So you’re not a Fertile Myrtle – now what?

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It can be frustrating to realize that your efforts are getting you nowhere when you're trying to conceive. If you and your partner have been actively baby-making for the past few months and still haven't been able to get pregnant, it may be time to take action to boost your fertility. Before you spend time and money at the doc's office, use these tips to improve your pregnancy chances.

1. Quit smoking. It's pretty much a no-brainer, but stopping your nicotine habit is a great way to ensure that your health isn't what's causing the delay. Research has shown that smoking cigarettes not only decreases your fertility, but can lead to a greater risk for miscarriage if you do get pregnant.

2. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess body fat can lead to the production of certain hormones that can affect ovulation. Your period might be less regular and you may be ovulating less often. The same goes for ladies who are underweight – your body might not be producing enough hormones to help you ovulate regularly. Drop or gain the pounds you need to reach a happy medium.

3. Relax. If you're stressing about life in general, and even about the fact that you're not getting pregnant, it might be affecting your fertility. Stress hormones can throw off your menstrual cycle and make you less likely to ovulate on time.

4. Eat well. If you're a fan of unhealthy foods, like trans fats, too much animal protein, refined carbohydrates and sugars, you're doing your fertility a disservice. Instead, focus on healthy fats (like from olive oil), plant-based proteins, whole grains and a moderate amount of high-fat dairy products, all of which have been shown to boost your chances of putting a bun in the oven.

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