Making Lifestyle Changes to Increase Fertility
Over the last twenty years, issues with fertility have dramatically increased. So what is the cause?
From a medical standpoint, infertility issues are believed to be caused by such factors as tubal damage, polycystic ovary syndrome and other types of ovulatory issues, male problems and endometriosis. The list goes on and on. Multiple conditions can influence infertility or make it harder for a couple to conceive in the first place.
But the most frequent cause for someone being infertile is ‘unknown’ which means that after a thorough investigation, a specialist cannot find an identifiable or specific medical issue at the root. Doctors are unable to determine the cause of infertility in thirty percent of couples who are unable to conceive. Sometimes, it just happens and it’s impossible to determine why. This can be one of the most disheartening causes of infertility to grapple with, especially when you consider that you might not necessarily know what’s going on or will ever truly be able to figure out why. But don’t lose hope. If you are set on conceiving and having a child, you have options you can consider when it comes to figuring out how to boost your fertility or induce pregnancy.
Natural Remedy For Fertility
This is where natural approaches for fertility come into play. If people are unable to get pregnant there is, of course, something going on that is causing this to happen even if you can’t exactly name why or know the reason behind it.
Many couples refuse to give up hope and continue to look for ways to increase fertility. If you’re one of those couples, this guide is for you. Here’s how you can get one step closer to figuring out what’s really going on and solve your fertility problems the natural way. But be advised that you should always consult a doctor if you’re concerned about your fertility problems.
How to Naturally Increase Fertility
Naturally attempting to increase fertility has been largely successful because fertility is multi-factorial, which means that there are many elements that can cause fertility problems.
Natural treatments are extensive and have to be adjusted in order to fit a patient’s individual needs. Keep in mind that it will take approximately ninety days for an immature egg to mature enough to be released when a woman is ovulating. It can also take a minimum of ninety days for sperm cells to develop and be ready for ejaculation. This means that when a person is trying to increase fertility, they need to have a ninety day period before conceiving. This is referred to as pre-conception care, and it’s crucial for the couple to take care of themselves during this time, just like during pregnancy.
If you’ve decided on IVF treatment or another type of assisted conception method, you need to follow the recommendations listed below in order to increase the chances that the procedure will be effective.
Both you and your spouse will need to follow strict dietary recommendations that are explained in this article. It’s common knowledge that a well balanced diet is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Many couples are not aware that a well balanced diet can also help to remedy hormone imbalances that will affect a couple’s ability to get pregnant. There are also certain types of food and beverages that can lower fertility.
Food to Avoid
Alcohol affects both parties when it comes to trying to conceive. In fact, consuming any alcohol can reduce a person’s fertility by more than half, and the more a person drinks, the less likely they will be able to conceive. Research has shown that consuming alcohol can cause a decrease in sperm count and an increase in abnormal sperm. It’s recommended that alcohol be eliminated from the diet three months before attempting to conceive.
Caffeine can also decrease fertility. Although the research isn’t conclusive right now, research suggests that excessive caffeine can significantly reduce fertility in men and women, though the reasons for why aren’t entirely clear at this time. Consider sticking to a minimum of 8oz of weak-brew coffee a week to be safe. Cut out energy drinks, dark chocolate, and soda to further minimize your caffeine intake. You’ll likely notice a difference in a fairly short amount of time. Read package labels and be mindful about what kinds of beverages and snacks you’re consuming. Cut back slowly in order to best avoid painful withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability.
Smoking has also been linked to infertility in women. It can also cause early menopause. In men, smoking will decrease sperm count, making the sperm sluggish. If you’re struggling with quitting smoking, we recommend reading books such as Allan Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking and consulting a doctor for advice on resources and referrals you can consider. Some couples have found luck joining support groups and seeking out therapy. Consider giving Nicotine Anonymous (1-800-784-8669) a call if you’re looking for additional support.
- You are what you eat and as it turns out, what you eat can help promote fertility. In general, we recommend a healthy diet filled with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins in order to promote the most healthful lifestyle.
- A poor diet (and a high body weight) can promote hormonal irregularities. So simply eating better foods and cutting out junk food, such as chips and soda, can already help promote fertility. Foods that help regulate insulin will also help regulate your hormones and promote healthful ovulation.
- For example, avoid trans and unsaturated fats. These increase insulin resistance and, in turn, promote hormonal irregularities. Eat more whole wheat and unprocessed grains versus white bread. Whole wheat takes longer for your body to digest and process and can regulate insulin.
- Researchers have found evidence that low-fat dairy products can actually inhibit pregnancy. Replace low-fat dairy with high-fat dairy products. Fat isn’t always bad for you. Consider drinking a glass of whole fat milk or eating regular yogurt as opposed to low-fat varieties. Don’t use this to justify binging on cheese and ice cream but simply make replacements when you can.
