Helping Fertility Naturally
Having a baby can be the one of the most exciting times in a couple's life. From conception to birth, pregnancy is usually a happy and joyful journey. But if you are having difficulties conceiving, the pregnancy journey can become fraught with complications and worries. On top of all this, medications and fertility treatments can be extremely off-putting and expensive. If you and your partner are struggling with fertility issues, you may want to look into ways that you can help to improve your fertility naturally.
What is Fertility?
Fertility simply refers to a couple's chances of becoming pregnant. If you are fertile, than there is a good chance that you will become pregnant at some point in time. Though pregnancy may not happen right away, if both a man and a woman are fertile, they will conceive a child eventually. Certain factors play a key role in determining fertility. In order for a woman to be fertile she must produce a viable egg during each monthly cycle. In order for a man to be fertile he must be able to produce strong and healthy sperm that can fertilize this egg.
Though being fertile may sound easy enough, it's actually quite complicated. This is because so many factors play a role in contributing to fertility. Things like diet, exercise, and overall health all have a huge impact on fertility. This is one of the reasons why so many couples in the United States face fertility problems. In fact, it is thought that about 1 in 6 American couples will have difficulty conceiving a child.
First Steps to Fertility
If you are interested in improving your fertility, one of the most important steps is to monitor for when you are most fertile. Many couples have difficulty getting pregnant because they are having intercourse at times when the woman isn't ovulating. This can make it surprisingly difficult to conceive.
There are a number of different ways that you can monitor your fertility. It is a good idea to start by monitoring your basal body temperature. This will help you to determine exactly when you are ovulating - your basal body temperature will increase when you are ready to release an egg. Keep a fertility calendar so that you know when you are ovulating. It is important to have sexual intercourse just before an egg is released, in order to maximize your chances of becoming pregnant.
There are a number of natural family planning methods that can also help you to become pregnant. Keeping track of your cervical mucus and using the rhythm method will help you to become more aware of your body's natural cycle. Try keeping a fertility chart - this will raise your fertility awareness, allowing you to pinpoint when you are actually ovulating. You may also want to look into purchasing a fertility monitor, which can help you keep track of your conception calendar and dates.
If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant, you and your partner may want to experiment with different conception positions during intercourse. In order to become pregnant, your partner must deposit his sperm as close as possible to your cervix. Certain positions will allow this to happen more easily. Avoid having sex while standing, sitting, or with you on top, as this can cause semen to leak out of your body. Instead, try the missionary position, which allows for deeper penetration. Rear entry intercourse is also effective, as it allows your partner to deposit semen closer to your cervix. To keep any extra semen from leaking out of you, try elevating your hips for fifteen minutes or so after your have sex.
Though you may not believe it, eating right plays an important role in your body's fertility. A balanced diet helps to regulate hormones and nourish your reproductive system. A good diet also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which can greatly impact fertility. Women who are underweight or overweight may have a harder time becoming pregnant because body fat levels impact the production of sex hormones.
It is especially important to include certain vitamins and minerals in your diet. Try to include:
- Vitamin C and Antioxidants: these vitamins prevent sperm defects and boost sperm motility. They also reduce stress on your eggs and reproductive organs.
- Zinc: zinc deficiencies have been linked with reduced testosterone and semen levels.
- Calcium and Vitamin D: A daily, therapeutic dose of these nutrients have been shown to help increase male fertility.
Certain foods and chemicals should be avoided if you are having troubles becoming pregnant. Cut back on:
- Alcohol: alcohol can reduce your fertility levels by up to 50%. It can also decrease sperm count and increase the production of abnormal sperm.
- Caffeine: caffeine, found in coffee, teas, cola, and chocolate, has been shown to reduce both male and female fertility levels. As little as one cup of coffee a day can cut your chances of conception in half.
- Xenoestrogens: xenoestrogens are estrogens found in environmental chemicals and pesticides. Produce and other foods can have high levels of xenoestrogens, which, if ingested, may disturb your balance of hormones. Imbalaced hormones are often the cause of fertility issues.
Moderate exercise can also be a good natural fertility treatment. When combined with a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise can help you to maintain a healthy body weight. Excess body fat can increase the amount of estrogen in your body, throwing the female fertility cycle out of balance. Exercise helps to burn off this excess body fat, allowing hormone levels to return to normal. It is best not to overdo exercise though - over exercising can actually impair fertility. Try low impact aerobic workouts like walking, swimming, and cycling.
If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant you and your partner may want to look to herbs for fertility. Herbs have been used to promote fertility for thousands of years and can be considered to be a form of natural fertility medication. Because herbs can be very potent, it is important to speak with a registered naturopath before taking any herbal supplements.
- Chasteberry: This herb works to increase fertility by stimulating the pituitary gland. This is the gland responsible for producing sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Chasteberry should help fertility by balancing the sex hormones.
- Dong Quai: Dong Quai is a Chinese fertility herb, long-used to solve menstrual difficulties. It also helps to balance estrogen levels in the body and improve chances of implantation.
For more information on improving your chances of getting pregnant, visit this pregnancy site.
For more information on your fertility, check out our pregnancy videos.