Let’s first establish that getting pregnant isn’t as easy as many believe. Depending on factors such as age, fertility, and overall health, the average time it takes a woman to get pregnant can vary significantly. While most couples get pregnant within around three months, as many as 20 percent will need significantly longer, sometimes even years. So, before you start to doubt your ability conceive, rest easy know you’re not alone – and there are plenty of natural ways to boost your fertility.
Optimize your Diet
A healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial to your overall health, but also can help promote fertility. Ideally, you want to develop a diet that is rich in fresh, organic foods that include healthy proteins and fats. Vegetable protein sources are the best choice, but small portions of organic meat are acceptable.
Your fertility diet should include:
- Plenty of plant protein sources such as organic, home-prepared legumes (i.e. not canned beans or lentils).
- Seasonal, organic fruit and vegetables.
- Whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
- Healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats found in olive oil or polyunsaturated fats found in fish and nuts.
- Substitute cooking fats with clarified butter or coconut oil as these oils are much more stable when heated.
- For salad dressings or uncooked sauces, consider cold-pressed olive oil or flaxseed oil.
More specifically, when consuming fats, you should avoid the dangerous fats such as trans fats (trans-unsaturated fatty acids). Junk food is rich in trans fats, so avoid the cookies, chips, donuts, and chocolate. In fact, recent research has motivated many medical professionals to advise women trying to get pregnant to avoid trans fats entirely. So, when you’re at the grocery store, stick to the perimeter, avoid processed foods, and seek organic alternatives.
Exposure to toxic chemicals found in household cleaners, industrial chemicals, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins can have a significant negative impact on fertility. One way to boost fertility naturally is to limit your exposure to these toxins. For example, phthalates found in plastic food containers, cellophane wrap, certain medical supplies, vinyl flooring, and even food packaging have been linked to miscarriage and testicular toxicity. Other chemicals found in rubber tires, plastics, pesticides, cigarettes, and car fumes are also associated with infertility. Wherever possible, limit your exposure to these toxins by using safer products and eating natural foods.
Even men need to be careful about their exposure to these toxins as sperm is often more susceptible to toxicity than ovum. While many of these harmful chemicals are often found in the air we breathe and even the water we drink, there are ways to limit exposure.
- Eat organic fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy to limit your exposure to pesticides.
- Avoid air fresheners, floor polish, and upholstery cleaners as they often contain formaldehyde.
- Choose natural alternatives to beauty and hygiene products such as shampoo and deodorant.
- Use glass containers instead of plastic containers for food storage to limit exposure to phthalates and bisphenols.
- Avoid dry-cleaning chemicals, paint fumes, and organic solvents. Wherever possible make the switch to natural cleaning and health care products.
Coffee. Smoking. Alcohol. For some of us, these are necessary evils in life, but if you want to get pregnant – and we’re talking to men and women here – you need to keep away from these vices. Drinking coffee has been shown to significantly reduce fertility. Even 1 cup a day can diminish your chances of conception by more than 50 percent.
Alcohol is harmful to your reproductive cells – that means eggs in women and sperm in men. Even one drink a day might be too much. Ditto smoking and recreational drugs such as marijuana. Ultimately, when you’re trying to get pregnant, you want to create the healthiest environment possible for you, your body, and your potential fetus.
If you’re ready to have a baby, you need to be ready for some life changes. Introduce a healthier lifestyle, and give your body some time to adapt. You can boost your fertility naturally – all it takes is a focus on your health and some dedication. You can do it!