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Today, infertility is becoming a significant problem for more than 15% of couples. Our lifestyles and diet choices play a pivotal role in our ability to conceive naturally. Many medical treatments and medicines are available, like In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) treatment. But it can prove to be expensive, and couples prefer to improve fertility chances naturally before turning to other measures.
We have highlighted some techniques recommended by fertility experts to help you boost your chances of conceiving naturally, below:
Menstrual Cycle Frequency
Your menstrual cycle is an important indicator that can suggest the optimal time for conception, which is around the time you start ovulating. Ovulation refers to the time frame when the egg is released from the ovaries and viable for fertilization.
If we take your average monthly cycle to last 28 days, for example, you start ovulating around day 14 and your most fertile days are 12,13, and 14 which means these are the recommended days to start trying.
It is crucial to track your cycle every month; your period is considered regular if it starts and ends on the same day every month.
Ovulation can occur up to 2 weeks before the first day of your cycle and can last up to 12–24 hours. However, if you find your period is irregular, ovulation can occur on different days depending on the length of your cycle.
There are many home ovulation kits available to help you determine if you are ovulating. These tests test the luteinizing hormone levels using a urine sample to determine ovulation.
Other physical signs can indicate ovulation which includes, lower abdominal pain and your basal body temperature, which is taken using a specific basal thermometer.
Intercourse During Your “Fertile Window”
Your “fertile window” is considered to be the prime time to increase your chances of conception.
It is because sperm live up to 5 days and a viable egg for up to 24 hours, which means timing is crucial.
Menstrual cycles vary from women to women, so keeping track can help you determine your “fertility window”.
Your “fertile window” starts five days before you start ovulating and includes the day of ovulation. Regular intercourse during this time can give you the best chance of getting pregnant.
Misconceptions about positions and lubricants lead other ways couples try to increase their chances. There is no evidence to suggest certain positions increase chances. It is essential to check with your doctor before using any other products as well as they can be harmful.
Foods Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants, such as zinc and folate, are essential for improving the fertility rate for both men and women. Antioxidants work by deactivating free radicals in the body and efficiently reduce the damage caused to the eggs and sperm.
According to a case study, results found that adults eating more than 75 grams of antioxidant-rich walnuts had a higher and improved sperm quality and higher sperm count.
The following foods are especially rich in the antioxidants:
Some of the most common beneficial antioxidants are Lutein, Folate, Vitamins C and E, and Beta-carotene.
There is also the option of IVF combined with an antioxidant supplement which can increase the chances of conception by 23%.
Healthy Body Weight
The weight of your body can affect your chances of conceiving and can delay the process until managed correctly. If you carry extra weight and have a high Body Mass Index (BMI), it could take you longer to conceive. Similarly, if you are underweight and have a low BMI, you can reduce your chances of conceiving.
It is losing 5–10% of your total body weight (if overweight) can higher your fertility rate. This is because the more body fat accumulated, the more estrogen is produced which can interfere with ovulation. Your weight can directly determine your hormonal balance which is responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle.
Obese women were found to have a 78% chance of becoming sub-fertile compared to healthy weight women.
Obese men had a 49% increased risk compared to healthy weight men.
When you are eating a substantial breakfast, then it would create fertility problems for women. Eating a large breakfast could mainly improve hormonal effects in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and it is considered as the primary cause for infertility. It would be a more comfortable option for reducing the insulin levels, even up to 8% along with the testosterone of about 50%. Woman eating more during breakfast mainly ovulates more than 30% higher than that of the women who are taking less breakfast and large dinner. When you are increasing the size of your breakfast even without reducing the size of your meal in the evening, then it would lead to more weight.
Taking 500 milligrams of caffeine could automatically decrease the fertility rate for women. When you are consuming 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day could also have an impact on the conception.
Women who are having trouble conceiving can start taking prenatal vitamins to higher their chances of getting pregnant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that women should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of Folic Acid to increase fertility chances. It also aids in preventing birth defects, especially in a baby’s spine and brain.
Nowadays, it is quite challenging to find a specific fertility-promoting diet. But it is essential to eat a variety of healthy food that would help prepare the body for pregnancy. Consuming an adequate amount of calcium, protein, and iron can be extremely beneficial.
You can include a variety of the following options into your diet:
- Vegetables and fruits
- Lean protein
- Whole grains
- Healthy food of fat
- Dairy products
Apart from taking the folic acid supplements, it is best to take on the foods that are rich in Vitamin B that includes
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Fortified Bread
- Citrus Fruits
- Orange Juice
When you are pregnant, then it is best to take lower amounts of high-mercury fish that include Swordfish, Shark, Tilefish, King Mackerel, and many others. Following these healthy food options can improve your fertility rate.
Following a low carb diet can benefit those women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Lower carbs can help:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce insulin levels
- Encourage fat loss
- Help regulate your menstrual cycle
Research states that when there is a higher amount of carb intake, there is a higher risk of reducing fertility rates. Obese and overweight women with PCOS following a low card diet can reduce hormone levels which include testosterone and insulin.
Reducing Trans Fats
Trans fats have been commonly associated with increasing the risk of ovulatory infertility as it has adverse effects on insulin sensitivity. Trans fats are mostly found in highly processed foods, vegetable oils, and fried foods.
More Fiber Contents
Foods that contain a higher fibre content are beneficial for getting rid of excessive levels of hormones produced in the body. It also maintains a healthy blood sugar level in the body.
High-fibre foods could mostly be found in the
- Whole Grains
Certain types of fibre can help remove excess estrogen as an essential waste product. Having 10 grams of cereal fibre per day could lower ovulatory infertility by 44%.
You could also replace animal proteins, like fish, poultry, meats, and eggs along with the vegetables that comprise of beans, seeds, and nuts which are mainly linked to reducing the rate of fertility.