Fertility Health and Diet
Being healthy is always important for your general well being, but good physical and mental health is particularly important when you are trying to conceive. Good health encompasses diet and nutrition, exercise, and general mental and emotional well being.
Improve Your Health
Eat healthy. Be sure to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables for optimal fertility. Buy vegetables that are bright in color such as red peppers, dark green, leaf vegetables and kale. Keep both fruit and vegetables around and enjoy eating 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables every day. Nix the take out and foods high in calories and fat, these will be inhibit optimal reproductive health.
Maintain an optimal weight. This means a weight that is neither too heavy, nor too thin. Excess body fat, or not enough, can cause irregularities in your cycle and inhibit ovulation. If you are over weight, an exercise regiment can boost your body's ability to function over all, and increase blood flow to your reproductive system, which encourages regular ovulation and hormonal balance.
Sleep Well. One of your body's most important systems, the endocrine system, does not function well without proper sleep. This can drastically increase your chances of infertility because the endocrine system plays an important role in regulating ovulation.
Vitamin and Mineral Support
When trying-to-conceive, you should take a prenatal vitamin or ideally a fertility supplement such as FertilAid. Folic acid should be taken daily in addition to other vitamins and minerals. Folic acid has been shown not only to decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects like spina bifida, but it has also been shown to reduce other birth defects like congenital heart conditions. It is especially recommended that women increase their intake of folic acid even before trying to conceive. Folic acid is a water-soluble B-vitamin - which means that it does not remain in the body for very long, so a regular, daily dosage is required.
In addition to a prenatal vitamin, it's further recommended to take an omega-3 supplement when trying to conceive (and during pregnancy). Omega-3 fatty acids are key to human growth and development, but are not naturally synthesized by the body. This means that Omega-3s must be obtained from foods, particularly from seafood sources, oils (e.g., flaxseed oil), or dietary supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are a vital nutritional contributor to enhanced pregnancy health. But unlike folic acid, which is today well-known for its pregnancy and preconception benefits in preventing common birth defects, the profound value of Omega-3 fatty acids is just now becoming clear in nutritional research - and to the public. Hence, very few trying-to-conceive women know much about Omega-3s.
Often overlooked are the benefits of herbs to enhance fertility. Chasteberry or vitex (vitex agnus-castus) is a fertility-promoting herb with a long, safe history of human use. As far back as ancient Greece, vitex agnus castus was recognized for its herbal-medicinal properties and was utilized for a number of health complaints. The Germans call vitex "Monk's Pepper" and for centuries women in Europe have used vitex to increase their odds of conceiving a baby, as well as to treat symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance, skin condition, or PMS.
More recently, science has validated the fertility-enhancing properties of this dynamic herb. Vitex has been shown in several clinical studies to help stimulate and stabilize the reproductive hormones involved in ovulation, cycle balance, and menstrual regularity. These studies also document a statistically-significant increase in fertility among women using vitex, with more pregnancies than in control groups using a placebo. Vitex is an important ingredient in FertiliTea which contains a number of other fertility enhancing and nutritive herbs such as Red Raspberry Leaf, Green Tea, Ladies Mantle and Nettle Leaf.
Couples who are trying to conceive are now, more than ever, turning to more natural ways of addressing infertility. Scientifically validated, fertility supplements are leading to dramatic increases in conception rates and providing a healthful alternative to conventional infertility treatments such as prescription drugs and/or fertility treatments such as IVF.
Studies have also shown that relaxation techniques such as yoga can increase chances of conception. There has been a great deal of study on the connection between stress, physiology and conception rates. It's suggested that yoga helps to lessen stress levels and increase circulation, supporting the movement of blood and important nutrients to the reproductive organs.
What to Avoid
Avoid Stress. Leading a stress-free lifestyle is part of achieving optimal health. Ironically, stress is commonly a byproduct of not being able to conceive. While the anxiety of frustrating attempts to have a baby is real and understandable, stress does need to be reduced to improve reproductive health. To maximize your chances, your body must be in optimal condition! See the information above about fertility yoga and acupuncture as proven methods of stress release and optimal fertility.
Don't smoke or drink alcohol when trying to conceive. Cigarettes contain numerous toxins that can cause damage to a woman's reproductive health. Alcohol use can alter estrogen levels and interfere with egg implantation, as well as severely damage a fetus once pregnant. There are numerous other reasons why you should not smoke or drink while trying to conceive; all of which support the fact that both activities significantly decrease your chances to conceive. It has been found that women who drink alcohol consistently while trying to conceive decrease their chances of conception by as much as 50 percent!
Avoiding caffeine while trying to get pregnant. While study results have been mixed about whether caffeine inhibits fertility, most doctors advise consuming low amounts of caffeine while trying to get pregnant. Some studies have shown that caffeine can also cause miscarriages. While expert opinions are mixed on this subject, it is best to play it safe and consume low amounts of caffeine.
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause birth defects. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any medications.