You wake up and hear an unusual alert sound coming from your phone. It's your ovulation app warning you that today's the day to try to get pregnant! Now you need to find a time, rearrange your day, cancel an appointment, get in the mood, and wait.
And wait. And wait. And wait.
Getting pregnant is like playing a game of chance. Most women have a 20-25% chance of getting pregnant during any given month. Whether you are trying for your first baby or are ready to welcome some siblings, there are things you can do to boost fertility and ensure the odds are in your favor.
While you should always see a doctor if you're struggling to conceive, healthy women can employ a few clever, natural fertility boosters to game the system. We've collected 20 tips for boosting fertility at home.
The sooner you get pregnant, the sooner you can hold that sweet baby in your arms. Read on to explore our list of DIY home fertility treatments for busy, excited moms-to-be.
1. Start With the Most Important Meal
While intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast are common in our fast-paced, health-focused world, eating breakfast actually leads to increased fertility. A large, substantial breakfast can lower insulin levels or increase sperm production. Pancakes, anyone?
2. Boost Your Fiber Intake
In addition to keeping you regular, fiber can help flush excess estrogen out of your system. Many common foods contain fiber, and you only need to increase your intake by 5 grams daily to see a benefit. That's one apple a day!
3. Eat Your Plants
Since you're already upping your fiber, this is the perfect time to switch some of your protein sources from meat to plants. An increase in plant protein can decrease your risk of ovulary infertility. You don't have to become a vegetarian, but making a few small swaps can help.
4. Take Your Vitamins
Bodies work better when they have all the vitamins and nutrients they need to fire on all cylinders. Start taking a daily vitamin, prioritizing a multivitamin that contains the antioxidant folate. The healthier you are, the more prepared your body will be to carry a baby.
5. Watch Your Weight
Did you know that there is a link between fat storage and menstrual function? Body fat is one of the most significant elements associated with fertility. If you are overweight or underweight, work with a doctor or dietician to find a balance.
6. Skip Happy Hour
We all love a martini, but alcohol consumption can make it harder for some women to get pregnant. Swap out alcoholic drinks for seltzer or soda.
7. Prioritize Antioxidants
It's time to start incorporating a daily acai bowl into your diet! Antioxidant-rich foods like acai, blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, and kale can prevent sperm and egg cells from sustaining damage. A daily smoothie or handful of nuts might be the key to welcoming your bundle.
8. Try a Light Dinner
Studies suggest that eating more calories earlier in the day and fewer in the evening can increase fertility. Have a big lunch and a lighter dinner. If you have a sweet tooth, have a sweet breakfast or small treat after lunch instead of before bed.
9. Skip the Afternoon Coffee Break
While research on this is conflicting, many professionals suggest that high caffeine intake can negatively impact your ability to get pregnant. That doesn't mean you should skip your morning cup of Joe. Cutting back a little could be worth the extra yawns.
10. Cut the Carbs
A low-carb diet is helpful for women struggling with fertility, especially if it's related to PCOS. Cutting carbs can improve menstrual regularity. The more regular your cycle, the easier it will be to get pregnant.
11. Prioritize Movement
Moderate exercise leads to increased fertility in both men and women, especially those who are obese. Note that too much activity can have the opposite effect. Consider making a daily step goal and using a fitness tracker to ensure you stay active.
12. Try the Popeye Diet
If spinach worked for Popeye, it might work for you. Do what you can to increase your iron level using either diet, supplements, or a combination. The iron from plant-based sources can improve ovulatory fertility.
13. Eat the Right Fats
Your body needs healthy fats to function at its best, and the right fats can keep your reproductive system functioning at its peak. Now is a great down to cut trans fats in fried foods and hydrogenated oils out of your diet. They can impact your insulin resistance and cause infertility in men and women.
14. Look to the Bees
Some women swear on natural supplements that come from bees. Ask your doctor if bee pollen, propolis, or royal jelly might be effective for you.
15. Embrace Olive Oil
If you're going to cook with oil, choose olive oil. It's low in trans fat and high in the healthy fats your body needs to maintain a healthy cycle.
16. Don't Fear Full-Fat
In our culture, women often buy the "fat-free" version of everyday products. Resist the urge and choose full-fat dairy while trying to conceive. Swapping one serving of dairy for full-fat can decrease your risk of infertility.
17. Pay Attention to pH
Your body's pH level can impact many systems and make your body inhospitable for sperm. Stop using scented tampons, sprays, douches, or oils while you're trying to get pregnant.
18. Not All Carbs Are Equal
Refined carbs are the enemy of fertility because of their high glycemic index. They trick your body into producing fewer hormones necessary for pregnancy. Try swapping white bread for brown and choosing plant-based protein pasta.
19. Water, Water Everywhere
Hydration is necessary for everyone, but it can play a big role when you're attempting to conceive. It will flush out your system and keep all of your body's functions working at their best. Replace water lost on hot days or after exercise.
20. Chill Out
If you're stressed about trying to conceive, it may impact your ability to get pregnant. Taking time to prioritize self-care and relaxation can keep pesky stress hormones from affecting fertility. Don't feel ashamed of seeking support from a mental health professional if you struggle to manage stress alone.
Boost Fertility the Natural Way
Bodies are complex, but they rely on reliable systems and functions to do their jobs. If you want to boost fertility, use those systems to your advantage and speed up the process. If you're struggling, always speak to your doctor about your fertility options—you'll welcome a healthy, happy baby into the world soon!
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