Starting a family is one of the biggest and best times of a couple’s life. However, some couples may have difficult conceiving – research shows that one in every six couples has problems with conceiving a child. The raft of modern medications and invasive fertility treatments can be costly and off-putting, but for those who prefer a more natural approach, there are many other options available to naturally increase your and your partner’s fertility. Not only do these natural fertility tips boost your chances of conceiving but they will also help to improve your general physical, mental and emotional health.
Natural fertility boosters
The miracle of new life is one that changes lives and brings great joy to everyone. However if you are finding it difficult to get pregnant, you can start to feel sad, angry and frustrated. These emotions make it even harder for successful conception, turning the situation into a Catch-22. Some couples have physiological problems that hinder conception; however others simply find it difficult even though both partners are in good health with no obvious medical condition. There are many lifestyle choices that you can make to improve your chances of falling pregnant – none of which involve medical procedures or drugs.
Eat a healthy diet
Fruits and vegetables are filled with antioxidants which block the damage to chromosomes that free radicals can do to sperm DNA.
Research from the University of Murcia, published in May 2009 indicate that a diet with an emphasis on fruit, vegetables, grains, folic acid and fibre improves fertility, whereas a high intake of protein, fats, and dairy products could damage seminal quality.
Ensure you eat your five portions of fruits and vegetables a day and where possible, choose colourful produce like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and broccoli. Research indicates that brightly coloured produce are high in antioxidants.
Ensure you have enough vitamins
To boost your health and fertility, take daily vitamin supplements.
Vitamin C prevents sperm defects and help increase sperm mobility. Vitamin C also reduces stress on your body, which can be a major factor in affecting fertility. Vitamin D and calcium have also been shown to increase male fertility.
Vitamin B6 and B12, present in folic acid or in its natural form, folate, are DNA-building vitamins that can help boost fertility in both men and women. Folate can be found in leafy vegetables such as spinach, or asparagus, turnip greens, lettuces, beans and peas, fortified cereal or bread products, sunflower seeds and liver. Eating enough of these foods before pregnancy will ensure your body is primed and ready for conception.
Oysters are high in zinc, which is an important mineral for sperm production and strength. If you don’t like seafood, plump for lean beef, wheat germ and dark-meat turkey instead. Zinc is vital for your enzyme systems, which in turn affect sexual performance. Sperm production relies on zinc and insufficient levels of this mineral can cause infertility.
Separate from general vitamin supplements for overall health, fertility pills contain specific components that improve fertility. L-arginine stimulates sperm mobility. Carnitine is an amino acid that is essential for building healthy sperm function. CoQ10 helps to increase sperm volume. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in evening primrose oil which improves hormonal balance. Taking fertility supplements will improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Overall vitamin supplements will improve your general health and wellbeing, increasing your chances of having a healthy reproductive system.
Steer clear of toxins
Although many women stop drinking alcohol while pregnant, many do not realise that alcohol can affect fertility before conception.as it can damage a woman’s eggs. Alcohol is a toxin that decreases sperm count and increases the risk of abnormal sperm. Furthermore, alcohol inhibits the absorption of zinc, one of the most important minerals for ensuring male fertility.
A study from Connecticut found that one cup of coffee per day decreases female fertility by 55%. Caffeine also increases the risk of miscarriage as it makes it harder for your body to absorb iron, an essential mineral for many pregnant women. To improve your fertility and chances of carrying to full term, avoid coffee, tea, soda and chocolate.
Smokers take a longer time to conceive and have an increased risk of miscarriage. The toxins found in cigarettes lower female oestrogen and progesterone levels, which affects healthy egg production. Men who smoke have decrease sperm counts and reduced testosterone, which affects libido. Refrain from smoking and avoid from inhaling second hand smoke.
Xenoestrogens is a fancy name for toxins found in environmental chemicals and pesticides. Pesticides on your fruit and vegetables, lead and mercury in farmed fish and growth hormones in your chicken meat – these are all xenoestrogens that can hamper fertility. Choose wild fish over framed, organic produce over chemically treated vegetables and free range over battery meat during your weekly grocery shop. Although the cost of toxin-free shopping may be higher, the pay-off in both your fertility and overall health is invaluable.
