Increase Fertility Naturally: Tips for Conception
Trying to have a baby is an emotional time for any couple, full of ups and downs.
One minute you and your spouse may be excited and exhilarated, while the next minute you might feel frightened or disappointed.
If you’re having trouble with fertility, you may feel very confused, scared and lost. Though there are many fertility drugs and all kinds of procedures out there, if you’re reading this you’re probably looking how to increase fertility naturally.
The truth is, there are many simple steps that you can try to increase fertility naturally — no invasive procedures, pills or other medical intervention necessary.
How to increase fertility naturally
1. Eat a real food diet
We’ve come a long way in this area; it’s becoming common knowledge that processed foods are not good for us. Many people are aware of the importance of eating a balanced, nutrient rich, whole food diet.
As a rule of thumb, adopt the diet of your great, great grandmother. (Liver, anyone?) This is important for the functioning of your body’s systems, your overall health, and will certainly boost your fertility and reproductive health. I have a friend who had a hard time getting pregnant. She finally decided to ditch all of the junk and processed foods from her diet (and her husband too!) and she became pregnant quickly.
If you need help getting your family on a real food diet, I highly recommend the meal planning service Real Plans. I also cover some special fertility foods later in this post.
You also want to look at avoiding any latent food allergies such as gluten or dairy. Symptoms of intolerance raspy voice, skin irritations, bowel changes like loose stools or constipation, headaches, wheezing, or other immune reactions. Some mamas do well going grain-free or Paleo while they TTC. It is also a lesser known fact that low-fat dairy in your diet can increase your risk of ovulatory infertility. So be sure to eat full fat foods, especially dairy if you tolerate it, getting plenty of good nutrients from butter, cream, avocados, nuts/seeds, coconut oil, and other good fats to increase fertility.
2. Reduce stress
Stress is a huge issue for most people these days. We live in a busy, fast-paced world. Most of us are frazzled and feel stretched too thin. This tends to be especially true of women. But stress is not good for our minds, bodies, or spirits and can wreak havoc on our health. Stress is particularly deadly when it comes to fertility… it’s literally killing your odds because a stressed woman is not nature’s idea of a hospitable environment for a baby. Be sure to implement stress-reducing strategies in your life regularly.
If you are feeling worried, nervous or anxious about not getting pregnant, remind yourself that you are creating a stress response in your body that could be defeating your own efforts. As much as you can, enjoy the process of making a baby, and get excited about the prospect of pregnancy instead of worrying about the possibility of it not happening. You can seek out support groups or work with a counselor too.
By reducing your stress levels, you’ll naturally increase fertility.
3. Track your cycles
Your menstrual cycle is one of your best barometers for gynecological health. If you wish to have a baby, then first things first, you need to become more vigilant about your schedule… or lack thereof.
First start by marking down the date of your last period. Then start tracking your morning basal body temperature with a special thermometer. (I like this one because it takes its time to register temperature, which is vital as some read too quickly and give you a false number.) You’ll want to do this every day and put your thermometer on your bedside table. Take your temperature first thing upon awakening, before you get out of bed, go to the bathroom or move around as this will give you an inaccurate reading.
Track when you have cervical mucous and when your temperature increases, as these are signs of ovulation. You will also want to chart how long you bleed each month and if you have any cramps, headaches, or other PMS symptoms. You can get cycle tracking forms here.
A consistent, monthly period, without too much pain or discomfort, is a sign of good reproductive health. If you don’t have a regular period, you’ll want to get a complete hormone panel test done (saliva is best) to determine you hormonal health. You can then work with a holistic doctor and fix any imbalances, and as a result, boost fertility.
Keep in mind, that it may take up to a year to get balanced so stick with it. Stay tuned for other ideas on how to regulate your cycle and increase fertility naturally below.
4. Have sex at peak fertility
This goes without saying, but have sex when you think you are ovulating! This is why charting your cycle is so necessary.
As a general rule, women typically ovulate 14 days before their next period, and sperm can last a few days in the uterus. Therefore, having sex a few times around that day is usually the simplest way to ensure that you are giving the egg every chance to get fertilized.
Most midwives will say days 11–18 are your most fertile, so have fun during this time. Again, refer back to your cycle charts to find the best times to have sex for you.
If you’re still having trouble, invest in Ovulation Test Kits to determine exactly when you do ovulate (or double ovulate) or if you don’t at all, which will need addressing to increase fertility.
5. Take cod liver oil
Studies have shown that cod liver oil’s omega-3 fatty acids not only boost fertility but will support proper development of your baby after conception. Take it daily while trying to get pregnant and, also, once you are pregnant.
The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends taking enough cod liver oil to equate to ~20,000 IU of Vitamin A daily. To be conservative, I took half of this amount and had great pregnancies. My personal favorite is this raw variety. (Here’s a post with all the supplements I took while pregnant.)
Worried about Vitamin A toxicity? Studies only link birth defects with the synthetic forms of Vitamin A. Of course, when taking any supplement, it’s best to talk to your doctor, midwife or healthcare practitioner.
6. Avoid lubricants
Evidence suggests that many commercial lubricants may be toxic to sperm and interfere with its passing into the uterus. It is best not to use lubricant while trying to get pregnant. However, if you are just unable to have intercourse without a little bit of moisture, use saliva or coconut oil. Some mamas swear by Pre-Seed. I’m not a huge fan as it contains parabens.
7. Darkness at night
Have you ever heard of Lunaception? In brief, it’s a practice to balance hormones (and boost fertility as a result) by controlling the light in your bedroom.
This may sound odd or even silly but there is common sense behind it. Thousands and thousands of years ago, women usually slept closer to the outdoors. Sleeping in total darkness was the norm with the only natural light being the rhythm of the moon. As a result, women used to be in sync with the moon cycles and ovulate at the full moon.
Now, with electricity and artificial light, this doesn’t happen and as a result, our hormonal cycles get confused and out of whack. In modern times, we can recreate this natural cycle by controlling the light we’re exposed in the evening and when we sleep.
To implement Lunaception, sleep in total darkness except for the few nights right around the full moon. On those nights, try sleeping with just a little bit of light, whether that’s the natural moonlight or a night light.
There is actually some science behind Lunaception. Too much light at night can inhibit the production of melatonin, our “master” hormone. The hypothalamus gland is covered with melatonin receptors and some say our ovaries are too. The hypothalamus regulates our body’s overall homeostasis, including blood pressure, body temperature, and most importantly for fertility, our endocrine or hormonal system. So, if the hypothalamus doesn’t receive enough melatonin, its won’t be able to support our hormonal system well.
Clinical research backs this up. Researchers have found that sleeping in the absence of light can:
- Strengthen mucus readings during ovulation
- Correct too long or too short cycles, bringing them back to 27–31 days long
- Reduce PMS symptoms
- Normalize FSH levels
- Increase progesterone levels
- Reduce spotting throughout cycle
- Help anovulatory women ovulate!
- Sustain pregnancies for women with history of miscarriages
Some simple tips to reduce light at night include:
- Turn off electronics at least 1 hour (two is preferable) before bedtime.
- Turn off bright overhead lights and use only a few lamps for evening light.
- You can also wear these special glasses, which can help to boost your melatonin production.
Reducing your bright light exposure at night and sleeping in darkness can increase your odds to get pregnant.
Want 10 more tips on how to increase your fertility naturally?
➜ Click here to see this full article on MamaNatural.com, complete with 17 all-natural tips you can use to boost your fertility.
Thank you for reading and I wish you the very best!