Getting pregnant is a struggle for many couples. In fact, according to the Fertility Society of Australia, one in six Australian couples experiences problems with infertility. If infertility is a problem for you, you’re certainly not alone.
When you first realise you’re experiencing fertility problems, the natural tendency is often to panic. The thought of having to undergo lots of invasive procedures and investigations is a daunting one. The fact is though; there are certain simple changes you can make to your lifestyle and environment that can provide a real boost to fertility – for both men and women.
Natural Ways to Boosting Fertility – Lifestyle and Diet Changes
It’s easy to say it, but it’s true. We’ve all heard stories of couples who’ve been trying to conceive for months or years who find that it’s only when they take a break from their strict ovulation-centered routine that conception actually occurs. Research shows that the odds of pregnancy increase when stress is reduced. Light exercise, yoga, meditation: all of these can aid relaxation for both of you and in doing so can prepare your body for conception.
There are lots of great reasons why both of you should exercise to increase fertility. For one thing, weight problems can be one of the major factors inhibiting fertility. Underweight women produce too little estrogen to fuel optimal ovulation whereas overweight women produce too much. A tailored exercise regime can address both of these problems. In a more general sense, exercise strengthens muscle, builds stamina and improves circulation; all of which are factors which can increase your prospects of conception as well as helping to grow healthy sperm.
We’ve all been told to “think positive” at some time or other. There are actually some pretty good scientific reasons why staying positive can aid conception. Worry and stress are essentially defense mechanisms; instigating the production of adrenaline and prolactin – hormones which provide us with the “fight or flight” impetus. Unfortunately such hormones are definitely not what we need when looking to conceive as these hormones inhibit the pregnancy hormone, progesterone. Positive thinking can be an incredibly effective weapon in combating infertility by aiding the reduction of stress hormone levels in the body.
Smoking can be a huge barrier to fertility. Not only has smoking been linked to poor conception rates and an increased risk of miscarriage, there is also a connection between smoking and poor sperm mobility in addition to distinct general fluctuations in male reproductive hormone levels.
Limit Exposure to Environmental Toxins
Traffic fume pollution, trace elements of mercury and other metal contaminants from sea food, chemical in detergents: there are many chemicals that can have a detrimental effect on reproductive health. Studies indicate that pesticides and herbicides sprayed on crops contain xenoestrogens that can cause damage to the female reproductive system. Choosing organic produce, avoiding BPA-containing plastic products and consuming filtered water are three practical steps you can take to help maintain a healthy reproductive system.
Say “Yes” to healthy fats:
Healthy omega-3 fats are an effective boost to fertility. Nuts, avocados and flax seeds are prime sources of omega-3. Butter from grass-fed cattle and eggs are high in arachidonic acid, which has also been shown to aid reproductive health.
Include plenty of greens
Dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli are excellent sources of foliate, an important vitamin that’s vital for laying a strong foundation for conception. Greens are also rich sources of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants vital for maintaining reproductive health.
Get adequate vitamin D
Vitamin D is a vitamin that behaves like a hormone. It is important for the production and secretion of many hormones in the body and helps to maintain a proper hormonal balance. Sensible, limited daily sun exposure without sunscreen helps your body produce enough vitamin D for the day. For light skin an exposure of 15 minutes is sufficient whereas for darker skin, a slightly longer exposure time may be beneficial. If you live somewhere that has long winter months and you have limited scope for exposure to sunlight, consider taking a vitamin D supplement after consulting with your healthcare provider.
These tips can help to promote fertility naturally as well as promoting general good health. If you are actively trying for a child and are experiencing difficulties, you should also consult your physician and a fertility specialist.
Author Bio: Al writes on sexual health and fertility issues in Australia and abroad.
Image Credit: Mark Sebastian