Singapore has a population problem: we’re not replacing our aged population fast enough. Despite the incentives the Government provides to couples for having children, many of us choose to have children at a much later time that the generations before us.
There are also many others, though, who do want to have children but simply have had no luck so far. If you fall to the latter group, here are some things you could try to improve your chances:
- Target your fertility window. This is the 5 to 6-day period that you are ovulating. It starts 5 days after your last day of menstruation, but doctors advise having sex even before that to increase your chance of pregnancy as sperm may take days to reach the ovum.
- Lay low on caffeine and alcohol. Studies show that consumption of high amounts of coffee and alcohol reduces the chance of conception. If you must drink, drink moderately. However, you should completely stop when you get pregnant.
- Absolutely no smoking. Smoking is toxic to the body in general, but more so to the reproductive system. If your partner smokes, make him stop as well since not only is exposure to secondhand smoke harmful to you, smoking also lowers his sperm count.
- Get the right weight. Having too much fat can cause the overproduction of some hormones that could disrupt ovulation. Meanwhile, if you don’t have enough fat you may not be producing sufficient hormones to get your pregnancy going.
- Watch out for pesticides. Foods that have been treated with pesticides or herbicides can inhibit the functioning of both female and male reproductive systems. Notably, men who eat pesticide-treated fruits or vegetables are found to have lower sperm count and weaker sperm.
- Have as much sex as you want. “Saving up” for your fertility window? Not a good idea. No sex for over five days actually decreases sperm motility. Try to have sex 2–4 times a week, or as much as you have energy for.
- Get a regular work shift. Women with rotating shifts are 80% more likely to have problems getting pregnant than those who work at regular hours. It’s even better to work a straight night shift than to alternate it with day shifts.