Most women in their 20s are not thinking about their fertility. Did you know that 1 in every 5 American women are now delaying parenthood until they are in their late 30s?  There are many factors contributing to this trend, such as careers, higher education, or still waiting to find the right partner.

What some women don’t realize is that their fertility decreases as they get older.  4  key components to preserving fertility include:

  •       Maintaining a healthy weight
  •       Eating right
  •       Eliminate all drug and alcohol use
  •       Keep any health conditions monitored and under control

Here are some tips that you can start doing now:

Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Even if you are not thinking about getting pregnant now, it is important to tae care of your health now. Exercising and eating healthy if a good way to start. Women who are in a healthy weight range most often find it easy to conceive.

Because half of pregnancies are unplanned, protect yourself and future baby with a daily multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. This is essential to help prevent birth defects.

Keep visiting your doctors and OB-GYNs regularly to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and stay current with your reproductive health. Your primary care doctor can diagnose any future health conditions and help treat now before you become pregnant.

Practice Safer Sex
Women in their 20s sometimes encounter sex with multiple partners, and are usually the most active. You may be taking birth  control pills to prevent pregnancy, but are you also wearing condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases?

Having sexual relations with multiple partners increases your chances of contracting an STD.  STDs can affect your chances of becoming pregnant. Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID) causes a reported 100,000 cases of infertility per year. The best way to protect yourself is to wear a condom when having sex. Attend your regular OB-GYN exam and get tested for STDs to prevent any future fertility problems.

Avoid Harmful Substances
Smoking can also negatively impact your chances of getting pregnant. If you or your partner smoke, or deal with secondhand smoke, you may experience infertility problems in the future.

Some other harmful substances to avoid include hazardous chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers when trying to conceive. Household chemicals, such as benzene, that is found in detergent, paint, nail polish, dye and rubber has linked to infertility in women.  Phthlates, a common substance, has also been linked to genital birth defects in males. Use environmentally friendly products in your house to increase your chances of success.

Fertility Decreases With Age
Before the age of 30, a woman’s fertility declines.  Miscarriage and birth defect rates increase as you age.  If you do decide to wait to have children, make sure you’re taking care of yourself now for your best chance at becoming a parent.