9 Natural Ways to Boost Your Fertility
Having trouble getting pregnant? Although you may ultimately need medical intervention, there are some natural ways to boost your fertility that you can try first.
1. Track your basal body temperature
Take your basal body temperature for several cycles to see when you’re ovulating, and make sure you have intercourse during ovulation.
How to chart your cycle:
Each morning before getting out of bed or eating or drinking, place a basal body temperature thermometer under your tongue. Record the temperature on a grid, with temperature on the vertical axis and date on the horizontal axis. When your temperature rises, you’re ovulating. You should have intercourse at least every other day during your fertile period.
2. Stop drinking alcohol
Numerous animal and human studies find that mild to moderate alcohol use can disrupt normal menstrual cycles and affect hormonal levels, possibly affecting fertility. Plus, if you do conceive, it may be several weeks before you know for sure that you’re pregnant. Alcohol is toxic to the baby. Best to stop altogether in the trying stage.
3. Stop using vaginal lubricants
It’s best to stop using vaginal lubricants because some brands can interfere with sperm motility.
4. Stop eating fish
Although we still want you to get your omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements (which are purified), several studies suggest that eating fish from the Great Lakes and other local waters exposes women to certain toxins, like mercury, that can affect fertility.
5. Start taking a daily multivitamin
A large Hungarian study in which more than 4,000 women were instructed to take a daily multivitamin while trying to become pregnant found that those who took the vitamins had more regular menstrual cycles and were more likely to conceive than those who didn’t. On average, women who took the vitamins got pregnant 5 per cent faster than those who didn’t. Plus, if you do get pregnant, you’ll be getting the supplemental folate you need to help prevent neural tube birth defects in the baby.
6. Stop taking all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications
Get your doctor’s permission first and if it’s possible for you to stop taking NSAIDs, do. Some evidence suggests they may interfere with the ability of a fertilized egg to implant in the uterine lining.
7. Mind-body therapies
There is very good evidence that stress significantly interferes with fertility. Several studies find that high stress levels prior to IVF can result in a lower pregnancy rate and that stress-reduction techniques can improve pregnancy rates.
A growing body of evidence points to the benefits of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy to conventional treatment for infertility and some practitioners are beginning to specialize in acupuncture for this condition.
Researchers speculate that acupuncture’s ability to trigger the release of stress-reducing endorphins plays a role. These hormones appear to affect the secretion of certain reproduction-related hormones, such as GnRH, affecting the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Make sure you see a qualified practitioner and don’t be surprised if he or she wants to work with your partner too.
One study had 67 women with fertility disorders take a homeopathic preparation called Phyto Hypophyson L, which contains chaste tree berry, or a placebo, 3 times a day over 3 menstrual cycles. The women taking the remedy were more likely to menstruate without drugs, to ovulate and to get pregnant.