All animals have been hardwired to reproduce and propagate the species. Being one of the core functions of our bodies, we understandably assume that when we feel ready to hop on the baby train, our reproductive system will follow suit. We know fertility issues exist, but like most unpleasant things, we really don’t think of them happening to us.
You are ‘’officially’’ considered to have fertility issues after one year of unsuccessful attempts at conception. This can be a very trying time, but it is important to remain hopeful. The best thing you can do at this point is focus on natural methods that will help restore normal functioning, and increase your chances of conceiving. Since it takes about four months for eggs to mature, you want to commit to your natural health plan for at least this amount of time for optimal results.
Avoiding Exposure to Toxins
We are exposed to toxic substances at every turn, and short of living in a ‘clean’ room for the rest our lives, we won’t be able to avoid them completely. But, we can make a huge dent in our exposure by making some specific choices. Toxins may affect fertility in various ways, such as disrupting ovulation.
Here are some of the most effective ways to minimize the toxic burden on your body:
- Eat as much organic food as possible to reduce intake of pesticides, hormones and other toxic substances found in conventionally produced fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy.
- Use household and personal care products made from all natural ingredients. Many deodorants, air fresheners and cleaners contain a host of dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde and organic solvents, both of which may a particularly strong effect on female fertility issues.
- Don’t use plastic containers, especially in the microwave, or look for ones that are labeled as being free of bisphenols.
Good nutrition is a cornerstone of any natural health strategy, regardless of the problem you are hoping to treat. Research into the role of nutrition and fertility has found strong links, with many women becoming pregnant after changing their diet. One study in 2012 found eating Mediterranean style increased the chances of pregnancy in women undergoing fertility treatments. This diet is very high in healthy fats, which are crucial for normal hormone production. If you suspect you have any food allergies, you may want to get tested. The food allergy itself may not directly cause infertility, but the resulting inflammation it causes may make it more difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients necessary for healthy conception.
Don’t drink unfiltered tap water—it is rife with all sorts of nasty substances that can disrupt your hormones and cause other issues with fertility, particularly heavy metals like lead. According to research from Harvard University, consuming trans fats may contribute to infertility—there is absolutely no reason to eat them. When cooking, try using ghee or coconut oil as they remain stable in high heat; when you don’t require heated oil, olive is your best bet. Cut out caffeine and alcohol.
Many health professionals recommend eliminating dairy if you are trying to conceive—it is loaded with animal estrogen that may interfere with your body’s hormonal balance.
Several supplements may improve your chances at conceiving by restoring normal hormonal balance and reproductive functioning, but if you are taking fertility medications, check with your doctor about possible interactions.
Vitex or chasteberry is one of the best known supplement for treating infertility, as well as a host of other female hormonal issues. It can be very effective, but you may need to take it up to six months before seeing optimal benefit. Red clover is another herb prized for its effects on balancing female hormones and promoting fertility.
Maca, a highly prized food stuff in the Andes, is popular for treating a number of conditions, but is particularly well-known for enhancing fertility. Progesterone creams may be a good option for women whose issues may stem from a short menstruation cycle or a shortened luteal phase. And, don’t forget about a good old vitamin/mineral supplement to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of the nutrients necessary for optimal health.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer, with a special focus on holistic health. She enjoys sharing information on natural treatments to address health problems and overall wellness.