December 26, 2019

Getting in Shape for Pregnancy

Getting in Shape for Pregnancy

Many attempting pregnancy wonder what they can do to improve their chances for a successful pregnancy. Getting in shape for pregnancy is often overlooked.

There are 5 basic components to getting in shape for pregnancy.

These are:

  1. Taking care of chronic illnesses such as hypertension or diabetes to achieve a normal blood pressure and tight control of blood sugar and triglycerides;
  2. Smoking cessation since smoking is associated with both male and female infertility.  Even E-cigarettes negatively influence implantation success and the future health of your in utero exposed baby resulting in abnormal pregnancy outcomes. Marijuana ingestion is also associated with both male and female infertility and a recent study found that marijuana smoking in men was associated with miscarriages in their partners;
  3. Diet and weight management as both obesity and asthenia (too skinny) are associated with infertility and pregnancy loss. The ideal body weight for pregnancy is a BMI  greater than 20 but less than 30;
  4. Dental hygiene is important as periodontal disease and gingivitis are linked to infertility and pregnancy loss. A recent study found that periodontal disease was associated with a 3-5 times higher incidence of vulvovaginitis and premature rupture of membranes. Severe periodontal disease was associated with an 11 times higher risk for fetal growth restriction. Gingivitis in men has been associated with poor semen quality;
  5. Mental health issues should not be overlooked since infertility is a life crisis as is pregnancy loss. The associated stress involved can ruin not only your personal health but also your relationships with your partner and others. Therefore complimentary forms of care involving acupuncture, mediation, yoga, and light exercise can be helpful to well-being.

Getting in shape for pregnancy is fundamental to care. We are here to help you on your path to parenthood and encourage all of our patients to lead healthy lifestyles in order to have the best possible chance of conceiving. If you have questions about your or your partner’s fertility, please contact us today!

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility