7 Simple Ways to Increase Fertility is a guest post written by Victoria Maizes MD. Dr. Maizes is the executive director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and a Professor of Medicine and Public Health.  Her newest book is Be Fruitful, The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child  which outlines how the foods we eat, the toxins we ingest, and the overall lifestyle we lead has an effect on fertility and the health of our unborn children.

Love is in the spring air. If babies are on your mind, you may just want to take a seat and listen to women’s health expert Victoria Maizes MD. We know this topic can be very sensitive and personal for women–especially when getting pregnant is difficult. That’s why we have brought the best person with the best advice.

Age matters! Today many women are putting off child bearing until later in life, and it is affecting their fertility when they do finally start trying to conceive.  Women in their 20s have a 25% chance of conceiving each month while women in their early 40s have only a 5% chance.

Don’t stop eating fish!  While women should avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, other fish are safe and very important to the pregnant woman’s diet.  Fish is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are critical to a baby’s brain development and can even help prevent post-partum depression.
Be particular about containers!  Stay away from plastic food containers, Tupperware and refillable water bottles while trying to conceive.  Plastic contains BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical that has strong estrogen-like activity that interferes with normal hormone function.  BPA is also found in the lining of many canned goods.
Ditch the junk food!  Processed foods are filled with exactly the wrong kinds of carbohydrates and fats that lead to high glycemic indices and interfere with fertility.

Take folic acid!  Taking multivitamins with folic acid BEFORE conception and through the third trimester helps protect against autism as well as neural tube, cardiovascular and limb defects.

Exercise, but not TOO much!  Too much exercise can cause infertility.  When trying to conceive, it is not the time to train for a marathon, or even participate in very vigorous yoga classes.  Vigorous exercise may temporarily stop menstrual periods or shorten the latter half of the cycle interfering with conception.

Make your home green!  When planning a pregnancy, either avoid buying new furniture and carpet, or buy green products instead.  Also avoid new paint, which releases high levels of chemicals into your home.

Stay calm!  Hormonal changes associated with chronic high stress signal the brain that this may be the wrong time to reproduce.  The brain responds by altering its signaling to the ovaries.

Learn more about simple ways that you can increase fertility in Dr. Maizes’ new book, Be Fruitful, The Essential Guide To Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child available on Amazon.

For more information about fertility visit her website or follow her on twitter @vmaizes.