Approximately one in six couples are infertile, defined as the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected intercourse. Infertility can be caused by structural abnormalities, hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies, among many other reasons. While there are medical options for fertility treatment, ranging from drugs that boost ovulation to advanced methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), they can be expensive and are not without side effects. Fortunately, there are viable, safe, and effective natural options for men and women that have long-lasting, health-promoting effects and prove little to no risk future health risk.
1) Balance your nutrition: Good nutrition is essential for optimal body function, hormonal balance, sperm and egg production and the process of reproduction. Hormonal balance for fertility and for stress management can be achieved by eating a balance of healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and canola oil), lean protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates (oats, beans, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, berries) with each meal and snack. Processed foods, caffeine, trans fatty acids, excess saturated fats and larger fish that are high in mercury should be avoided. A perfect — fertility boosting — lunch and dinner plate should have one-third salad with olive oil dressing; one-third grilled, steamed, baked or stir fried vegetables; and one-third lean protein (or a serving about the size and width of your palm). Enjoy a low-glycemic, starchy carb only once a day with dinner. For a full meal plan and recipes please revisit The Supercharged Hormone Diet.
2) Detox your home and body: Our liver, kidneys and intestines are the body’s natural cleaning team. They all work together to package toxic compounds for removal. Over time, the function of these organs, especially the liver, can be compromised by illness, poor nutrition, stress, pollution or toxic lifestyle habits (e.g., drugs, alcohol or tobacco). As you would expect, this toxic build-up leads to a dramatic increase in long-term health risks — and it doesn’t leave us feeling our best in the short term, either. Complaints such as headaches, weight gain, acne, PMS, infertility and poor memory often arise when our detox organs are in need of some support. In fact, toxins such as glues, volatile organic solvents or silicones, physical agents, chemical dusts and pesticides may have an impact on fertility. To jumpstart your fertility, try removing all environmental toxins hanging out in your bathroom, kitchen or medicine cupboard. These include:
– Products containing artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc.) or high-fructose corn syrup.
– Vegetable oil, shortening, margarine, cottonseed oil; anything containing partially hydrogenated oils; products containing trans fats.
– Processed and packaged foods that contain lots of preservatives, loads of sodium and few nutrients, e.g., prepared pasta side dishes.
– Cosmetic and skincare products containing methyl parabens, propyl parabens, formaldehyde, imidazolidinyl urea, methylisothiazolinone, propylene glycol, paraffin, isopropyl alcohol and sodium lauryl sulphate.
3) Opt for Acupuncture: With its focus on harmonizing energy flow and achieving a balance of yin and yang energies, Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to assist with male and female fertility. It can be particularly useful for endometriosis, menstrual irregularities and pain and to improve sperm production and motility. Interestingly, acupuncture is also beneficial with IVF treatments. A German study indicated that adding acupuncture to the treatment protocol of IVF patients greatly enhanced their chance of becoming pregnant. In the study, doctors chose acupuncture points that relax the uterus according to the principles of TCM. Because acupuncture influences the autonomic nervous system, researchers gathered that treatment should optimize endometrial receptivity.