A common mentality among women is that since we’ve had our eggs since we were in our own mother’s womb, that our fertility is fixed. While there are several causes of female infertility, all of them can be improved! That doesn’t necessarily mean that your fertility struggles can be cured, but there is a chance for everyone – even if that’s a very low chance.
It has been proven that your habits today affect your egg quality 90 days from now. Why? I don’t know. But recent research points towards women being able to improve egg quality which is a huge encouragement for us, right?! This means that even women who have struggled with infertility may have a shot if they keep up with their health!
Things that are necessary for successful conception, implantation and a healthy pregnancy:
- Healthy eggs & sperm
- Nutritious & thick uterine lining
All of these things are dependent upon your own health. There is no doubt about it that improving on your health will improve these parts of your body. While there is no guarantee that improving your egg quality and uterine lining or regulating your cycle will get you pregnant, it increases your chances significantly.
So, without further ado, here are 10 ways to improve your fertility by improving egg quality, creating healthier uterine lining, and regulating your cycle!
- Take prenatal vitamins regularly. Personally, when I am not pregnant I take half a dose. This only works if your vitamins require 2 or more per day (I take these). When I am pregnant, I take the full dose. Having these daily, regardless of where I am in my cycle or whether or not I’m trying to conceive, gives me comfort knowing that the most important nutrients my baby needs will be there even if we get a surprise pregnancy!
- Keep moving. I know, I know. You hear it all the time. But if you are a couch potato and are frustrated that you aren’t conceiving, try to just go on a walk every day. It will do you well in every possible way and you won’t regret becoming more active, even if you never conceive. If you aren’t active at all, try going on a walk around the block or doing some light stretching. Keep doing more and more every day until you are breaking a sweat! Don’t expect too much out of yourself right away or else you will be turned off right away. Starting small is always the best idea but you will never regret becoming more active.
- Make it a lifestyle habit to avoid things that are unsafe in pregnancy. There are plenty of things that aren’t safe during pregnancy. My motto is that if it’s not safe during pregnancy, you might as well get rid of it while trying to conceive. Acting like you are pregnant all the time is a great way to make sure your body is in optimal health to accept a little human, and the sooner you get used to avoiding these things the safer you will be in pregnancy because it will be second nature to you.
- Caffeine. Although it is not unsafe in pregnancy, it is highly suggested to limit your intake. When I am not pregnant I could easily consume an entire pot of coffee during a day. When we decided we wanted to start trying for another baby, I realized I was going to need to start weaning myself off before I got pregnant or I was going to have a really tough time quitting cold turkey. I started switching one cup a day to decaf until I was on one cup of caffeinated a day. Caffeine is actually not bad for fertility at all, taken in moderation it can actually improve it! But too much isn’t good for anyone, pregnant or not.
- Medication. If there are drugs you are taking, whether prescribed or OTC, check to see if they are safe during pregnancy. If they are not, you should find substitutions pronto. You will feel miserable in early pregnancy, and dropping a medication that you are used to will only make you feel worse. You might as well wean off of them now, or get used to a safer alternative medication now. You also want to be off of these medications before you conceive since you won’t know for at least 2 weeks after conception whether or not you are pregnant.
- Beauty products. Shockingly, there are some beauty products that are not overly safe in pregnancy. Do your research. This probably isn’t one of the biggest deals as far as pregnancy safety goes, but if you want to be careful, you might as well make the switches now.
- Alcohol and recreational drugs. This is a big one, and usually an obvious one to most women. If you’re trying to conceive, you ought to consider dropping the alcohol and drugs completely. If you need to wean off of them, now is the time to make that happen.
- Drink lots of water. I know, you hear it all the time. But it is NOT overrated. Water is life! Nothing can survive without it. There is no doubt that being hydrated can change your health in immense ways. If you already drink a lot of water, drink some more. If you don’t drink any, make it a habit today. It’s recommended to drink 1/2 an ounce per pound of your body weight. When you are pregnant you need to drink about 20% more than that. If you’re trying to conceive, you absolutely need to get started on upping your water intake. If you hate plain water, research ways to sneak it into your diet (fruit infusion can be a great and tasty way to help the situation) but do whatever it takes to get more. Your future baby is counting on you.
- Watch what you eat. Personally, I am not a perfectionist when it comes to my diet. I love me some carbs and desserts. I don’t always eat enough vegetables and I really like soda. In my opinion, it is more important to make sure you are getting enough of the nutrition than you need than to take out all the junk. I still enjoy my junk food, but I try to make a diligent effort to get in those nutrients through REAL and natural food sources every day to make sure my baby is getting everything they need. Not only is it important to get all the nutrition you need while you are pregnant, it’s very important to have those nutrients loaded up before you conceive! Your baby will be taking nutrients from you before you even know you’re pregnant so it’s vital that you have what they need before you get to that point. Another great thing to do is to focus on foods that specifically boost fertility.
