Infertility, or at the very least having difficulty conceiving is increasingly becoming an issue for many women. According to the CDC roughly 12 percent of women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 struggle getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to full term.
Infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after one year or longer of engaging in unprotected sex. However, because fertility in women over the age of 35 is known to decline steadily with age, some medical practitioners consider women in this age group as being infertile after 6 months of unprotected sex.
The good news is that, in cases where there isn’t an anatomical reason for infertility such as fallopian tube obstruction or an abnormal uterine contour, there are ways to boost fertility naturally if given the right resources. To rule out any potentially serious underlying health or anatomical issues, it is important to check-in with a doctor or qualified fertility specialist. Many women also get great results from working with a naturopath to holistically address nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle changes.
Natural Ways to Boost Fertility and Get Pregnant Fast
Because the tips provided here are designed to address hormone imbalances to boost fertility naturally, it can also be useful for helping women with premenstrual syndrome and other hormone-related issues.
Nutritional Changes for Naturally Boosting Fertility
Modern foods are just not as nutrient dense as the organic, small-scale farmed grains, vegetables and fruits our ancestors ate. Many of us – even if overweight – can be malnourished and while we are in this state, our bodies will simply refuse to conceive. If you do not have the basic building blocks to carry and sustain a healthy fetus, you will not conceive.
- Complex carbohydrates & insulin: Carbohydrates play a primary role in fertility by determining blood sugar and insulin levels. If blood sugar and/or insulin levels are too high, reproductive hormone levels can be thrown off which can ultimately have an effect of ovulation and therefore, fertility. Remove all processed carbohydrates like refined (white) grains and starches as well as sugars from your diet. Instead, eat nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, potatoes and squashes.
- Eat a lot of vegetables: Especially green leafy varieties like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard, chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and similar veggies.
- Increase your intake of healthy fats: Get it from sources like coconuts, coconut oil, olives and olive oil, butter, grass-fed meats, eggs, avocado, oily fish and nuts as these can help boost fertility due to their antioxidant properties which lowers oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Eat more protein: Protein is a building block for life so it is important to eat enough protein from unprocessed and organic sources like grass-fed meats, eggs, and nuts. It is also important to eat adequate protein during pregnancy as this can help minimize the risk of certain pregnancy complications.
- Drink lots of water: Staying hydrated is important for many functions within the body, including fertility. Water, herbal teas and homemade fruit waters is your best bet as these are not only low in sugar, but in the case of tea and fruit waters, also have additional nutritional benefits.
Lifestyle Changes for Naturally Boosting Fertility
You don’t need to be a fertility specialist to understand that certain lifestyle factors and bad habits like drinking, smoking and taking drugs can contribute to infertility. But there are also other, more subtle factors which can severely impair fertility such as:
- Get enough sleep: Sleep plays an important role in the production of many hormones with studies showing that melatonin (the hormone responsible for regulating circadian rhythms and the sleep-wake cycle) in particular play a vital role in fertility. A lack of sleep also impairs the body’s ability to properly regulate adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin, making conception very difficult.
- Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals: Many everyday objects, household chemicals and even cosmetic and beauty products are made from compounds that are considered endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of human hormones and include dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
- Don’t exercise too much: Too much of a good thing is also not good. Too much exercise will keep the body from ovulation if done regularly while having too little body fat (below 15-18%) can make the body go into an anovulatory state (not ovulate). Stick to a few hours of things like walking, fun sports, or swimming a week coupled with one or two weight training sessions.
- Reduce your stress levels: Reducing stress and anxiety is well known for being associated with significant increases in fertility and pregnancy rates.
- Check your medications or supplements: Certain medications like steroids and antidepressants are known to reduce fertility. Check with your doctor to see if are taking anything that interferes with your ability to conceive.
Supplements & Herbs for Naturally Boosting Fertility
While diet and lifestyle changes are great places to start, some women find that they get faster results if they include natural fertility boosting supplements and herbs. Some of these include:
- Fish Oil: An adequate intake of omega-3s in the form of fish or cod liver oil can greatly help to increase fertility.
- Red Raspberry Leaf: Red raspberry leaf contains fragrine which helps to sooth the uterine muscles, helping to prepare the uterus against any kind of early miscarriage. These leaves are also beneficial in assisting the embryo attachment to the uterine wall.
- Nettle Leaf: Nettle leaf is also a powerful uterine tonic with the added benefits of being high in vitamin K content which helps prevent hemorrhage.
- Red Clover: Has a very high vitamin content and contains almost every trace mineral. It is also known to help balance hormones which aids in restoring fertility.
- Vitex/Chaste Tree Berry: Vitex lowers prolactin while raising progesterone and nourishes the pituitary gland aiding in lengthening the fertile phase of your cycle. For some women, this herb alone is enough to increase fertility.
- Vitamin D: Recent studies link inadequate vitamin D with infertility and miscarriage.
- Folate: Folate (not folic acid) helps cell division and promotes ovulation.
- Zinc: Very important for cell division including ovulation.
- Selenium: Helps protect the body from free radicals and protects ova, aids with cell division and might prevent miscarriage.
- B-Vitamins: Supplementing with b vitamins can increase luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone to improve fertility.
Disclaimer: Do not take any of these herbs or supplements in combination with prescription fertility drugs, hormone treatments, or hormonal birth control. Always consult a qualified medical practitioner or health care professional about your specific case before using any of these.
Struggling to become pregnant can be a difficult road for couples to walk, but with proper nutrition, lifestyle changes and a carefully selected regiments of supplements you can help boost your fertility naturally and make your dreams a reality.
DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should always be sought before before embarking on any new treatment.