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3 Simple Ways To Support Fertility In Your 20s, From An OB/GYN

Author:

Hannah Frye

November 11, 2023

Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

By Hannah Frye

Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

Image by Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy

November 11, 2023

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For many 20-something women, having a baby isn’t exactly top of mind. Still, even if you aren’t hoping to conceive right now, fostering good fertility health later on may still be a priority. We tapped a reproductive endocrinologist for her tips on preserving your fertility for later—without making you more likely to conceive before you’re ready.

1.

Track your menstrual cycle

First, people in thier 20s who eventually want to become pregnant may consider tracking their menstrual cycle if they aren’t already.

This way, you’ll be able to see when something is off (think: a period longer than seven days, spotting, unusual discomfort, etc.) and address it sooner rather than later.

“If a woman has irregular menstrual cycles, they should also seek consultation for a work-up because this could affect their future fertility,” says reproductive endocrinologist Banafsheh Kashani, M.D., OB-GYN.

The tech-savvy may consider downloading a menstrual-tracking app or utilizing the Cycle Tracking on Apple’s iOS 17 update if you have an iPhone. This may make it easier to see patterns over time. However, you can do this via pen and paper or simply mark your calendar when you reach your menstrual phase as well. No matter how you like to track, the most important step is to ask for help when you notice something awry. 

Even if you never plan on having children, tracking your menstrual cycle is a great way to get to know your body and notice how your hormones impact your physical and emotional well-being.

2.

Be mindful of alcohol & caffeine intake

When you are trying to get pregnant, many fertility experts recommend abstaining from alcohol as it can decrease your chances of getting pregnant and limiting caffeine as it can impact estrogen levels. 

For the same reason, Kashani recommends being mindful of your intake even before you plan on getting pregnant. 

She notes that binge drinking and excessive caffeine consumption should also be avoided (especially for those with anxiety or trouble sleeping), but a full stop isn’t necessary for most people. 

3.

Find your favorite way to exercise & stick with it

Exercise benefits both long-term health and fertility, Kashani says, so it’s a worthy endeavor regardless of your age. 

Movement is something you’ll want to keep a habit throughout your life, so try spending some time experimenting with exercise to find what you love—this will make you more likely to stick with it and enjoy this healthy habit, not dread it. 

That being said, how often you exercise and what you choose when trying to conceive may change, Research suggests excessive vigorous exercise may hinder fertility in some cases, deeming moderate-intensity exercise a better option for many women during this time.

And no matter what phase of life you’re in, you’ll want to be mindful of overdoing it at the gym. Intense physical training can cause complications or even the full absence of a menstrual cycle, so be sure to speak with your doctor to make sure your regimen is conducive to optimal hormonal health. 

The takeaway

If you are looking to support fertility health down the road, start now by tracking your cycle, limiting excessive caffeine intake and binge drinking, and staying consistent with physical activity. In short, supporting fertility health down the road comes back to tending to your hormones right now—which isn’t as complicated as you may have expected. Still, everyone is different and you should consult your doctor before adding new practices to your routine for the sake of fertility health. Here, more ways to support healthy hormonal balance

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