Fertility is a game with many players. The players in the game of fertility all have their own abilities and opponents; sometimes it feels like it will take a miracle for your team to win despite all the shots you keep shooting in the right direction. Even if your starting players may already be (IUI), (IVF), or other fertility treatments, I invite you to consider bringing on some new recruits: alternative and natural fertility methods.
Natural Fertility Boosters:
Stress Reduction Techniques
Acupuncture & Fertility
A team effort is key; research shows that acupuncture in conjunction with other fertility treatments increases success rates by 50 percent! Acupuncture has become a much more accepted fertility method as it has shown great results in men and in women. Acupuncture can be considered a successful treatment in restoring fertility indirectly because it addresses larger imbalances in the body that may be contributing root causes of infertility. However, it is said that acupuncture can also help men and women’s fertility in the following ways:
Improves Sperm Quality & Quantity
Reduces the number of structural abnormalities in sperm
Combats Erectile Dysfunction
Improves function of the ovaries by increasing blood flow & stimulating the ovaries to produce healthy eggs
Enriches the endometrial lining in the uterus
Balances the endocrine system and hormones
To learn more about acupuncture & fertility visit Pellegrino Healing Center's fertility and pregnancy care section.
Nutrition & Fertility
If you want to up your fertility game you should definitely make some changes to your diet. The world of nutrition is ever-changing and it can be difficult to keep up with new trends and research telling us what to eat and what not to eat. However, it may be no surprise that it’s been found that when both men and women choose to eat more fruits and vegetables they have higher levels of fertility than those who do not consume the recommended servings of both. Here are a few “rule of thumb” nutrition tips to help with overall health and fertility.
1.) Eat more vegetable protein and less processed meat protein.
While high quality, humanely raised and fed meat can be extremely nutritional, studies show that protein and iron from veggies can really boost fertility.
2.) Choose high-fat dairy instead of low-fat dairy.
Whole milk or high fat milk consumption is associated with higher fertility rates. Low-fat and poor-fat diets in general have been linked to a number of detrimental health issues. Fats are essential for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K); we need them for digestion, nutrient transport, metabolic health and so much more.
3.) Avoid trans fats, franken fats, and processed foods
Avoid trans fats and franken fats like canola oil, margarine, corn oil, and other rancid and hydrogenated man made fats like the plague. These fats are often hidden in processed packaged food and fast food, which is also often loaded with sugar and refined carbs. High consumption of sugar and fast food has been linked to lower fertility rates for both men and women.
4.) Eat more high-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrate-rich foods
This will stabilize blood sugar to prevent hormonal fluctuations that can disrupt fertility and will also help to lower circulating insulin levels that usually result with intakes of higher GI foods.
5.) Choose only high quality supplements & multivitamins
Don’t buy supplements at a drugstore like CVS or Rite Aid, most of them are made with synthetic ingredients that your body cannot assimilate. Try your local health food store or purchase from a holistic practitioner or company. Try to buy whole food supplements that support fertility. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate (Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate so choose folate), and a good probiotic are examples that support fertility!
Stress Reduction Techniques & Fertility
The stress that comes along with fertility efforts alone can seem hard to squash, but looking to regular meditation, exercise, social connections and tips from above can make the process much easier! While there is no direct link between stress and infertility, stress indirectly affects fertility due to its impact on the mind and the physical body. If you are always in fight or flight mode from high stress, your body’s top priority isn’t being ready for optimal reproduction function; instead it’s preparing to fight or flee from an actual or metaphorical lion (perceived threat).
“Your body is smart, it knows that periods of stress aren’t good times to have a baby,” says Domar, a longtime infertility researcher who also is director of mind/body services at Boston IVF; stressed women probably also have sex less often and are more likely to smoke or drink too much alcohol or caffeine -- behaviors that can hardly improve the odds.
*Remember fertility issues affect women AND men, meaning one partner should not carry the team when training the new recruits. Also keep in mind that many factors such as age, weight, timing and frequency of intercourse, medical conditions, etc. impact fertility. Be sure to ask your doctor and holistic health practitioner if you have any questions!