According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of women in the United States ages 15-44 (6.1 million) have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.
Fertility is a naturally occurring process in the body that can be turned off if it doesn’t feel it can safely sustain a pregnancy. If you are not ready for medical intervention or want to try a few natural remedies first, here are 5 ways to naturally boost your fertility.
A recent Harvard study showed that diets high in vegetables, good fats and lean meats (think Mediterranean cuisine) had positive effects on fertility. They also found that those with diets rich in processed foods, red meats and sweets had negative effects on fertility.
To get your nutrition moving in the right direction, begin replacing your processed foods with organic fresh vegetables, fruits and starches such as sweet potatoes and squash. Also, add some healthy fats into your diet. Foods such as coconut oil, olives, eggs, avocados and nuts can help your body absorb the good vitamins and nutrients while optimizing your nerve, brain and heart function.
Have fun with new foods and don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes like this one!!
Sleep is vital to the production of many hormones.
Studies have shown that women with low melatonin and serotonin levels have a shorter luteal phase (time between ovulation and menstruation) and consequently, have a lower chance of conceiving. Lack of sleep also impairs the body’s ability to properly regulate adrenaline, cortisol and insulin, also making conception very difficult. This may mean going to bed a few hours earlier at night or taking a nap during the day.
Listen to your body and be attentive to its needs!
This is always easier said than done.
Making time for yourself is the hardest thing to do, but also the most important. Studies have shown that stress can lead to hormonal disturbances that prevent normal ovulatory cycles. So, go for a walk, meditate, put together a puzzle or get your nails done.
Do things that you love and make you happy!
You can’t out-supplement a poor diet, but when trying to boost fertility, consider adding these supplements to your daily routine.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is very common in America, especially during the winter months. Recent studies have linked inadequate Vitamin D levels to infertility and miscarriages. Getting outside and enjoying some sunlight is the best way to naturally boost your Vitamin D intake. When that isn’t a possibility, enjoying fresh salmon, herring, tuna or shrimp can help boost your levels.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is good for both male and female fertility. It helps trigger ovulation for women and supports healthy sperm count and mobility for men. Strawberries, oranges and blueberries are all naturally high in Vitamin C and great for your body!
- Folate – Folate (not Folic Acid) is a necessary vitamin in pregnancy that helps promote healthy growth and development but also works to promote ovulation. You can increase your folate intake by incorporating leafy greens, citrus fruit, berries and bananas into your diet.
Before incorporating any new supplements into your diet, always talk to your Primary Care Physician (PCP) first. They can advise you on how much to take, when to take it and if any of these supplements could potentially conflict with your current medications.
A recent study found that women whose BMI (body mass index) is in the overweight or obese category have a much harder time becoming pregnant. Estrogen production from fat cells can also affect the ovaries and prevent eggs from being released each month. Maintaining a healthy weight and establishing good exercise habits now can help you have a more enjoyable pregnancy and a faster recovery postpartum.
Not all exercise is created equal! For women who are trying to get pregnant, Erica has designed her 6-phase program inside her Prenatal + Core Rehab Membership that focuses on strengthening your deep core, rebuilding your fascia, improving your posture all while creating space throughout your entire body. Inside the membership, there are workouts, tutorials, guides, nutrition information, meal plans and more to help set your body up for success.
Getting pregnant is a journey and is sometimes not an easy one that you don’t have to go through alone. Members also have access to the amazing community of women who are there to support you, motivate you and help guide you through every step of your journey.