Increasing Your Chances Naturally
Research and Innovations Trying to get pregnant, whether naturally or with medical help, can be fraught with worry over whether you are doing everything you should to be at your healthiest and most fertile. Here are some fertility friendly guidelines to boost your baby making efforts.
Research on the best kind of diet to eat for fertility can be summarized as:
- Eat more vegetable protein (beans, nuts, seeds).
- Eat less animal protein, but have one daily serving of high fat dairy (low fat dairy may cause ovulation problems).
- Eat an abundance of vegetables (50 percent of lunch and dinner) and fruits (50 percent of breakfast and snacks). Avoid processed foods and junk foods.
The supplements that fertility experts recommend, especially for women and men who are in their 30s and 40s:
- Co-enzyme Q10—A powerful antioxidant that improves egg and sperm quality. Get the ubiquinol type for its ease of absorption.
- Vitamin D—During the summer, 15 minutes of sun exposure before putting on sunscreen; during the winter months take a supplement.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids—Purified fish oil or flaxseed oil for vegans and vegetarians.
- B Vitamins, in particular B6 and B12. B12 supplementation is necessary if you are vegan.
- Folic Acid—Mostly found in leafy green vegetables.
- Myo-inositol—A B vitamin that has been shown to improve IVF pregnancy rates.
- Melatonin—In women over 35, research shows this helps to increase conception rates with IVF.
- Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium—For both males and females, thought to have a positive effect on sperm and egg quality.
Studies show that acupuncture combined with IVF results in higher pregnancy rates. It’s also great if you’re trying to conceive naturally.
Look for acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors who have a large portion of their website dedicated to fertility care, as it is best to choose a practitioner who is experienced with fertility treatment and keeps up with the latest research.
A regular sex life is important to any relationship, but when you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s vital that you know the signs to look for:
After your period, look for cervical mucous, especially the egg white quality type of mucous. This could indicate that you are a day or two away from releasing an egg.
"Take note of your libido; are you more interested in love making? This is also a positive sign that you are nearing ovulation."
Do you feel a twinge or sharp pain midway through your cycle? The discomfort you’re feeling could be the moment of ovulation. Take advantage and make love within the next few hours.
You can also follow the calendar method. Most luteal phases (the period between ovulation and menses) are 10 to 16 days in length. If, for example, your cycle averages 30 days, then you could be ovulating between days 14 to 20 of your cycle. Make love on days 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 of your cycle to have the best chance of conceiving naturally.
For those of you who do not produce much cervical mucous, a sperm friendly lubricant can help. It protects sperm from the normally acidic vaginal environment, allowing sperm to get to the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place.
By: Dr. Judith Fiore
Dr. Judith Fiore, ND, is a Toronto area Naturopathic Doctor and a leading expert on natural fertility. She writes for Creating Families magazine, and will be publishing her first book on natural fertility in 2014.