Tips for Increasing Fertility in Women
There is a great deal your fertility doctor can do to help improve your odds of having a child. But even better, there is also ways to increase fertility that you can do on your own as well to boost your health and increase your fertility.
What to Avoid While Trying to Increase Your Fertility
The following can reduce your chances of getting — and staying — pregnant so it’s smart to stay away from them prior to conception and throughout pregnancy.
Caffeine. It has been associated with infertility and miscarriage so limit yourself to no more than one cup of decaf coffee or tea per day. Chocolate, soda, and any other source of caffeine should also be avoided. (Fertility & Sterility, 2010)
Smoking. It can decreases your chance of getting pregnant by 50% as well as increase your chance of miscarriage. (Fertility & Sterility, 2008)
Alcohol. It has been shown to lower the pregnancy rate as well as increase the risk of miscarriage. (Fertility & Sterility, 2015)
How to Increase Fertility in Women
Moderate Exercise. Just a brisk 30—minute walk several times a week has been shown to increase fertility in women and men. Please be aware, however, some studies have shown that more than 3-5 hours of vigorous exercise per week actually reduces female fertility.
Lose Excess Weight. A BMI over 30 decreases a woman’s fertility while increasing the chance of miscarriage and premature birth, and the higher the BMI, the worse the effects.
Nutrition. Now is the time to focus on fertility foods such as high-quality sources of protein (seafood and poultry), fruits and vegetables — all of which can help maximize vitamins and minerals, and stabilize blood sugar — and eliminate junk foods and toxic ingredients such as trans fats. Recent studies have shown that this “Mediterranean diet” increases fertility for both partners. Other studies show that antioxidants, monounsaturated oils, and omega-3s are also very beneficial for enhancing your fertility diet.
Antioxidants. As women age, the levels of antioxidants in the fluid around each egg decrease. Without this protection, the egg is less able to get the nutrition it needs as it matures. As a result, embryo quality and the chance of pregnancy are reduced. In men, lack of antioxidants correlates with poor semen quality and motility and increased DNA fragmentation. The best sources of antioxidants are in fruits and vegetables, particularly berries. Other sources of antioxidants are vitamin C and green tea.
Omega-3s. Studies have shown that Omega-3 oils can increase both male and female fertility. Taking fish oil with 500 to 1000 mg of EPA and DHA (two primary components) is an easy way to boost your levels.
Less Cooking. Overcooking foods (broiling, grilling, and frying) creates toxic compounds called AGEs which cause oxidation in the body. Higher levels of AGEs in the fluid around women’s eggs has been associated with poor egg and embryo development, and a reduced chance of pregnancy.
Healthy Fats. High saturated fat intake has been shown to decrease egg fertilization and embryo quality, while higher monounsaturated fat is associated with higher birth rates. So limit meat intake and other sources of saturated fat in your fertility diet. Instead, choose avocados, olive oil, and macadamia nuts.