Your diet is lacking in the right nutrients
Kelsey Mcardle/ rd.com, shutterstock One of the easiest changes you can make to increase your chances of getting pregnant starts with the foods you’re putting on your plate. And this isn’t only true for women who will be carrying the baby—it’s also important for men. “Antioxidants are well known for fighting the free radicals in our bodies that cause cancer and other diseases, but they can also increase male fertility,” says Philip Werthman, MD, urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, California. “There are many different sources of antioxidants, but among the best for sperm health are zinc, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, folic acid, and lycopene.” (Here are some antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies you can eat.) You can also take them in supplement form, which might even be better since it reduces the amount of sperm that become damaged. Dr. Werthman also suggests reducing soy intake, since men who eat high amounts of soy tend to have lower sperm counts than men who do not.
You have not been trying long enough
Kelsey Mcardle/ rd.com, shutterstock
Most of us spend the better part of our childbearing years trying not to get pregnant, so when we’re finally ready to try, it can be surprising to come to the realization that it actually can take some time. “Even in a 25-year-old couple at the peak of their fertility in life, the chance of pregnancy is approximately 20 percent per month,” says Anate Brauer, MD, attending physician at Greenwich Hospital and NYU Medical Center in New York City. “By the end of six months, about 60-80 percent of these couples achieve pregnancy and by 12 months about 85-90 percent of couples do.” The remaining 10 percent of couples, she explains, are likely to conceive within the following one to two years, however the couple should see a reproductive endocrinologist after 12 months of well-timed intercourse. Bottom line: It’s actually pretty challenging to get pregnant! If you’re having regular periods and have the timing right, Dr. Brauer suggests giving yourself a few months to try. Here are some other surprising facts about fertility that ob-gyns wish you knew.