According to the CDC, approximately 6.1 million women in the U.S between the ages of 15 and 44 suffer from infertility problems. Infertility is mainly due to ovulation conditions and gynecological conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI).
Several medications can help increase fertility levels in women. These medications are Bromocriptine, Metformin, Gonadotropins, and Clomiphene Citrate. For instance, women take clomiphene citrate to stimulate the ovulation process.
The medication triggers the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Both hormones play a crucial role in stimulating ovarian follicle growth that contains an egg.
Although medications can help improve fertility, they can cause various side effects, such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Fertility medications are also associated with temporary side effects, such as breast tenderness, cramps, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Research shows such drugs can increase the risk of pregnancy loss and cause ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.
On the other hand, there are many natural ways to boost fertility. The most significant benefit of natural fertility boosters is that there are no adverse effects on the individual’s physical and mental health. In today’s article, we will tell you about some natural ways that can help you improve your fertility. Read on!
Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Everyone knows the mammoth role of antioxidants in the body. Some antioxidants like zinc and folate can naturally improve fertility for women. Free radicals damage egg cells in the body, so having an adequate amount of zinc and folate is necessary to fight radicals and increase fertility.
A recent study found that women with higher folate intake had increased implantation, pregnancy, and birth rates. Lutein, Beta-Carotene, Folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C are other types of antioxidants that deactivate free radicals and increase the likelihood of healthy conception.
Include leafy green vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts in your diet. These food items are rich sources of essential antioxidants that are required for a healthy pregnancy. Health professionals recommend cutting carbs and consuming healthy food like veggies and fruits.
Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant to improve egg quality in women. Studies show that coQ10 supplementation leads to higher fertilization rates and high quality fetal development. It also increases the number of ovarian follicles to boost the ovulation process.
Eat a Larger Breakfast
Women can overcome fertility problems by consuming larger breakfasts. One study highlighted that eating a larger breakfast can improve the hormonal effects of PCOS. As mentioned above, PCOS is a leading contributor to infertility in women. A heavy and healthy breakfast can ease symptoms of PCOS in women.
Not only does a healthy breakfast reduce insulin levels by 8%, but it also increases testosterone levels by 50%. Women who eat a larger breakfast and a smaller dinner may ovulate more regularly than those who consume smaller breakfasts. However, eating a heavier breakfast does not mean you should eat a larger lunch and dinner, because that can lead to weight gain.
Reduce Carbohydrate Consumption
Women with PCOS should cut down on the amount of carbs they eat. It is important to follow a low-carb diet to ease the symptoms of PCOS. In general, a low carb diet has less than 45% of the calories than carbohydrate-rich diets.
Many research studies have highlighted that women who manage carb intake can reduce the effects of PCOS and increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. Low carb intake leads to lower insulin levels, fat burning, menstrual regularity, and overall weight maintenance.
Sunflower seeds, nuts, spinach, pistachio, celery, pumpkin seeds, cashews, shrimp and prawns, macadamia, walnut, venison, green beans, cauliflower, raspberries, and strawberries are some food items with lower levels of carbohydrates. We recommend you include these foods in your diet to reduce the symptoms of PCOS.
Avoid Trans Fats
Fats play a crucial role in optimizing different body functions. Healthy fats can boost fertility and maintain overall health. In contrast, trans fats can affect insulin sensitivity, leading to ovulatory infertility.
Baked foods, processed products, fried items, and hydrogenated vegetable oils are rich sources of trans fats. So, it is essential to avoid these food items to improve your fertility and increase your pregnancy chances.
Some studies show that a diet higher in these fats can increase the probability of infertility in women. Instead of consuming trans fats, you should eat fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and pomegranates.
Consume Fewer Refined Carbs
Focusing on the amount and type of carbs is equally important for women with fertility issues. Refined carbs such as processed grains, rice, bread, pasta, and sugary drinks can increase the risk of infertility in women.
The biggest problem with refined carbs is that your body cells can absorb them quickly, leading to increased blood glucose and insulin levels. Refined carbs have a higher glycemic index (GI) and can lead to the occurrence of diabetes.
The chemical structure of insulin is similar to ovarian hormones. Bear in mind that ovarian hormones play a key role in the maturation of eggs. Increased insulin levels prohibit the body from producing more reproductive hormones, which increases the chances of infertility in women.
