Making lifestyle changes and using complementary approaches

Several people described changes that they made to their lifestyles in the hope that this would improve their chances of conceiving. Some took more exercise, changed their diet, or lost weight on the advice of their doctors. Others took up yoga or explored complementary approaches like acupuncture.
Sometimes people made several changes at once – Mary, for example, had her hair analysed, tried cranial osteopathy and excluded various foods and caffeine. Lulu improved her diet, cut back on alcohol, and used homeopathy and reflexology. Her husband James gave up smoking, having read about infertility and realising that this was something he could do to improve their chances.
If a woman is very overweight her doctors may advise weight loss before starting on fertility drugs.
Complementary Therapies
Several people described the various complementary therapies that they had tried. 
Michelle was aware that there was a certain amount of magical thinking in her behaviour, which included sponsored swimming for charity as if, “Someone would look down on me, not a big religious person, and say what a nice girl, we’ll help her out. So I did a mile and a half swimathon for a children’s charity. And I’m not pregnant. So next year I did three miles swimathon for a children’s charity”.
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While some felt that it was important to make these changes and feel as though they were doing something proactive to help their fertility, others were not so sure how much difference these changes were actually making. Carol, for example, said she had little faith that they would work, but felt it was important to be doing something rather than nothing.

Last reviewed July 2017.


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