We know that proper hydration is good for your general health, but how does it affect fertility?
The hydration and fertility connection
One of the big, underlying themes of almost any fertility tip you get is that you’re much more likely to get pregnant if you’re just generally as physically healthy as you can be. Fertility is a big part of general health, so if all of your other systems are running smoothly, your reproductive system is likely to function well too. That’s why you’re encouraged to cut down on smoking, drinking, and caffeine, why your nutrition is so important that there are a host of different theories about how it should be balanced, and why it’s suddenly so important that you get a moderate, but not excessive amount of exercise.
The added stress on hydration is, largely, just more of that theme, but that doesn’t make it less important. If anything, it makes it even more crucial – being properly hydrated is meant to be nothing more than a part of the foundation for basic, healthy fertility, and if you don’t have that, trying to increase that baseline of fertility is going to meet with some problems.
Dehydration can lead to low sperm count as well as decreased egg health, so it’s not just important for you to stay hydrated, but for your partner or donor as well. Hydration also plays a role in the hormonal regulation that’s key to fertility, and in the production of cervical fluid.
Other hydrating things to consider
Hydration doesn’t need to come from drinking water alone, if you’re not a big water fan. Lots of fruits and raw vegetables are water-rich, and adding more diverse fruits and vegetables to your diet can also help you get a head-start on boosting your fertility through nutrition. Even coffee and tea are sources of hydration, though they’re not ideal.
Many experts recommend getting at least 64 oz. (about 2 L) of water each day. You should speak to your healthcare provider if you need help with strategies for getting more water.
- Barry M Popin. “Water, Hydration, and Health.” Nutr Rev. 68(8):439-458. Web. Aug 2010.