For the 15 percent of couples who struggle with infertility, medical treatments are the sole solution. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, our success rate for a single live birth is almost 30 percent, which puts us among the top 10 fertility clinics in the country. We’ve got fertility treatments down to a science, but even so, many couples like the added insurance of boosting their chances of pregnancy through natural efforts. Here are 12 ways to naturally increase your fertility while going through treatments.
1. Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Folate, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E have been shown to deactivate free radicals, which can damage sperm and egg cells. Eating foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains (which are rich in antioxidants), may help improve fertility in both men and women.
2. Quit Smoking
This might seem obvious, but smoking can affect fertility in both men and women. It can disrupt hormone levels and lead to early menopause in women. Smoking can also reduce semen quality in men.
3. Avoid Excess Alcohol
Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect fertility in men and women as well.
4. Avoid Trans Fats
Healthy fats are important for boosting fertility, but trans fats can cause ovulation disorders and should be avoided.
5. Cut Down on Refined Carbs
Following a low-carb diet may improve hormone levels associated with fertility and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, lower insulin and testosterone levels, and reduce fat, which can aid in menstrual regularity. Refined carbs, in particular, which are found in sugary and processed foods, cause spikes in blood sugar, have a high glycemic index (GI), and are associated with a greater risk of ovulatory infertility.
6. Switch to Plant-Based Protein Sources
Replacing some animal proteins with plant-based sources (such as beans, nuts, and seeds) may protect against infertility.
7. Opt for High-Fat Dairy
Low-fat foods and dairy items may seem like a good idea at first, but they may actually increase the risk of infertility. Studies showed that an extra eight ounces of whole milk, however, can cut the risk of irregular ovulation by 50 percent.
8. Start Taking Multivitamins
Taking multivitamins—especially those with folate, vitamin E, and vitamin B6—may decrease the chances of irregular ovulation. Adding a multivitamin to your daily routine can ensure you get all the nutrients you need in your diet and help boost your fertility.
9. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Evidence is mixed, but some studies have shown that caffeine may negatively affect female fertility. High caffeine intake before pregnancy may also be associated with miscarriage. While nothing is exactly conclusive, it might be a good idea to cut back on caffeine while you’re trying to get pregnant.
10. Get Active
Exercise has several health benefits including increased fertility. However, too much high-intensity workouts can have the opposite effect. Moderation is key, but being active (even just taking regular walks), will always have a valuable effect on your overall health and be worthwhile.
11. Make Time to Relax
We’ve said before, stressing less could lead to more successful fertility treatments. As your stress increases, your chance of getting pregnant decreases—due, in large part, to stress’s effects on hormone levels. We understand that stress is an almost natural reaction to not being able to conceive naturally and if you’re feeling symptoms of stress (i.e., headaches, stomach cramps, insomnia, etc.) consider speaking to a health professional.
12. Achieve a Healthy Weight
Weight is one of the greatest influencers when it comes to fertility. Women who are at an unhealthy weight tend to have longer or irregular cycles, which makes it more difficult to achieve a pregnancy. Additionally, being overweight can lead to issues with embryo growth and being underweight can lead to a higher risk of ovarian dysfunction and early delivery. Men who are overweight may also experience infertility or contribute to a nonviable pregnancy.
It’s our mission at AZCREI to help you have a successful pregnancy, no matter the treatments or procedures to help you get there. And our team is here to walk with you through the entire journey. Contact us today by calling (520) 326-0001 or visit us online to schedule a time to meet with us.