Pre-conceptual care

The chance of conceiving can be increased by taking some simple steps to ensure that the body is healthy enough to become pregnant and support a developing baby.

Both men and women can make lifestyle changes that may make them more likely to conceive, including:

Eat healthily

Aim for a balanced diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals, and try to avoid becoming under or over weight.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise helps you keep fit and maintain a healthy weight. It can also reduce your stress levels in what can be an emotionally draining time.

Drink sensibly

Alcohol may affect fertility and should be moderated.

Medication and drugs

Some prescription and recreational drugs can reduce the chance of conceiving, so it’s useful to check these with a GP/your Consultant or Nurse Specialist.

Stop smoking/vaping

Smoking has been linked to infertility and early menopause in women, and has been shown to reduce sperm quality in men. It is also a factor in premature or low birth weight babies and cot death.

Keep cool

For maximum sperm production, the testes should be a couple of degrees cooler that the rest of the body. It may help to avoid tight-fitting clothing, saunas and hot baths. Men should take showers instead of baths when washing.

Try to relax

Stress is not good for fertility. Do all that you can to try to relax during what can be a very stressful time for both partners. Relaxing pastimes, hobbies, exercise or therapies such as yoga, reflexology or mindfulness can all help to reduce stress levels.

Take folic acid

It is recommended that women trying to conceive should take 400mcg daily folic acid supplements. For patients that are diabetic or have a BMI over 30, this needs to be increased to 5mg but this is only available on prescription. Your GP or Consultant can prescribe this for you.