Sometimes pregnancy occurs spontaneously – without planning and preparation. But if you decide to take a responsible approach to creating a new life, our first advice is: Plan! Preliminary steps will reduce the possible harmful influence of external and internal factors on you and the fetus, and your bodies will be ready for the conception of a baby.
Dear ladies, start your preparations 4 months early! In women, the process of “recruitment” of follicles, i.e. these eggs, which will eventually become dominant and suitable for fertilization, lasts about 125 days. Therefore, start preparing for future conception attempts 4 months before they start!
Dads-to-be, start preparing 3 months early! In men, spermatogenesis (the formation of sperm) lasts about 90 days. This is also the minimum period in which it is advisable for a man to prepare his organism for future attempts to create a baby. Read about the mandatory first steps and see how to avoid an unhealthy environment.
Risk factors and harmful habits can make conception itself difficult. They can lead to problems in the development of the embryo and subsequently to damage to the fetus even with successful conception. They can create such genetic predispositions that affect the future healthy development of the conceived child when he is already an adult.
Stop smoking! We know that sometimes it seems very difficult, but smoking, including passive smoking, can have an extremely negative effect on a developing pregnancy. But it is important to know that the harmful effects of nicotine and the more than 2,000 additional chemicals contained in cigarettes can cause reproductive problems.
Smoking has a negative effect on reproductive organs. Ladies, it is associated with premature aging of the ovaries and depletion of the ovarian reserve. In addition, female smokers have an increased risk of damage to the division spindle of the eggs, rendering them unsuitable for fertilization.
Smoking is also harmful for men. In them, it can have a detrimental effect on the process of producing quality sperm with good fertilizing abilities. Studies have shown that smoking can reduce the total sperm count in semen by 17% while also limiting the number of “normal” sperm.
In addition to the listed effects on female and male fertility, smoking before and/or during pregnancy can have a negative impact on the health of your baby.
Limit the alcohol!
The harmful influence of alcohol on women wishing to become pregnant can be expressed in problematic conception, in an increased threat of spontaneous abortion and an increased risk of damage to the growth and development of the fetus. Medical grounds for the link between alcohol abuse and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian dysfunction have already been proven. It can lead to the absence of a cycle, lack of ovulation, defects in the luteal phase of the cycle with improper development of the uterine lining and abnormally elevated levels of the hormone prolactin.
The harmful influence of alcohol in men wishing to create a generation can be expressed in malfunctioning of the liver and an increase in estrogen levels. They can disrupt spermatogenesis and cause additional hormonal disorders. Dads-to-be, remember that alcohol is a toxin that can have a detrimental effect on sperm-producing cells!
According to WHO criteria, moderate use is within 1 drink (20 g of pure alcohol) on average per day for women and up to 2 drinks (40 g of pure alcohol) on average per day for men. Daily abuse can be defined as drinking average daily amounts of 60-90 g of pure alcohol (about 3 drinks). Drinking more than 120 g of pure alcohol on average per day is considered serious abuse.
Corticosteroids and anabolic preparations are extremely harmful to fertility
In women, corticosteroids and anabolic preparations can lead to a lack of ovulation. In men – to sexual dysfunctions and sometimes an irreversible effect on spermatogenesis such as the quantity and quality of sperm.
Beware of allergens
These are substances and structures that cause the human immune system to react and release specific elements called antibodies. Often as a result of various allergens (pollen, gluten, etc.), the female body can create a reaction that inhibits the hormones that cause ovulation. The equivalent reaction in the male organism can lead to a decrease in the number and motility of sperm. In addition, in some couples, certain proteins in the partner’s seminal fluid cause an allergic reaction, in which the antibodies produced by the female immune system kill or render unfertilizable spermatozoa.
Here’s one of our hardest tips: Manage stress
It is among the main factors that you should pay attention to when preparing for conception. Often, high levels of stress can be the cause of problems conceiving and infertility in both women and men.
In women, psychological stress can cause dysfunctions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, leading to hormonal disturbances. They can cause disturbances in the menstrual cycle and lead to the absence of ovulation. Stress is directly related to the increase in the levels of the hormone prolactin, produced by the pituitary gland, which above a certain value prevents pregnancy. Emotional stress in women can also cause purely physiological reactions that prevent the movement of eggs and sperm through the fallopian tubes or disrupt the blood supply to the uterus.
Stress also harms expectant fathers. In them, stressful factors can disrupt the normal process of spermatogenesis. The result is a smaller amount of seminal fluid containing fewer spermatozoa with impaired morphology and fertilizing qualities.
Staying in excessively warm rooms and spaces, prolonged standing in one place in a sitting position, continuous work in front of a computer without rest, prolonged exposure to strong electromagnetic and microwave radiation (including from GSM devices) in the area of the reproductive organs can worsen the quality of male sperm.
And now one of the most important mandatory steps to achieve the desired pregnancy: Nutrition! Expect the second part of “The first important steps to achieve a successful pregnancy” very soon.
The first important steps to achieving a successful pregnancy – Part II