Moreover, a higher carb intake can stop eggs from maturation and ovulation, leading to PCOS and other harmful conditions. Because refined carbs can increase insulin levels, this can make your PCOS symptoms even worse.
Eat Healthy Proteins
Although you can take proteins from animal-based food like eggs, fish, and meat, it is essential to include healthier protein sources in your diets, such as seeds, nuts, and beans. Research studies indicate that these protein sources can potentially decrease infertility rates in women.
One study showed vegetable proteins could reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility by 50%. Another study concluded that protein intake from fish increases the odds of having a live birth. Therefore, experts recommend including lentils, beans, and low mercury fish in your diet.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber can reduce excess hormone levels and keep blood glucose levels balanced. It binds to the intestine and removes extra estrogen from the body. A research study conducted in 2009 showed that soluble fiber found in fruits, oats, sweet potatoes, and avocados could lower excessive estrogen and progesterone levels.
Beans, veggies, fruits, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber, which can improve your fertility. Experts recommend 25 grams of daily fiber intake for women. Another research study highlighted that consuming ten grams of cereal fiber daily can reduce ovulatory infertility by 44% in women above 32 years of age.
A recent research study showed that increasing fiber intake by five grams per day could increase fertility levels by decreasing the body’s hormonal concentrations. It is also beneficial for women who are at a higher risk of developing anovulation. Experts recommend consulting with your doctor to determine an adequate daily fiber intake for you.
Consume High-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat dairy products are associated with increased infertility risks. That’s why you should consume high-fat dairy foods to maintain your fertility levels. A study conducted in 2007 found that consuming high-fat dairy products at least once or twice a week can improve women’s fertility.
Women who consume multiple servings of high-fat dairy products daily can boost fertility rates by up to 27%. Replacing low-fat dairy foods with high-fat dairy products like whole milk and full-fat yogurt can help you conceive effectively and quickly.
Multivitamins are helpful supplements for increased ovulatory fertility. A recent study showed that consuming three or more multivitamins per week can reduce ovulatory infertility by 20%. Multivitamins offer micronutrients that play a significant role in determining your reproductive health.
If you want to get pregnant, make sure you take a multivitamin supplement that contains folate. Not only does folate reduce the risk of developing PCOS, but it also increases your chances of conceiving a baby.
Do not buy over-the-counter multivitamins and drugs without a prescription. Discuss your concerns with your doctor, and if your healthcare provider prescribes multivitamins, you should purchase and consume them.
Engage in Physical Activity
Physical activity and exercise are highly beneficial for increasing your fertility. Regular exercise is an excellent way to maintain your physical and mental health. Exercise increases blood flow to all organs of the body and helps reduce weight significantly. Numerous studies have shown the association of healthy weight management with increased fertility in women.
Although high intensity exercises can burn fat and build muscle quickly, they can decrease fertility in certain women. High intensity exercises can alter the energy balance in your body, which can negatively affect fertility. That’s why experts recommend engaging in mild to moderate physical activity, such as walking, jogging, and running.
These exercises can increase blood flow to reproductive organs and supply them with more nutrients. You can also do certain yoga poses to enhance your reproductive functionality. Remember, yoga is a more holistic and natural approach to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.
Cut the Caffeine
Although there is very little evidence on the association of caffeine and infertility, some studies show that women who consume more than 500mg of caffeine daily have reduced chances of conception and pregnancy.
Caffeine found in tea and coffee can boost your neurons, decrease stress, and increase energy. However, too much caffeine consumption can lead to harmful effects, including infertility in women. That’s why you should not consume more than two cups of coffee daily.
Relax Your Mind
Stress is one of the leading contributors to infertility in both women and men. Increased stress levels mean decreased chances of conception and pregnancy. Stress can cause hormonal changes in your body and lead to lower FSH, estradiol, progesterone, and lutein levels.
Although there is little or insignificant evidence on the association of stress and fertility, some review studies show that stress can suppress the female reproductive system. Healthy diets including veggies and fruits, as well as lifestyles that include exercise such as yoga and mindful meditation, are some natural ways to improve your reproductive health.
