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Can You Increase Your Fertility?
Joel Bernstien, MD posted:
Wouldn't it be great if, whenever you wanted for as long as you wanted, you could just take a special pill every day and know that you would be super fertile? Unfortunately, this is not the case. But there are steps you can take to better prepare yourself for conception.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Sometimes, women who are overweight may not ovulate regularly. In these cases, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet for weight loss can sometimes lead to ovulation. This would, in turn, boost your fertility. For women who are at a healthy weight, healthy eating and exercise -- exercise that is not extreme, that is -- certainly couldn't hurt.

Quit Smoking
Smoking is terrible for you. Among so many things, it negatively affects your fertility and leads to higher miscarriage rates in women who do become pregnant.

Take Your Vitamins
I definitely recommend starting prenatal vitamins -- or at least a good multivitamin -- immediately upon deciding to try to conceive. Make sure that whatever you're taking has plenty of folic acid in it. Some reproductive specialists believe that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to infertility. There should be sufficient amounts of both folic acid and vitamin D in any good prenatal vitamin.

For men, there are multivitamins you can take that contain a blend of vitamins, including CoQ10, which are supposed to help improve sperm count and motility.

Have Frequent Intercourse
There really is no need to know the exact day you ovulate. Just relax and make sure you're having intercourse daily, or at least every other day while you're trying.

If you have regular periods, you are most likely ovulating. Typically, we are taught that a woman's "fertile window" includes the day she starts to ovulate, plus the 5 days prior. The likelihood that sex will lead to pregnancy is greatest within the last 2 to 3 days before ovulation. In general, a woman will ovulate about 14 days before the onset of menstrual bleeding. So, if you have 28-day cycles, I recommend having frequent sex from around day 10 to day 20 of your cycle.
An_241766 responded:
What are your thoughts on drinking alcohol? How about coffee and caffeine?
Joel Bernstien, MD replied to An_241766's response:
1) High levels of alcohol should be avoided if possible (greater than 2 drinks a day). However, several studies show that moderate alcohol consumption has no effect on fertility. Once you find out you are pregnant, it should be obvious to avoid alcohol.

2) Caffeine intake and its affects on fertility are poorly studied. From the available data, there is no obvious detrimental effect on conception. However, given the lack of information and the known effects on early pregnancy, it is prudent to limit caffeine intake to 200mg a day while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
Nagi08 responded:
What will your take be on ovarian cyst and getting pregnant? Thinking its the reason am having irregular period and lack of proper ovulation... Just me thinking. Need your response please thank you.
Joel Bernstien, MD replied to Nagi08's response:
With exceptions, most ovarian cysts do not affect ones ability to conceive and are usually not the cause of the abnormal periods. Your abnormal periods are likely due to not ovulating. Your provider can certainly do some tests to see if you are or are not ovulating. He or she can also let you know if the cyst is anything to worry about.

Hope this helps.
An_241766 replied to Joel Bernstien, MD's response:
Dr. Bernstein:
My wife and I have our first appointment this week at a fertility clinic. All of our tests have normal results: HSG, Ultrasounds,Day 3 bloodworks, Semen Analysis. We are on our 3rd round of Clomid now. What questions should we ask the RE?
Anon_66243 replied to Joel Bernstien, MD's response:
What about teas? I know there are teas you should avoid when pregnant - but what about while trying to conceive?
AStewart75 responded:
I am 37 years old and have been ttc for approximately six months. I have no insurance so can't go to have testing done. My cycles are ranging from 28 days to 37 days. Do you think I am ovulating? If not do you have any suggestions. I have purchased a basal body thermometer and I am going to start charting this month. I have had 3 previous pregnancies. One when I was 28 with a c-section birth, one at 32 which was an etopic and one at 33 with a normal c-section birth. I stopped taking the pill at the end of August 2012. Please any advice would be appreciate.

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For more information, visit the Duke Fertility Center