If you’re having a hard time getting pregnant naturally, relax.
First, remember it takes the average couple 4-6 months to conceive. After one year of trying, you have about an 85-95% chance of getting pregnant before contacting a fertility doctor.
Childbirth is the gift of life.
Because of this, pregnancy is only granted to those mothers healthy enough to carry the baby. However, modern lifestyles oftentimes are run against what our bodies need to get pregnant.
Today, we’re going to talk about 7 ways to boost fertility naturally … without the help of a fertility pharmacy. All you need is to take optimal care of your body’s innate hormonal capabilities.
Infertility is oftentimes the result of hormone imbalances.
Millions of women worldwide suffer from hormonal imbalances in estrogen, insulin, cortisol and adrenaline. These hormonal fluctuations arrive via the typical culprits:
- Poor gut health
- Persistent inflammation
- High levels of stress
Fortunately, there’s a slew of naturopathic remedies available to correct hormone imbalances and boost your fertility.
After reading this, you can be confident in knowing you needn’t dabble in synthetic hormone replacements, insulin injections, thyroid regulation or other unnatural corrective paths that you may have needed from a fertility pharmacy if you have been diagnosed with a fertility indicating you can not conceive naturally.
The best part.
Correcting hormone imbalances is in your control. And, therefore, so is your fertility.
#1 Eat Healthy Fats
A diet to lose weight is the opposite of a pregnancy diet. Many of us have been told to cut fat to look trim. However, a fatless diet may be inhibiting your ability to conceive.
Our bodies need a variety of healthy fats to keep hormones balanced. Without fats as the building blocks, hormone production stalls and the body begins to malfunction.
When our diet is lacking fatty acids, the body fails to absorb certain key vitamins and minerals for hormone production as well.
Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can cause health issues for you and your unborn child. Popular fad diets such as The Zone, Raw Food Diet and Atkins will deprive you and your baby of vital nutrients like folic acid and iron.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy for women who are having trouble conceiving include those that are high in trans fats. Trans fats have been linked to the development of endometriosis which is one of the most common causes of infertility among women.
Stay away from fried foods, margarine and certain types of chips and crackers. There are good fats that you’ll want to load up on and you can find them in foods like tuna and salmon.
A pregnancy diet should have you increasing your calorie intake by about 300 calories per day.” —Pregnancy Magazine
This means eating saturated fats and cholesterol to get those short, medium and long-chain fatty acids. Enjoy plenty of fatty saltwater fish, coconut oil, avocados and grass-fed butter – all are amazing sources of essential fatty acids.
Healthy fats also benefit you by keeping inflammation levels low, boosting the metabolism and increasing satiety.
That’s not all.
#2 Adopt a Meditation Practice
Meditation: An effective, proven relaxation habit that’s guaranteed to boost fertility.
As featured on the Pregnancy & Newborn blog, Aimee Raupp, MS, and author of “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s” shares great news:
“A study by Harvard University’s Mind Body Medicine Institute revealed that women who meditated regularly were 3x more likely to become pregnant than those who didn’t.”
How you can actually use this?
Because meditation breaks the daily cycle of stress, it curbs cortisol, the stress hormone directly tied to prohibiting fertility capabilities. When we meditate, soothing brainwaves are increased and our innermost selves have a chance to unwind. The process of sitting with yourself, free of distraction and expectations, allows your true priorities to emerge. Childbirth.
After meditation for a couple of weeks, you’ll be less anxious, more in touch with your body and better aligned for a pregnancy.
#3 Go for Acupuncture
Acupuncture is incredibly effective at correcting hormone imbalances in the body.
Darren McGuinness, a women’s health and wellness writer, advises us to “give acupuncture a try for three to six months.”
In this time, many things will happen:
- Stress hormones responsible for infertility will decrease.
- Blood flow to the uterus will increase, a key marker of fertility.
- The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis will normalize, essential to fertility.
These findings come from a 2003 study by Cornell University which explains these benefits and more here.
#4 Balance the Intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats
The mother’s diet has changed drastically in the last 100 years.