Moreover, you can also take psychotherapy sessions to discuss your concerns with an expert counselor. Remember, stress reduction is not an overnight job and it takes some time to balance your dopamine and cortisol levels.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight is important to fertility for women and men. If you are underweight, make sure you gain some extra pounds. Likewise, if you are overweight, you should try to lose some pounds. Research shows that both underweight and overweight women have difficulty getting pregnant.
A woman’s menstrual function is negatively influenced by the amount of fat stored in the body. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and leads to imbalanced ovulation and menstrual irregularities in women. Some overweight women also experience impaired egg development.
Consult with your health provider or seek help from a professional weight management clinic to improve your pregnancy chances. You can also try the keto diet and intermittent fasting for weight loss, but make sure you do this healthily and naturally. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to weight loss.
Consume Iron Supplements
Iron is important for hemoglobin production, an oxygen-carrying protein found in red blood cells. A pregnant woman needs twice the amount of iron than a non-pregnant woman. Besides, your body needs more iron to supply more oxygen to the fetus for its proper development and growth.
Iron also plays a crucial role in women’s fertility and the reproductive system. You can eat veggies and fruits to get iron and consume iron supplements to decrease ovulatory infertility risk.
A recent study found that iron obtained from animal sources does not positively or negatively affect women’s fertility. However, iron obtained from plant-based sources can help overcome iron deficiency in most women. There is a need for more research to confirm the efficacy of supplements for women’s fertility.
It is important to check your iron levels before you start taking such supplements. Excessive iron levels in the body can cause life-threatening conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and liver problems.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is the biggest culprit when it comes to infertility in women. A recent research study found that consuming more than 14 units per week can increase the risk of infertility in female individuals. The study showed that women who consumed more alcoholic beverages could take a longer time to get pregnant.
A study conducted in 2004 highlighted that high alcohol consumption is directly proportional to infertility in women. The same study showed that women who have a higher alcohol intake undergo more infertility tests than women with lower alcohol intakes.
Some studies highlight that mild to moderate alcohol consumption does not harm fertility and the reproductive system. However, it is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol to increase the chances of pregnancy. Instead of alcohol, one should opt for healthy drinks such as lemon juice, apple juice, banana smoothies, etc.
If you want to quit alcohol consumption, you can seek help from your health provider or join an alcohol withdrawal program to get professional advice.
Besides alcohol, it is essential to quit smoking because it also affects estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.
Take Natural Supplements
There are many supplements available on the market that you can use to increase fertility. However, experts recommend consuming natural supplements to avoid developing adverse effects.
For instance, bee pollen is one of the most effective supplements that can improve immunity, fertility, and other bodily functions. A recent study found that bee pollen is associated with improved sperm quality in male individuals. However, there is a need for more human trials to confirm its effectiveness in women.
Maca is another supplement that can improve fertility in both women and men, but more human studies are needed to validate its efficacy. Moreover, a recent study showed that women consuming bee propolis two times a day have a 40% increased chance of getting pregnant.
There are numerous ways to improve your fertility and increase your chances of pregnancy. Eating antioxidant-rich foods and supplements can increase fertility rates in women. Several studies recommend a larger breakfast for women to boost their fertility and enhance their reproductive systems.
Likewise, it is important to avoid trans fats. Instead, opt for healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and extra virgin olive oil. Moreover, avoid eating foods high in refined carbs because they can increase insulin levels, leading to higher infertility risks. Increased insulin levels are also associated with lower rates of conception.
Opt for more veggies and fruits because they are excellent sources of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Not only do veggies and fruits boost your fertility, but they also play a crucial role in other bodily functions, such as adequate maintenance of metabolism and homeostasis.
Furthermore, health researchers recommend replacing low-fat dairy foods with high-fat products. They boost your fertility rate and increase your chances of pregnancy. Similarly, multivitamins obtained from natural food items and supplements can also help increase fertility.
Women with sedentary lifestyles are victims of poor reproductive health. You can bring about positive changes in your life through exercise, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing. Not only do these activities improve your fertility levels, but they are also beneficial for your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Lastly, stress, anxiety, depression, and obesity are also associated with an increased risk of infertility in women and men. Mindful meditation and psychotherapy sessions can help you overcome stress and anxiety.