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When it comes to fertility, there can be a variety of reasons as to why you and your partner are unable to conceive. While getting pregnant can take a bit of time and patience, there are a few things you and your partner can do to improve your fertility and increase your chances at conception.

Here are seven lesser known ways to improve your fertility:

Nutrition plays a critical role in fertility, as it can boost a woman’s chances at conceiving. Some of the best nutrients to include in a woman’s diet are protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D, as being deficient in any of these areas can lengthen her menstrual cycle. The longer the menstrual cycle, the less ovulation occurs, making conception more difficult. Additionally, not eating enough of these essential nutrients can lead to a higher risk of miscarriage.

Track Cycle
It is important for a woman to track her menstrual cycle in order for her to know exactly when she is ovulating. The six days leading up to ovulation are also known as the “fertility window” because those are the prime days for conception to happen. Additionally, if the couple decides to visit a specialist at a fertility clinic, they will often request that the woman bring her cycle records with her.

Alcohol and Caffeine
For both men and women, consuming too much alcohol or caffeine can impede on fertility. For a man, drinking in excess can decrease his sperm count, which can directly affect fertility. For a woman, drinking in excess can alter estrogen levels, interfering with ovulation.

Body Weight
Being both overweight and underweight can hinder both men’s and women’s fertility. For the woman, being overweight can lead to an overproduction of hormones that are known to obstruct ovulation. For a man, being overweight can lead to a decrease in testosterone levels and increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, being underweight can cause similar problems, because neither the man or woman are producing enough hormones.

Many people are unaware that both pesticides and herbicides, often used on farms to kill weeds and insects, can not only decrease male fertility, but also can affect a female’s ability to conceive, as these pesticides can disrupt her menstrual cycle. While working around harmful pesticides and herbicides can be extremely harmful, eating the produce grown around these chemicals are just as bad. Studies have revealed that men who have eaten foods grown around these chemicals have both a low sperm count and low-quality sperm.

Unbeknownst to many, lubricants can actually impede fertility, for certain lubricants make it much harder for the sperm to fertilize an egg. The more natural the lubricant the better, for it increases the sperm’s chance at getting to an egg.

Avoid Smoking
The chemicals in smoking can decrease fertility in both men and women. If there was ever a time to kick the habit, it should definitely be when you are trying to conceive.

If you still find you are having trouble conceiving, make an appointment with a fertility doctor, as he or she can offer more information.