Since the Industrial Revolution and the advent of modern farming, our consumption of vegetable oils has gone through the roof. And with that uptick, fertility has decreased.
Inflammation from dietary sources has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, obesity, stress and depression. When stress from cortisol increases and bodily processes suffer from aggravating levels of acidity in the stomach, the body can’t maintain a fertile state. The hormones in the gut and the rest of the body have gone haywire.
How can we boost fertility back up?
Eat more omega-3s and cut down on omega-6s. Diets high in omega-6 fats are inflammatory, whereas diets balanced with omega-3 fats are not.
Research shows that our typical ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 can be as high as 25:1, 15:1 and 10:1. Dangerous. The healthy ratio our hunter-gather ancestors maintained was 1:1. And our predecessors had none of the inflammatory health issues we do today.
To boost fertility, avoid these omega-6 foods:
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Soybean oil
- Peanut oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Fried foods (cooked in these oils)
- Baked dairy goods
Instead, add these omega-3 rich foods:
- Wild, saltwater fish
- Chia seeds
- Grass-fed animal products
- Fish oil supplements (mercury-free)
#5 Get More Vitamin D3
Vitamin D: It’s no vitamin; it’s a hormone.
Responsible for keeping inflammation levels low and synthesizing with sunlight to prevent depression, vitamin D is something many us don’t get enough of.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that 32% (or more) of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. And if you’re having difficulty with conception, low levels of this key hormone may be to blame.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that vitamin D3 is essential for fertility health because it affects:
The adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.
Why does this matter?
If the insulin system is dysfunctional, the body’s inflammatory response is heightened and sits on a state of high alert. This prevents fertility conditions from occurring.
The CDC cites the low levels of daily sunlight most Americans receive as the cause for this. You can remedy vitamin D deficiency easily. Just enjoy 20 minutes a day of unblocked sunlight or consider a vitamin D3 supplement.
#6 Get Good Exercise
Exercise is a crucial component in boosting fertility. Motherhood blog Pregnant Chicken makes light of this need in a clever way:
- First Pregnancy: You complete pregnancy-safe workouts at least three times per week.
- Second Pregnancy: Chasing around your toddler and walking the dog = exercise complete.
Yes, you need to move around regularly to boost your chances of pregnancy. A study by the University of North Carolina shows that women who were most active prior to fertility pharmacy treatments were 3x more likely to conceive as those who were not active.
What counts as exercise?
Pretty much anything! Of the 108 women surveyed, even doing housework and walking the dog was shown to improve chances of conception.
Exercise is a body normalizer. It balances the functions of the organs and keeps the hormones humming along nicely. Exercise also reduces anxiety, encourages quality sleep, curbs insulin levels and alleviates depression.
That’s not all.
#7 Get More Sleep
Thirty-percent of Americans are sleeping less than 6 hours a night, reports the CDC.
If this sounds like you and you’re trying to get pregnant – please, just sleep in. You’re sleep deficient!
I can’t emphasize this enough.
Insufficient sleep wreaks havoc on your hormones.
While we sleep, our bodies repair cells and regulate fertility hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone.
One especially crucial fertility hormone is leptin which directly affects ovulation. Women need adequate sleep for proper leptin production. If leptin is disrupted, menstrual cycles are disrupted.
Poor sleep also causes cortisol to spike the next day which results in anxiety, excess inflammation, and high levels of insulin, all decreasing optimal conditions for pregnancy.
If you’re trying to conceive, shoot for at least 7-10 hours of sleep a night.
To be your most fertile, treat your body exceptionally well. This means correcting hormone imbalances through the everyday choices surrounding diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation. You should aim to keep stressful cortisol levels low through meditation, acupuncture, and exercise. These activities will also prohibit inflammation in the body and keep you feeling great. Eat a diet rich in healthy fats to ensure quality nutrition, but also reduce inflammatory stress responses in the body. Part of this is to eat a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, avoiding processed carbs and trans fats especially. If you’re looking forward to a pregnancy, simply make your health a priority practice – and wait for the good news!