Top Ways To Boost Your Fertility
Enhancing your fertility is really just a fancy way of saying enhancing your health. Fertility is all about hormones, and a normal production and flow of hormones happens when your body is functioning at its optimal level. The internal workings of a woman’s body is tightly regulated by hormones, and if just one hormone is off, this can cause every other hormone to be off as well.
Below lists the top ways to enhance your fertility as well as to boost your all-around health:
1. Normal weight
Maintaining a normal weight is very important for boosting your fertility. Being overweight or underweight are both associated with a harder and longer time getting pregnant.
Yoga may help to boost your fertility for a couple of reasons. First of all, yoga is all about mindfulness and stress relief, which is important for normal hormone production. Yoga also helps to enhance blood flow to the reproductive organs which is helpful for getting the body ready for pregnancy.
More and more studies are recognizing the benefits of acupuncture for fertility. Acupuncture has been shown to help with fertility for a variety of reasons, including decreasing stress and helping to normalize hormones needed for ovulation and for a healthy pregnancy.
Getting exercise daily is effective for boosting your fertility. This may be partly because it helps to decrease stress and it helps to keep you at a healthy weight.
It is very important to note that too much rigorous exercise or too much exercise in general can actually hurt your fertility. So if you are trying to get pregnant, it is not a good idea to start training for a marathon or something of that nature.
5. Healthy fats
Consuming healthy fats is associated with greater fertility. Healthy fats include eggs, avocado, coconut, nuts, and seeds. Fats are needed for a variety of reasons, most notably for normal hormone production involved with getting pregnant.
A higher intake of vegetables is associated with greater fertility and better chance of getting pregnant. The deeper the color, the more nutrient dense the vegetable (with the exception of cauliflower which is white but packed with nutrition!). Aim to make at least half your plate or bowl vegetables. Vegetables also help to fill you up and keep you fuller longer, and you literally cannot eat enough vegetables.
Make sure you are drinking enough fluids because adequate fluid intake is needed for normal production of cervical fluid. Cervical fluid is important because it helps to keep sperm in the vagina and transport them to the egg.
8. Keep carbs low
Too many carbs in the diet can lead to elevated insulin levels in the body, which can throw off hormones and make it harder to get pregnant. Aim to get most of your calories from vegetables, healthy fats, and protein. Many studies have found benefits to fertility when you cut the carbs, read one here.
9. Eat quality carbs
Women do need some carbs for normal regulation of hormones, so make sure you are eating the good ones. This means cutting out highly refined (aka highly processed carbs) which include bread, pasta, and instant oatmeal. These lower quality carbs are associated with a harder time getting pregnant. 4.
Carbs I recommend include carbs from beans, sweet potatoes and other higher carb vegetables – for a full list read here.
9. Myo-inositol / D-chiro-inositol
A supplement of myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol has shown to be effective to normalize hormones levels, most notably in women with PCOS or those with high insulin or other abnormal hormone levels. Most studies were done on women who had PCOS and who were overweight [1 , 2, 3]
This supplement does not have flavor and you can blend right into your smoothie.
10. Cut out trans fats
Not only are trans fats associated with basically all major chronic diseases, consuming trans fats is also highly associated with infertility. Trans fats have been greatly decreased in food products, but many highly processed foods may still contain these inflammatory fats. Foods that have a high likelihood of containing trans fats include microwave popcorn, margarine, french fries, frozen pizza, pie crust, cookies and crackers. It is important to read the nutrition label carefully to screen for trans fats because you never know where they might be lurking. Other names for trans fats include hydrogenated vegetable oil or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – steer clear if you see these words anywhere on the nutrition label!
This prominent Harvard study looked at over 18,000 women WITHOUT a history of infertility and found that consuming just 2% of dietary trans fats more than doubled their risk of infertility. Yikes!
11. Adequate sleep
Not getting enough good sleep is associated with a harder time getting pregnant for a variety of reasons. One big reason is because not getting enough sleep is stressful on your brain and body, and as we know stress can interfere with the normal cycle and production of hormones involved with fertility. Sleep is when hormones are able to reset and recharge, and is when stress hormones are decreased.
The above are proven ways to boost your fertility, and everything that is good for your fertility is also good for your entire well-being. So even if you have no interest in your fertility at this point in time of your life, the above are things to help your body and mind work the best.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy-league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab
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