Wanting to boost your fertility? Exhausted with all the information out there? Overwhelmed by the long list of supplements and ‘miracle pills’ that are over-marketed and expensive? Me too! Here is a list of the 5 top things that you can do to help you conceive more quickly. This list is a refreshing guide that requires little monetary input, but makes a big impact on your overall health and fertility. Let’s break it down to the basics!
1. Get Enough Sleep!
Sleep is the natural time for our bodies to heal. Rest, recovery and rebuilding are essential functions of our sleep cycles for every cell in the body. But did you know that sleep helps the body naturally regulate hormones, which play a vital role in ovulation and menstruation? Studies show that getting at least 8 hours sleep per night can make a dramatic difference in mood, pain levels, immune health and fertility! Bottom line: Shoot for at least 8 hours of good quality sleep each night, keep your bedtime and wake times consistent, and develop good sleep hygiene habits. Keep low artificial light in the bedroom, i.e. no blue lights from screens up to two hours before bed, and keep the temperature moderate to cool to ensure a good night‘s sleep.
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Stress isn’t good for our bodies or our minds, and it’s especially hard on our fertility. Developing tools to help manage daily stress will serve you not only throughout your fertility journey, but for the rest of your life. It’s unrealistic to eliminate all of life’s stressors, of course, but we can change how we respond to them dramatically with mindfulness and focus. Our minds are amazingly responsive and adaptive, and are able to recondition our reaction to events in our lives. By taking the time – just 5-10 minutes a day – to focus on being still and taking deep slow breaths, we can begin to access that calm state more easily each time. Any regular relaxation practice will drop us out of the dreaded, fertility-damaging “Fight or Flight” state, and get us back to the natural “Feed and Breed” default that makes our fertility thrive. There are so many great meditation apps or yoga classes that can guide you through the process and get you on the road to Zen! Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer are excellent ones to check out. And here’s a great article about the effects of stress on fertility: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028216532750
3. Eat the Rainbow!
It’s true – we are the sum of our parts, and the tiniest but most fundamental part of us is the trillions of cells that make up who we are. Everyday all of those cells are being exposed to the harmful effects of chemicals called Free Radicals, which are the toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism. The vitamins and minerals the body uses to counteract oxidative stress are called antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in an abundance of foods, from dark chocolate to purple potatoes, and the more we can incorporate the “eat the rainbow” philosophy into our diets the better. Focus on foods that are rich in all types of colors; dark leafy greens, red chard, purple carrots, goji berries, blueberries, yellow peppers and green tea! Antioxidants help slow down cell aging, which can have a positive effect on egg quality, and may even reverse the effects of aging on the ovaries. The more vital our cells are, the healthier we are, and, in turn the more fertile we can be.
4. Warm Up!
Remember your Grandmother always telling you to put shoes on or you will catch cold? Turns out that is actually true: Not only does constant exposure to cold weather weaken our immune systems, but it actually slows and inhibits blood flow through your body. Chinese medicine has always made a connection between the feet and the uterus, and is vehement about keeping the feet and belly warm at all times. Keeping warm, especially in the winter months, will improve your circulation overall and specifically helps the blood flow through the uterus and ovaries. The better the flow, the higher the chances of producing good quality eggs and a fluffy uterine lining, and a better chance of conception. So, keep those socks and layers on to chase away cold and call in your baby!
5. See a Fertility Specialist NOW!
If you have been trying to conceive more than a year if you’re under 35, or more than 6 months if you’re over 35, it’s time to check in with someone who can help you assess your unique situation. That may be an MD, an ND, or an Acupuncturist who specializes in fertility. A knowledgeable, experienced provider can help you determine next steps, whether that’s running tests, adding supplements or utilizing the tools of Chinese medicine. Often getting prescribed the right supplements or herbs can help you get pregnant faster than trying on your own, or using ideas you got from the internet. It’s especially helpful to go to a clinic that has an integrative approach, where you can find conventional and complementary providers under one roof. And here’s the kicker: THEY COLLABORATE to give you the best care out there. So, if you want to conceive soon, please don’t wait any longer to make that consult appointment. Give your journey to parenthood a jump start!
Let us know how you do with making these changes, and share your successes with us below!