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For the 6 million couples trying to conceive, the best gift would be a positive pregnancy test.  These couples are often bombarded with advice.  But what really works?

To increase your chances of getting pregnant, first, get "cleared for take-off":  ask your doctor about your risks, medicines or lifestyle changes.  Next, relax:  the baby-making process can be stressful, especially for couples who have been trying for some time.

The common sense things all apply:  If you smoke, stop. Avoid alcohol.  Diet and exercise are important, but it is possible to be too thin.  Too much exercise can also reduce fertility.  Women: take folic acid, 400 mcg per day, and get enough calcium.  Limit caffeine:  even one cup of coffee per day can decrease your fertility.

Men, protect your family jewels:  wear boxers, not briefs and avoid hot tubs.  Women: avoid douches and lubricants. Most importantly, when trying to conceive, timing is everything--yet most women don't know their most fertile days.

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Created: 11/30/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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