If you’re TTC, you should know there’s a lot more to the process than just the fun part (if you know what I’m saying). Sometimes a woman’s ovulation date is hard to predict not just because of genetics, but because of lifestyle habits. Keeping a health log is helpful to understand why your ovulation and fertility are being affected— that way you can adjust the factors that may be causing you trouble. Here are a few activities we like to track in the iFertracker app:
Weight: Weight’s definitely a tricky one. This is because having a BMI that is too low or too high can impact fertility. A BMI in the sweet spot of 18-24 is essential in maintaining a healthy reproductive cycle. If a woman’s body fat is 10 to 15 percent lower than what it should be, the reproductive cycle may not be happening…and if its 10 to 15 percent over the average then the body has too much estrogen to maintain a regular cycle.
Exercise: Exercise is crucial to having a healthy and strong body, especially if you’re working toward a TTC-ready body (see above). While it’s important to exercise, it’s equally important to not over exercise. Exercising too much during the week can throw off a woman’s cycle, making it harder to conceive. If you’re planning on exercising, make sure you’re not over-doing it!
Alcohol intake: Not drinking during pregnancy is a well-known fact. Not drinking (as frequently or at all) while TTC…a less well-known fact. Though not drinking at all is preferable, doctors note that one drink a day isn’t likely to impact fertility and the chance of conception. One thing that’s set in stone though—no binge drinking.
Smoking: Similar to alcohol, everyone knows you shouldn’t smoke while pregnant. But smoking actually impacts fertility in a very serious way. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, “smoking causes up to 13% of all infertility cases.”
Sleep: As you might know, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) that surges immediately before ovulation (part of why we track BBT) is pretty important when it comes to TTC. What if we told you that, according to the Reproductive Resource Center, that “women who average a healthy amount of sleep each night (about 7 – 9 hours) had FSH levels as much as 20% higher than women who averaged six or fewer hours per night.” Big deal! So make sure you’re getting a full night’s rest when conception is your goal.
Stress: Difficulty TTC is extremely stressful, there’s no denying that. However, being excessively stressed can impact ovulation. A little bit of stress is good for you, but too much can cause some problems. If you recognize that you may be too stressed, try creating a stress-management plan or meditating.
Has changing your lifestyle habits gotten your ovulation day back on track? Let us know in the comments!