Boost Your Fertility
1. Understand Your Cycle.
You have a “fertile window” every month during the days surrounding ovulation. While many women wait until the day of ovulation to have sex, it may be a good idea to start a few days earlier.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine advises that the best time to ramp up sexual activity is during the six-day period leading up to ovulation. Many women can’t be sure of the exact moment of ovulation, so including a few extra days in your estimation of your “fertile window” can be helpful.
2. Maintain A Healthy Weight.
Being very over or underweight can affect your fertility rate. Studies determine that women with a BMI under 19 take four times longer to conceive than women of a healthy weight. Also, those with a BMI between 25 and 39, take twice as long to get pregnant.
3. Cut Out The Coffee.
500mg of caffeine per day (about 5 cups of coffee) is associated with lower fertility rates among women. Experts say that moderate caffeine consumption is okay. Aim to keep your intake at 200mg or lower to give yourself a leg up in conceiving.
4. Avoid Alcohol.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women who drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day also tend to have a harder time getting pregnant. The steeper a women’s alcohol use, the more her fertility is impaired. Occasional, moderate drinking is okay. Of course, it’s important to remember that, if you suspect or learn that you are pregnant, you should stop alcohol consumption all together. Alcohol alters estrogen levels, which may interfere with egg implantation.
5. Lubricate With Coconut Oil.
If you’re having sex more often than usual, you may need to rely on the help of a lubricant, but be careful which one you choose. Many commercial lubricants contain spermicide, and others have been shown to inhibit sperm motility. Coconut oil is a natural, healthy choice that is good for your skin and won’t kill off your chances of conceiving. Canola and peanut oils are a great option, too (if you are not allergic). Experiment and find out what works best for you or consult with your health care provider for more natural safe options.
6. Eat Well.
Getting plenty of vitamins and minerals, especially micronutrients from plant sources will boost your odds of getting pregnant. Take special care to get enough iron, zinc and vitamin C, as these nutrients can affect your ovulation cycle and the regularity of your menstrual cycle.
7. Stop Smoking.
We have all been taught that smoking causes cancer in our lungs, but did you know that it can also cause infertility? Cigarette smoke damages a woman’s eggs and prompts our ovaries to age, ending our fertile years early. The good news is that if you quit smoking now, you can reverse some of the damage and gain some ovarian function back.
8. Manage Stress.
Stress, depression and anxiety change the way the hormones in your body work, throwing off your cycle and inhibiting regular ovulation. Women who are going through a particularly stressful time may skip periods altogether. Make sure to get plenty of rest, and give yourself time to recover from your busy schedule. Moderate exercise 3-5 times per week is a wonderful way to distress, as is yoga, meditation and seeing a therapist if needed. (Be careful not to overdo it at the gym, though, as excessive exercise can also inhibit fertility.)
9. Have More Sex
Not only are you giving yourself more chances to conceive, having more sex actually changes your body’s chemistry, making you more fertile. Research suggests that women who have sex regularly (at least 1-2 times per week) are more likely to have healthy ovulation cycles. Regular sex may help your body to produce more estrogen, and robust estrogen production is needed when you’re trying to conceive.
10. Take The Pill As You Age.
We think of the pill as a tool to help prevent pregnancy, but it could also be helpful in the years leading up to conception. As women get older, their fertility decreases, and the pill may help to preserve it by warding off common conditions like endometriosis and uterine fibroids, which can age and damage a woman’s reproductive system.