Diet to Improve Fertility
Learning how to build one's diet is one of the best ways to increase fertility. A balanced and nutritious meal plan can also help a woman prepare her body for the demands of pregnancy.
Benefits of Fertility Diet
Proper nutrition can ensure hormonal balance and regular menstruation, both of which can make a woman more fertile.
Optimal weight is necessary for maintaining normal ovulatory cycles as obesity is one of the main risk factors for ovulation problems.
Foods that Boost Fertility
A fertility diet is all about balance and smart food choices. A woman is encouraged to build her meals with the following three macronutrients that are rich in essential pre-pregnancy vitamins and minerals:
Complex carbohydrates should constitute 45-65% of daily calorie intake. They include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Lean protein should constitute 10-35 % of daily calories. Plant-based protein, like beans, nuts, or seeds, along with low-mercury fish and eggs should be favored over meat.
Healthy fats, making up 20-35% of daily calories, can include mono- and polyunsaturated fats, like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish.
Plenty of water
Foods that Might Decrease Fertility
Studies have shown that a diet rich in the following foods can increase the risk of ovulatory disruption and restrict blood flow to the reproductive organs, thus negatively affecting a woman's chances of conceiving:
Trans fats: fried foods, margarine, or chips
Animal protein: red meat
Refined carbohydrates: white bread, candies, or pastries
Excess caffeine or alcohol
Supplements to Increase Fertility Naturally
When it comes to supplements, more is not always best. Unless there are nutritional deficiencies that require a more personalized regimen, women should try to obtain the majority of essential nutrients through food and only take the preferred supplement to complement their diets.
Taking a multivitamin along with one of the herbs for fertility is the most common preconception supplementation, though it is best to consult with a doctor beforehand.
Fertility Vitamins & Minerals
The following nutrients are necessary for proper functioning of the reproductive system and can be supplemented in case of deficiencies:
Vitamins, especially A, B complex, and D, play an important role in keeping cervical mucus sperm-friendly and aiding in the development of ovarian eggs.
Minerals, such as zinc, iron, or selenium, are key to maintaining regular periods, healthy ovulation, and proper egg maturation, all of which naturally increase a woman's chances of getting pregnant.
Other nutrients recognized for their positive effects on female reproduction include coenzyme Q10, l-arginine, l-carnitine, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others.
Herbs for Fertility
Herbal supplements can increase fertility in women by bringing about hormonal balance, enhancing ovulation, and regulating menstrual cycles. They include:
Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, such as black cohosh, dong quai, or licorice, contain naturally occurring compounds that mimic the functions of the body's own estrogen, thus restoring its balance and fertility.
Hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem, are considered one of the safest female fertility boosters as they encourage the endocrine glands to optimize their hormone production, making conception more feasible.
Although the benefits of exercise on health are well known, certain physical activities can actually adversely affect a woman's chances of conception. Knowing how to improve female fertility with exercise is, therefore, essential.
Pros of Exercising to Boost Fertility
Weight control. Women with a high body mass index can safely achieve their optimal weight with exercise to relieve irregular periods and restore their reproductive potential.
Stress relief can reduce the levels of accumulated cortisol, a stress hormone that can disrupt the brain's signaling for the ovaries to mature eggs before ovulation.
Blood flow stimulation through exercise can benefit the reproductive organs, especially egg maturation in the ovaries.
High libido and overall sexual satisfaction can translate to an increased frequency of intercourse and boosted chances of getting pregnant.
Cons of Fertility Exercise
Although women can greatly benefit from exercising, strenuous workouts can ironically disrupt hormonal production needed for ovulation, making it more difficult to time intercourse to conceive. Also, having low body fat as a result of over exercising and poor diet can stop monthly periods, a condition called amenorrhea, and make pregnancy impossible.
Tips on Making Exercise Fertility-Friendly
The key to preventing exercise from hurting a woman's fertility lies in regulating its duration and intensity.
Having workouts last no more than 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times a week will allow a woman to reap the desired benefits without compromising her chances of motherhood.
Opting for low to moderate-level exercises that consist of cardio and muscle-strengthening workouts are optimal for fertility. Great ideas include light jogging, swimming, brisk walking, and dancing.
Strenuous routines, such as heavy-weight lifting, endurance training, or long-distance running, should be avoided.
Alternative Therapies for Fertility Enhancement
Alternative therapies can be used to increase fertility in women thanks to their ability to stimulate blood flow to the reproductive organs, which ensures optimal egg maturation, and release stress that is known to hinder ovulation.
Although science has yet to discover the exact mechanisms, the most popular techniques that have shown beneficial for fertility include the following:
Meditation and mindfulness can be wonderful in lowering women's anxiety and stress, especially those struggling with infertility. It encourages women to focus their attention on the present moment and prevent their minds form filling with worry. Nowadays, meditation classes and programs are widely available on the internet, often for free, or in the local communities.
Fertility yoga poses are popular among aspiring mothers for their benefits on the body and the mind. It combines the benefits of exercise and meditation in one while promoting good circulation to the uterus, strengthening pelvic floor muscles, and enabling women to awaken their libido. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, all of which are known stress relievers and mood boosters.
While it has been widely studied in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), acupuncture can promote adequate hormonal release, increase blood flow to the endometrium and other reproductive organs, and regulate menstrual cycle.
As women put concrete steps toward becoming mothers, they often search for ways to increase fertility. For starters, keeping a nutritious diet can resolve potential deficiencies, help women get back in shape, and enable them to develop good eating habits that can benefit them throughout pregnancies. Other natural ways to increase fertility might include taking herbal supplements, such as essential vitamins and minerals or herbs for fertility, including those containing phytoestrogens, like black cohosh, or balancing properties, like Macafem. Also, regular low- to moderate-level exercise, such as light jogging, swimming, or dancing, can stabilize hormones, manage weight loss, and increase libido, all of which translate to optimal fertility. Finally, adding stress-relief techniques, like meditation or yoga, can bring women a step closer to motherhood with more ease and tranquility.
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