6 Natural Ways to Increase Fertility
Have you been brooding over tiny booties and the thought of ten little toes pitter-pattering around the house? Whether you’re trying to conceive, or are just bouncing the idea around, baby fever can get real.
But sometimes, falling pregnant can be more difficult than your school’s sex ed classes had you believe. According to the National Health Institute (NHS), 1 in 7 couples in the UK struggle with falling pregnant. And it could be because pregnancy depends on many different factors happening within your body, and these factors need to occur at the right times.
So if you’ve been thinking of taking a step toward the road to parenthood, some easy and natural ways can increase your chances of falling pregnant. And they definitely count for something. The science behind a stressful lifestyle and fertility shows that highly stressed women can take 29% longer to fall pregnant than those who aren’t.
That’s why we’ve put together the top 6 changes you can make to your lifestyle to boost fertility.
How can you boost your fertility?
Your chances of falling pregnant depend on different factors. There isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution that will guarantee a pregnancy. But, there are changes you can make to your lifestyle that will help boost your fertility to increase your probability of conceiving.
1. Exercise – regular exercise has so many health benefits and when it comes to trying to conceive, it’s one of the key ways to boost fertility. This is because it helps keep you at a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). Being over or underweight can affect your chances of falling pregnant. You don’t have to be following an intense workout regimen, but it needs to be just enough to get your heart rate up, make you breathe faster and feel warmer.
Exercise also gives you an endorphin rush, boosting your ‘happy hormone’ and reducing stress, which will increase your likelihood of conceiving. It can improve heart function and lower cholesterol levels which will reduce your risk for complications.
2. Give up alcohol – have you been waiting to get home just for your evening glass, or a few, of wine? While it may be your go-to for unwinding, reconsidering how much alcohol you drink can seriously help you with falling pregnant. Research, from the Boston University School of Public Health, found that drinking the equivalent of two bottles of wine or more a week can result in an 18% decrease in fertility in women. Alcohol can also affect the quality of sperm, so it’s recommended that men cut back on their drinking too, or give it up completely while you’re trying to conceive.
3. Decrease stress – cutting stress out of your life sounds like a no brainer, something we all need to do whether we’re trying to fall pregnant or not. But, it might be easier said than done. Try to actively destress and take care of your emotional and physical health. When you stress, your hormone levels become unbalanced and this can mess with your fertility. In a 2014 study among 400 women, it was found that those who had high levels of stress were 29% less likely to fall pregnant after a year of trying than those with the lowest levels of stress.
4. Increase supplements – a simple and non-invasive way to boost your fertility is to make sure you’re getting enough micronutrients into your body. You can do this by improving your diet or taking supplements. Vitamins and minerals play an important role in female health and fertility. They help with :
- thyroid function
- egg quality and maturation
They’re also thought to increase sperm count and motility. The micronutrients that you should be keeping an eye on are :
- vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant that can combat free radicals responsible for ovarian decline and reduced sperm count
- vitamin D – boosts and regulates hormone levels in men and women to make conception more likely
- vitamin B12 – keeps nerve and blood cells healthy
- iron – lowers the risk of ovulatory infertility i.e. increases your ability to produce healthy baby-making eggs
- calcium – involved in the production of sperm
- vitamin C – another powerful antioxidant that can reduce cellular damage throughout the body. It also increases iron absorption
- omega 3 – improves the conditioning of the uterine lining, regulates hormones and inflammation
- zinc – helps with fertilisation and egg development and improves the quality of sperm
5. Hydrate – you’ve probably been told about a million times that you need to be drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day and thought it was utter nonsense. Well, it’s not. Staying hydrated is good for anybody, especially those trying to conceive. Water can improve the function of your kidneys. This will help flush out any toxins and waste products from the body, as well as increase the quality of fertile cervical fluid.
6. Pay attention to your medication – certain medications, such as those that control thyroid function, have side effects that can cause your hormones to go off balance. When hormone secretion doesn’t function optimally, it can result in challenges with conception. Check in with a medical practitioner if you’re on any prescribed medication to find out if they could have any effect on your chances of falling pregnant.
Falling pregnant may come with its challenges, but there are certain lifestyle changes that can boost your fertility and increase your chances. The biggest ones are to ensure that you’re eating a healthy diet, with all the right micronutrients that your body needs as well as decreasing stress.
And remember, if you’ve been trying for some time now and haven’t had any success yet, you’re not alone. Seek the support you need in order to stay positive. The important thing is to not put too much pressure on yourself, or your partner.