| Top 10 Natural Fertility Tips For Women
1. Limit Your Exposure To Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins can damage your fertility so try to take as many of the following precautions as possible while trying for a baby: Avoid passive smoking; wash your hands before touching any food; avoid deodorants that contain aluminum; use natural cleaning agents in the house; avoid garden pesticides; do not stand near a microwave when it's heating food; and go out and get some natural sunlight as it helps to eliminate toxic metals from the body.
2. Limiting Prescription Drugs
With the consent of your doctor, avoid the following drugs because they can affect fertility: antibiotics, antihistamines, inhalers, sleeping pills, Prozac, antiviral drugs, decongestants, antihypertensives, antimalarial pills and painkillers. The same also applies to your partner if male infertility is an issue.
3. Fertility Awareness
Start tracking your ovulation and basal body temperature so you are aware of your most fertile days. Check out the following questions: How long does it take to get pregnant? and what age does fertility go down in women?
Acupuncture, combined with herbal medicine, has been used as a natural fertility treatment by women for thousands of years. While it will not help women cure an underlying medical disorder causing infertility (such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease) it can help improve ovary and follicular function. According to the American Pregnancy Association it can also help increase blood flow to the womb, making it thicker and more embryo-friendly. Check out www.americanpregnancy.org for an approved acupuncturist in your area.
5. Chiropractic Care
If there are no obvious medical causes of your infertility it may be worth visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractors are specialists who help patients maintain a healthy spine and nervous system. In many women difficulties in becoming pregnant can be down to a poor nervous system, poor nutrition, too much stress and bad lifestyle habits. A chiropractor can help clear any blockages in the nervous system, and may also counsel you on nutrition and exercise. Their aim is to harmonize your body so that it works in the way it was designed to do. Check out www.americanpregnancy.org for an approved chiropractor in your area.
6. Exercise Regularly
Moderate physical activity is a must for any woman who wants to conceive. It helps to relieve stress, boosts the immune system and prepares the body for pregnancy. An added benefit is when you do finally become pregnant, you as less likely to suffer from pregnancy hemorrhoids, morning sickness and constipation in pregnancy. But don't go overboard! Too much exercise can have the opposite effect and stress the body reducing your chance of conceiving. Aim for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Swimming, brisk walking and cycling are all excellent options.
7. Healthy Diet
We are what we eat - so follow a healthy eating plan. Even if you are not overweight, following a plan such as a Low GI eating plan will help nurture your body into optimal health. Where possible cook food from scratch so you avoid processed meals. Eat a broad range of fruit and vegetables, limit the amount of wheat and dairy in your diet. Cut out tea and coffee for a few months and drink 2 quarts (liters) of water a day. For more advice, check out our article on the causes of infertility.
8. Alcohol Consumption
Studies show that women who drink less than 5 small glasses of wine a week are twice as likely to conceive within 6 months than women who drink more. Even as little as 2 glasses a week can have an adverse effect. If the idea of giving up alcohol completely is too much, at least try to restrict your intake to 5 small glasses a week.
9. Avoid Food Additives
Aspartame is a popular artificial sweetener (found in diet sodas for example). It is known to have an adverse affect on the reproductive process and can even trigger a miscarriage. Check all foods and drinks which claim to be 'low-fat' or 'low-calorie', as many manage to be so because they use artificial sweeteners. Also, MSG found in a lot of Chinese food has been shown to cause infertility in animals. While trials are underway in humans, we still think it is best avoided.
10. Your Weight
If you are overweight or obese - lose weight - excess body fat plays havoc with your hormones. Fertility problems are most common in women with a BMI of 34 or over. On the opposite side, being underweight can also affect your hormone levels. Fertility starts to plummet in women with a BMI of 18 or under.
If you have been trying for a baby for months, and you feel there might be a problem, it may be time to talk to your doctor about fertility tests. So how long do you wait before talking to the doctor? If you are aged between 20 and 30, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, you should wait for 12-18 months. If you are aged 30 to 35, talk to your doctor after 12 months and if you are aged over 35, talk to him after 6 months of trying. You may also like to read these questions:
How does a doctor test for infertility in women?
How does a doctor test for infertility in men?
Other Fertility Tips
What is the best position for baby making?
Is it possible to be a little bit pregnant?
Checking Other Medical Options
What is egg donation?
Can you get pregnant naturally with PCOS?
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions and Guide To Infertility
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