Take herbal supplements
Herbs are an all natural fertility option. The chaste tree berry helps to balance your hormones and stimulates the pituitary gland, increasing your body’s production of progesterone. False unicorn root normalizes the ovaries and improves reproductive health but over-dosage can lead to blurred vision and kidney irritation so take this carefully and never self-medicate.
Dong quai, a traditional Chinese herb, has long been used in China to treat female infertility. It balances out estrogen and regulates the menstrual cycle. It also helps in the process of egg implantation. Saw palmetto, astral gus and macaw have been said to increase sperm count. Chinese herbs are often combined together then boiled in water. The liquid is then drunk over a period of time. Talk to an herb specialist or a nutritionist before taking any herbs as some can be quite powerful.
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
Regular, moderate exercise is a natural way of improving fertility. Coupled with a healthy diet, exercising will improve your general health levels and regulate your hormones. Low impact aerobic workouts such as walking, cycling and swimming are best for maintaining good fitness levels. Be careful not to overdo it as over-exercising can cause amenorrhea, or absent periods.
Research conducted in Denmark indicates that obese couples are three times less likely to conceive than couples of a healthy weight. The study found that overweight couples struggled with conceiving, taking 1.4 times longer than normal compared to couples of an average weight. Being overweight can impair your general health and reproductive systems. Excess fat can throw off your hormonal balance and lead to problems conceiving.
Stress less, sleep more
The pressures of modern life can lead to infertility. Stress hormones like cortisol affect the pituitary glands and reproductive organs. Overproduction of prolactin during periods of stress can interfere with ovulation. Try yoga or indulge in relaxing rituals such as massages and meditation.
Fertility yoga is a fusion of traditional yoga poses with postures specifically designed to improve reproductive health. Yoga can improve both male and female infertility naturally by minimizing stress. You will also improve your muscle tone and strength, body alignment, and blood circulation. The breathing techniques taught in yoga are helpful for relieving stress and decreasing fatigue. The less stressed out and tired you are, the more likely you will successfully conceive.
Aromatherapy can relieve stress and anxiety, as well as assist in regulating the menstrual cycle. You can use essential oils for a massage, in an oil burner or in the bath to relax your muscles and relieve tension. Geranium is a calming oil that is said to have estrogenic properties and can balance your hormones; basil is a strong oil that strengthens reproductive health and lavender and jasmine can improve the libido.
Having eight to ten hours of sleep is important if you want to increase your fertility. Rest is necessary for healthy sperm and eggs. Without sufficient sleep, your leptine levels tend to decrease, which causes irregular ovulation. Chronic sleep deprivation will affect your whole body system, including your menstrual cycle. Sleep at regular times and make sure you catch your beauty sleep.
Try alternative natural treatments
Homeopathy is a natural fertility treatment that can also improve overall health for both partners. Specific homeopathy remedies can be used to treat different fertility problems. A number of different types of remedies have been proven helpful in treating female infertility, such as sepia 6c, sabina6c, aurum, phosphorus and silica. These treat irregular ovulation, recurrent miscarriage, low sex drive, depression, anxiety and boost the immune system. Alternatively, male infertility can be treated with sepia 6c, which improves a low sex drive, and medorrhinum, which treats impotence.
Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese technique of using needles to treat pain, is an increasingly popular option to improve fertility naturally. Acupuncture helps promote fertility by reducing stress as well as normalizing the flow of hormones needed by the ovaries, increasing the blood flow to the uterus, and improving ovulation.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian practice which espouses balance between the body’s elements. There are Ayurvedic yoga practices such as pelvic floor exercises which increase circulation to the reproductive organs. Practitioners of Ayurveda encourage couples to eat lots of organic fruit and vegetables, asparagus, milk, dates, mango, cumin spice and turmeric spice these are believed to be good for the digestive and overall health, while the spices fire up the reproductive systems and libido.
By Peggy Tee ©