Most couples dream of starting a family and do not anticipate that conceiving a baby, which appears to be easy for many, will be challenging or even impossible for them. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that about 17.5% of the world’s adult population is affected by infertility. Dealing with infertility can be stressful for any person, and it has the potential to interfere with their work, family, and relationships. These challenges may leave them questioning what can be done to deal with this dilemma. Although there are medical treatments available for infertility, there are a few natural ways in which we can increase the chances of fertility. This article explores a few remedies to boost fertility naturally.
Natural remedies for infertility
Modify your diet
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most important natural infertility treatment options
Foods to include
- Organic food: As chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers can affect the level of sex hormones, it is recommended to switch to organic foods. Organic farming methods use pesticides and fertilizers made from natural ingredients that are free from synthetic chemicals.
- Omega-3-rich foods: Studies have shown that omega-3 helps reduce inflammation, promote fertilization, regulate ovulation, improve egg quality, and delay the aging of the ovaries. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include fish and seafood, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines; nuts and seeds, including chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed; plant oils like canola oil and soybean oil; and leafy green vegetables.
- Antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidants are proven to improve fertility in both men and women. Incorporating antioxidants in your diet can naturally reduce free radicals that could damage egg cells and sperm in the body. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are naturally packed with antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, folate, and lutein.
- Vitamin C-rich foods: Apart from containing antioxidants, vitamin C helps to increase sperm count in men and ovulation in women. Additionally, vitamin C-rich foods help in the absorption of iron, which is an important mineral for pregnancy. Food items, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and grapefruit, are rich in vitamin C.
- Foods rich in folate: Folate is helpful in preventing birth defects and building new cells. Experts suggest women take folate before getting pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits are rich in folate.
Foods to avoid
- Trans fat: While having healthy fats is the basis of every balanced diet, trans fat can increase the risk of infertility. Thus, if you are trying to get pregnant, it is wise to avoid trans fats altogether. Baked, processed, and fried foods are rich in trans fat.
- Refined sugar: Refined sugar can reduce immunity and increase the risk of obesity. Both of these are detrimental to fertility.
- Alcohol: Excessive intake of alcohol is linked to inflammation and low immunity. In women, drinking alcohol can increase the risk of ovulation disorders. In men, alcohol use can lower testosterone levels and sperm production.
- Caffeine: Although minimal levels of caffeine do not harm pregnancy, overconsumption can cause hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies. These could possibly affect the chances of getting pregnant.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintain a healthy weight: Experts say over 12% of infertility incidences are linked to body weight. This is said to affect both men and women. Being underweight may result in the inhibition of estrogen and irregularities in the menstrual cycle. On the other hand, being obese or overweight could increase estrogen production and interfere with ovulation. Hence, maintaining a healthy weight is important for fertility.
Avoid carbonated and sugary beverages and instead drink plenty of water. Being hydrated is said to increase the viscosity of cervical mucus, thus increasing the chances of getting pregnant.
Medical research does not support the notion that stress alone causes infertility. But if you are facing infertility, it can make you feel stressed. Stress can affect fertility when the stress associated with infertility and treatment leads to a decrease in sexual life or when it affects your motivation to continue.
Meditation and yoga: You don’t need any special tools or equipment to meditate. All you need to do is spend a few minutes a day in a peaceful place where you won’t be disturbed. Gentle activities like yoga or tai chi, which involve slow moments and breathing exercises, can help you stay balanced and provide a calming effect.
Also read: Fertility Yoga Poses
Stay physically active
Exercising regularly can increase our overall health and help us maintain a normal weight. Moderate physical activities have shown positive effects on the fertility of men and women. However, high-intensity exercise can have a negative impact on fertility and conception.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is vital to fertility as it aids in producing adequate melatonin levels, which are essential for the functioning of hormones. Studies show that women who have low serotonin and melatonin levels have a shorter time between ovulation and menstruation. This can reduce the chances of conception. Getting enough sleep could also reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.
Re-establish intimacy with your partner
In the midst of trying to get pregnant, the intimacy between you and your partner may seem to disappear. The act of being intimate feels more like an obligation than something enjoyable. Nonetheless, any type of intimacy, be it romantic or sexual, can assist in lessening your stress and bringing back your old self. In order to understand each other’s requirements and cope with infertility, it is essential to communicate and spend time with your partner. Doing this can help prevent any disagreements, strengthen the bond, and increase the chances of conceiving.
If fertilization at the first attempt is unsuccessful, do not despair. You should know that about 80% of couples succeed within a year of trying, and 90% of them succeed within two years. Therefore, it is important to stay motivated on your fertility journey. A few lifestyle changes, improved nutrition, proper rest, and the mentioned natural remedies can get you closer to parenthood. If you continue to have difficulty, it is advisable to seek medical treatment.