Whether you’re just getting ready to start trying or you’ve been attempting to get pregnant for a while without success, many people want to know how to increase fertility or how to increase the chances of getting pregnant.
The good thing is that there are some easy lifestyle changes that both men and women can make to significantly increase fertility and the chance of getting pregnant naturally. If needed, these natural remedies to increase fertility can be combined with some more aggressive medications and treatments to further improve the odds of getting pregnant. Remember, infertility is clinically defined as the inability to get pregnant after 6 months (if over the age of 35) or 12 months if under the age of 35, and there is no shame in seeking help from a fertility doctor when needed. Some, like those with PCOS or blocked tubes, certainly have a reason to get help from a specialist even sooner.
It’s also important to remember that the sooner men and women can make these changes, the more they increase the chances of getting pregnant. Egg and sperm development both begin as far as 90 days prior (well actually around 74 days for sperm) to ovulation and ejaculation, so changes you make today don’t fully take effect for a full 90 days. Because of this, it’s important that the changes you make to increase your fertility and the chances of getting pregnant are done in a sustainable way. Take your time, go slow, but get started with improving your fertility today.
How to Increase Fertility Naturally
Whether you’re a man or a woman, most people want to take the path of least resistance and find ways to improve their fertility naturally prior to seeking expensive fertility treatments. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that behavior and dietary changes can be all that’s necessary to increase your fertility and help get you pregnant, so let’s get started with that.
Foods that Increase Men and Women’s Fertility
Eat Fat to Increase the Odds of Getting Pregnant:
One of the primary reasons couples have difficulty conceiving is inflammation. Chronic levels of inflammation are often the result of micro contaminants found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, but mostly in the foods we eat. Inflammation elicits an immune response, which sends our bodies into further turmoil. An overactive immune system can attack egg, sperm, embryo, and even a developing fetus. This can result in difficulty achieving pregnancy, maintaining pregnancy, or repeated miscarriages.
Eating fat is one of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation and improve immunologic function. Fat is an essential component of our diet and plays a vital role in total body health. Fat gives our cells structure. It’s necessary for bone health, to protect our liver from toxins, make our immune system function correctly, and fat allows our bodies to absorb a number of essential vitamins.
Saturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation, whether it’s through dietary consumption or intravenous intralipids. Fat may suppress the activity of natural killer cells in our immune system and help dial back the immune response and thus inflammation. At CNY Fertility, Dr. Robert Kiltz recommends a high fat, moderate protein, and low to no carbohydrate diet. He calls this the B.E.B.B.I. Diet (pronounced “baby”) for its mainstay foods: Bacon, Eggs, Butter, Beef, and Ice cream made from full-fat heavy cream (with little sugar).
Eat fat, but Avoid Trans Fats when Trying to Increase Your Fertility
Highly processed and fried foods tend to be high in trans fats. These types of fats can be harmful. They’re a form of unsaturated fat. The most damaging trans fats are high in omega-6 and occur when certain oils (vegetable, canola, soybean, corn) are chemically altered to remain solid at room temperature, such as the case of margarine or shortening.
Trans fats have been associated with ovulatory problems. Diets higher in trans fats and lower in unsaturated fats have been linked to infertility. A large observational study concluded that a diet higher in trans fats and lower in unsaturated fats was linked to infertility.
Antioxidants Can Boost Fertility
Antioxidants have been a buzz word for quite a while, but what are they? Throughout our bodies, we have free radicals, which are unstable cells that cause damage and disease. Going back to high school chemistry, when oxygen molecules split into single atoms with unpaired electrons, they become unstable free radicals and seek to bond to other atoms or molecules. As this continues to happen, it begins a process called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress damages cells in our bodies and can lead to a range of damage and disease, as simple as wrinkles in our skin, and the quality of sperm and egg. Antioxidants can deactivate these free radicals preventing further damage.
For men, in particular, eating foods high in antioxidants may help improve sperm quality. Various studies have shown that antioxidants like folate and zinc may improve fertility in both men and women. Men who chose to eat up to 75 grams of walnuts daily were able to improve sperm quality in one study .
Another study followed 60 couples going through IVF and found that taking an antioxidant supplement improved their chances of conception by 23%.
Antioxidants are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, certain nuts and grains that contain vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and folate.
Be Caffeine Conscious When Trying to Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
That morning cup of coffee might be a non-negotiable part of your morning routine, but when it comes to caffeine, don’t overdo it. A cup of coffee to start the day is fine, but multiple cups and a steady stream of caffeine-laden beverages throughout the day can have an adverse effect on your fertility, leading to longer times to conceive and higher miscarriage risk . When trying to conceive, it’s good to limit your caffeine consumption.
This article was written by CNY Fertility.