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Lifestyle Advice

Simple lifestyle changes may help improve your chances of conceiving. We will advise you on what factors may be relevant to you during your personalised treatment plan. Please make sure to inform Mrs. Gordon if you are using any alternative preparations or complimentary therapies so she can advise you appropriately.

Generally speaking, we recommend stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a normal BMI as all these factors influence egg and sperm quality. A healthy diet, regular exercise and having intercourse every two to three days around the time of ovulation may also help optimise your chances of conceiving.

1. Smoking

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It is best to stop smoking entirely. This will not only improve your natural fertility but it will be better for your general health. It will also reduce any negative effects of smoking on the eventual pregnancy.

We recommend stopping smoking cigarettes, vapes and other substances such as weed/cannabis. Please note, this advice is relevant to the prospective mother and her partner.

2. Alcohol

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Alcohol intake should be restricted for both women and men.

For the prospective mother, it is advisable to stop drinking alcohol completely because it can have adverse effects on both fertility and the pregnancy itself.

For prospective fathers, we recommend alcohol intake is also reduced as much as possible. There is evidence that excessive quantities or binge drinking can impact the quality of the sperm.

3. Weight/BMI

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For some, losing weight is all that is needed to conceive naturally. This advice is beneficial even for those who need treatment because evidence shows it may maximise your chances of conceiving. Healthy diet and regular exercise can help both men and women to maintain a normal weight.

At Bristol Fertility Clinic, we do not have a strict body/mass index (BMI) cut-off for prospective mothers. However, the higher the BMI, the more likely complications will arise in the future pregnancy compromising your health and that of the baby. It is for this reason we recommend prospective mothers are at least working towards a healthy BMI before undertaking fertility treatment.

Men also benefit from maintain a healthy weight because there is evidence that being overweight reduces sperm quality. Interestingly, men also need to be careful about exercising too frequently or using therapies like steroids because these can also have detrimental effects on the semen.

4. Folic Acid

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Folic acid tablets (400 micrograms per day) is now standard advice for all prospective mothers intending to conceive. This is because it has been shown to reduce the risk of having a child with neural tube defects.

Some women require a higher dose because they have specific medical conditions that are more susceptible to this risk. Mrs. Gordon will recommend the appropriate dose for you bearing in mind your specific circumstances.

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