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How to Increase Fertility Naturally: 9 Ways to Improve Fertility

Congratulations! You’ve decided to get pregnant. Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, it’s nearly impossible to predict how long it will take for conception to occur. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to stack the odds in your favor.

How to increase fertility

1. Stick to a fertility diet

Choose wholesome foods, such as leafy greens, fresh fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Healthy eating enhances reproductive health and may address ovulatory infertility, which accounts for one-quarter of all fertility complications. This is when a woman either ovulates infrequently or not at all.

Consuming the right kinds of foods encourages consistent egg production. Instead of red meat, swap in tofu, beans, and other legumes in at least one meal a day. Opt for full-fat dairy products such as whole milk and regular yogurt instead of skim varieties.

Keeping your carb intake low and avoiding refined carbs can help maintain a healthy weight and lower levels of testosterone and insulin. Both of these hormones contribute to infertility.

Eggs, nuts, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and cod provide omega-3 fatty acids, a compound your body doesn’t produce on its own. Omega-3s encourage egg production and improve blood flow to your reproductive organs.

While pregnant, your body needs more iron than usual due to an increased blood supply. You can ward off anemia and foster oxygen circulation throughout your body by eating beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, and beets.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight helps to increase fertility

Both underweight and overweight women tend to experience more difficulty conceiving. As a general rule, a body mass index (BMI) of 20–24 is conducive to getting pregnant. Obese and underweight women may have irregular menstrual cycles or none at all.

As a general rule, a body mass index (BMI) of 20–24 is conducive to getting pregnant. Obese and underweight women may have irregular menstrual cycles or none at all.

Though it’s certainly possible to conceive when your weight is outside this range, the excess hormones produced by fat tissues affect both ovulation and pregnancy. An overabundance of estrogen in your body, for example, functions as a type of birth control, tricking your body into thinking it’s already pregnant and skipping the ovulation process. Obesity also raises your risk of developing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), another potential cause of infertility. In addition, being overweight during pregnancy can have serious consequences for your baby’s health. They’re at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, spina bifida, high cholesterol, and heart defects.

At the same time, underweight women also demonstrate a higher incidence of infertility. A BMI under 18.5 signals your body to begin making less estrogen or none at all. This, in turn, triggers irregular menstrual cycles and fertility issues.

3. Eliminate alcohol and tobacco

Alcohol, tobacco, and recreational marijuana all negatively impact your reproductive health. Binge drinking (more than five drinks in a single sitting) increases the likelihood of irregular ovulation. Even light drinking several times a week hurts your chances of getting pregnant. 

Once pregnant, alcohol consumption is particularly harmful to the fetus during weeks 3 through 8 and could lead to irreversible damage. 

Alcohol, tobacco, and recreational marijuana all negatively impact your reproductive health. Binge drinking (more than five drinks in a single sitting) increases the likelihood of irregular ovulation.

The chemicals contained in cigarettes, on the other hand, literally reduce the number of eggs you have. Unlike sperm, which are continually produced, the female body is born with a set number of eggs. Once they’re gone, they cannot be replaced. Additionally, tobacco smoke affects ovulation, causing irregularities or the failure to release an egg mid-cycle.

4. Take prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are specifically designed to provide everything a growing fetus needs. They’re made with higher proportions of folic acid, which allows your baby’s neural tube to fuse properly during the second and third weeks of pregnancy. Since you may not even be aware you’re pregnant at this point, it’s wise to take folic acid while trying to conceive. 

Another fertility-enhancing nutrient is vitamin D, which aids in the production of sex hormones in both men and women. A lack of vitamin D results in low estrogen levels, and nearly 40 percent of women with ovulation dysfunction have a vitamin D deficiency.

5. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water and avoiding sodas and sugary beverages may further boost your chances of conceiving. Aside from improving blood flow, proper hydration ensures your cervix is easily penetrated by sperm as it adds viscosity to your cervical mucus.

In contrast, dehydration is detrimental to egg health, making it less likely one will become fertilized or develop into an embryo. 

6. Manage stress

A woman doing deep breathing exercises to help combat stress

Mental and psychological health are more closely linked to reproductive health than you might think. The added stress of trying to conceive can cause hormonal shifts that tell your body it’s not the right time to have a baby. Cortisol, a stress hormone, proceeds to disrupt communication between your brain and ovaries, which causes irregular cycles.

Cortisol, a stress hormone, proceeds to disrupt communication between your brain and ovaries, which causes irregular cycles.

Engaging in mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and cognitive behavioral therapy will help combat stress.

7. Monitor your ovulation

Increase your chances of getting pregnant by keeping a close eye on your ovulation cycle. Eggs remain viable for roughly 12 to 14 hours, while sperm can live inside the female body for up to 5 days. Ensuring they’re both present in your uterus at the same time (or that the sperm is there before the egg) increases the likelihood of fertilization.

Options to detect ovulation include tracking basal body temperature, breast sensitivity, and cervical mucus. Or, you can purchase ovulation tracking kits from your local pharmacy and test yourself mid-cycle to determine when an egg is present.

8. Get busy in the bedroom

Regular love-making can offer stress relief for both partners

Regular love-making can offer stress relief for both partners. This aids blood flow to your ovaries and uterus, creating a hospitable environment for fertilization by keeping the egg and sperm viable longer. Ideally, you want to have sex in the three days preceding ovulation.

9. See an OB-GYN

If you’re having difficulty conceiving, make an appointment with your OB-GYN to run fertility tests, determine if you need to make lifestyle changes, and prescribe treatment, if necessary. 

Your doctor may check your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which triggers the release of eggs. A shortage of FSH is sometimes linked to irregular ovulation, even in the presence of regular periods. It can also prevent you from ovulating mid-cycle, completely altering your fertile window.

A shortage of FSH is sometimes linked to irregular ovulation, even in the presence of regular periods. It can also prevent you from ovulating mid-cycle, completely altering your fertile window.

If these methods don’t work, there are medical interventions that can help, including drugs such as clomiphene citrate, which promote healthy ovulation. Intrauterine insemination can also be performed by your ob-gyn. For more information, consult your doctor.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/follow-fertility-diet

https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-weight/weight-fertility-and-pregnancy

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5504800/

https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/smoking-and-infertility/

https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/fertility/best-vitamins-and-minerals-to-aid-conception/

https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/infertility-stress

https://www.todaysparent.com/getting-pregnant/how-to-get-pregnant-faster/

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