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries & blueberries in particular)
- Beans, seeds & lentils
- Fertility yoga & massage. While I have dabbled in both of these during my journey of trying to conceive, I’m not an expert on it by any means. I personally cannot say whether or not these things made a significant impact on my fertility or not, but I did utilize resources that I found online about how to do them. I used this method to practice fertility massage, and practiced these moves along with my regular yoga routine to encourage fertility.
- Load up on the vitamin C! This is one of the best vitamins for fertility and implantation. It boosts your immunity, promotes progesterone, and helps with iron absorption. All of these things are great for your fertility. My favorite way to get my extra vitamin C in is popping one of these every day. I also get some in my prenatal vitamin, and plenty from my diet. Colorful fruits and veggies are the key to getting enough, but extra is great for boosting fertility even more! Lemon in water is a great addition to your daily diet as well.
- Track your cycle. If you are having all the sex and there’s still no baby, you might wonder: what is the deal here? You, my friend, need to know about charting. There are only 6 days you can get pregnant every month. If you have a regular menstrual cycle, those 6 days will be almost the same every single month. If you are NOT trying to conceive, this is good news as it means that you really don’t have to protect that often. If you ARE trying to conceive, this can actually be more difficult than you realize. This means that you literally CANNOT get pregnant for most of the month, and even if you have sex on some of those 6 days there is no guarantee you will conceive. In my own personal fertility journey, we have only conceived when we made time on the day I actually ovulated. That’s 1 day a month we were able to get pregnant (and we tried many other months in the fertile period that was close to, but not on, the day of ovulation). Depending on the fertility of you and your partner, you may have a much easier time getting pregnant than we did. But if you are struggling with your fertility, maybe you need to know when that 1 day of the month is and try to hit it every time you can! Your chances will soar if you can know when you ovulate and have sex before, during and after you ovulate. While I don’t have tons of information about charting perfectly (I always charted very casually, but that was all we needed), it’s definitely something you should research if you are struggling with your fertility.
- Have good circulation. What does this mean? Your blood needs to move through your body to keep things operating optimally. When blood gets clumpy and clogged up, you are not going to be able to conceive as quickly. Your blood must be fluid so that it can flow to your uterus and stimulate what needs to happen for conception. So how do you improve blood circulation?
- When you move your body, your blood moves. Exercise, don’t sit around for long periods of time at once, stretch your muscles throughout the day, stand up if you can.
- When we are cold, our blood tends to get clumpy. This isn’t dangerous for us… it’s a natural response. But warm and fluid blood is the best for easy conception. If you’re having trouble conceiving, try to stay warm. That not only means lots of movement and exercise, but when you are resting, sleeping or sitting, wear socks and warm clothes in the colder months to keep your body and blood warm!
- This will probably be your favorite suggestion in this whole article… get a massage! Massages not only improve your circulation, they rid your body of toxins and help boost your mood and lower stress levels. They are all around a great option for those trying to conceive. If you don’t have the funds to get a massage, or are just uncomfortable with it, try a slow yoga routine. I’ve found that stretching my sore muscles and doing almost sleep-like positions can make me feel almost the same as if I’ve had a massage!
- Be happy! Did you know that when you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol (a stress hormone)? When cortisol rises in your body, your body automatically assumes that something bad is happening and all of your adrenaline and fight or flight responses will kick in, whether you realize it or not. What does this have to do with baby making? Well, in our bodies, stress hormones take precedence over sex hormones. If you have high levels of cortisone regularly, your body will assume that the environment is unsafe for a new baby and will put up protective barriers to prevent pregnancy. Crazy, huh? So whether it’s the daily grind that gets you all worked up, a really big project, or a difficult relationship, take the time to smooth things over. Maybe you need to get rid of a relationship that’s draining you. Maybe you need to finish an overwhelming project at work before trying to conceive. Maybe all you need is to figure out some practical daily habits to implement to help you deal with stress well. In addition to eliminating stress from your life, take the time to rest and relax on a daily basis as well. Do some yoga. Read a book. Take a nap. Watch a favorite TV show. Go get ice cream with a friend. Get a massage. Do things regularly that keep you relaxed and tell your body that all is well. This is one of the absolute best things that you can do for your fertility!
One of the best things I’ve found about pregnancy and trying to conceive is that you do things for your baby that you never do just for yourself, but they actually benefit you in the long run. Make this time about improving your life all around so that you will be the best for your unborn child. Being healthy is important during pregnancy and during motherhood to have a healthy child and to be the best mother you can be to that child.
The truth of the matter is that we do not have control over our body, our health or our fertility. There are some things that will always be out of our grasp and that we must trust the Lord with. However, it IS our responsibility to be good stewards of what we are given. If conception just isn’t happening easily for you, there are things that can be done to give you more of a chance! Wishing you the best of luck in your baby making journey!