Stress and Fertility
Stress can inhibit fertility. Studies have shown that stress can make it difficult for couples to conceive. One study even showed a link between high levels of alpha-amylase, a stress-related enzyme, and inhibited pregnancy in women. Women with elevated levels of alpha-amylase were twelve percent less likely to be able to get pregnant than women with lower levels.
What does this mean? Reducing stress is key if you want to promote fertility naturally.
Consider meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress drastically, even if you’re not particularly spiritual. If anything else, light candles and practice deep breathing techniques.
Relax and practice effective time management techniques. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and stressed about everything you have to do each and every day. Trying to conceive a child can be a stressful process. Let yourself and your partner relax. Making a baby should be a rewarding, fun experience, not something that stresses you and your partner out to the point of tears.
Healthy Habits to Support Fertility
By making a number of healthful lifestyle changes, you may experienced increased fertility, although you’ll certainly want to talk to a doctor to determine what lifestyle changes are right for you.
High body weight can inhibit fertility in both men and women. Much of the time, a male partner with a poor diet or high body weight will experience high rates of infertility versus his more fit, healthier dieted counterparts, even if a female partner is eating well and at a normal body weight.
Exercise not only reduces stress, which reducing can promote fertility, but it can also help you lose weight, regulate your hormones, and help support your circulatory system- all keys when it comes to positively and naturally supporting fertility.
If you’re struggling to find time to exercise every day, no worries. Start small. You and your partner might find it fun to take a walk around the block every day after dinner. Consider joining a fitness class or simply try biking or walking around your neighborhood instead of driving everywhere.
Drink more water. This will help promote natural body functions. As a matter of fact, when you’re dehydrated, this can negatively affect your fertility. Women who don’t drink enough water might find that their cervical fluid, which is necessary when trying to conceive since it helps sperm locate an egg, becomes sluggish and doesn’t work properly. Men might also find that their ejaculate isn’t functioning properly. Drink plenty of water for optimal results.
Recommended Supplements for Fertility in Men and Women
Studies have also shown that sperm quality can go up as vitamin C content increases and protects sperm and DNA from damage. Vitamin C also works to make sperm more motile by preventing them from clumping together.
Always make sure you’re consuming plenty of DHA/Omega-3, which can be found in salmon, eggs, and fish oil supplements. Not only can this promote a healthful lifestyle but when you do manage to conceive, Omega-3 can also help promote the health of your baby and boost healthful brain and nervous system development. You should, however, take care to avoid raw fish when you are able to get pregnant. While this means you might have to miss out on sushi for a while, it’s for the best. This helps reduce any risk of developing bacterial infections or food poisoning.
Studies have also shown that folic acid has to ability to prevent spina bifida and other spine and brain defects in the fetus if taken prior to conception and during the first trimester.
In general, aim for a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Not only will this encourage normal sperm production and ovulation but it will also promote natal health. Both partners, whether male or female, should take supplements if needed for best results.
But there are supplements you should avoid when trying to conceive. For example, research suggests that ginseng, St. John’s wort, sassafras, and licorice can actually inhibit fertility so you should be cautious about any herbal supplements or teas you consume. Like always, watch labels carefully and be mindful about what you’re taking in.
Testing for Medical Conditions that Can Prevent Conception
There are a large variety of tests available that are worth considering, if you have been trying to conceive without success for more than a year. These tests will let you know about your general health and will explain what actions you need to take to resolve any imbalances that the results reveal. The results will also allow your specialist to determine what type of supplements you need to take in order to get your body baby ready and to help increase your partner’s sperm count. Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in testing for potential medical conditions that may inhibit conception.
For example, a female hormone test often requires twelve saliva samples, which are collected at home at specific times and sent to a lab for analysis. This test is fairly simple and will chart the levels of progesterone and estrogen during a one month period. The results will reveal any problems with ovulation, high levels of testosterone, issues with the phasing of cycles and problems maintaining and producing progesterone.
An infection screening is also recommended because an infection can prevent you from becoming pregnant. Vaginal infections can have a serious impact on a woman’s ability to conceive and this type of infection can also cause a miscarriage. In men, a prostate infection can affect the quality and quantity of sperm.
With all this in mind, fertility isn’t impossible. With healthful lifestyle habits, a better diet, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, continual health appointments, and by reducing stress, you and your partner will have a better chance of conceiving a child and naturally promoting your fertility. Starting a family is a rewarding experience and when trying to plan for a child, it’s important to consider your health and your lifestyle as well.