be obtained through natural sources such as low-fat yogurt, canned salmon, sardines, rice, and cheese.
You can obtain many of them vitamins from your local drugstore or ask your nurse about the specific brands they recommend. A balanced diet, especially with significant vitamins from fruits and vegetables, is recommended.
It important to avoid the following:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Recreational drugs
- Second-hand smoke
- If possible, attempt to wean yourself off of caffeine (including chocolate). Some research has shown that more than 200-300 milligrams of caffeine per day may reduce fertility by 27%. Caffeine also hinders the body’s ability to absorb iron and calcium.
Exercise During Fertility
Talk to your provider if you have questions about exercising before or during fertility treatments.
During treatments, your ovaries are enlarged. High intensity or high impact exercises may cause enlarged ovaries to twist (called ovarian torsion). This is very dangerous and if it happens, is considered a medical emergency. By reducing exercise or keeping it to low impact activities, you will greatly reduce the chance of this happening.
Prior to fertility treatments, a modest amount of exercise is healthy but anything too excessive isn’t recommended. If you find you have irregular cycles or haven’t conceived after several months, cutting further back may be recommended.
Dr. Alice Domar, PhD, executive director at the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF, says hatha yoga appeals to many women who are attempting to conceive or are early on in their fertility treatments.
"It keeps them fit and toned without the potential adverse impact of vigorous exercise."
-Dr. Alice Domar
Being in your healthiest state is not only beneficial for you and your partner, but also for your future child. At Buffalo IVF, we know that exercise can often be a stress reliever.Please discuss your situation with your provider and we can come to a conclusion that best fits your needs.
Buffalo IVF also suggests several counseling and support options and can help you set an appointment with a Nutritionist that can provide further guidance on optimal eating habits.