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As reported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or ACOG, pregnant women should increase their intake of fruit and vegetables to 3 to 4 servings a day; whole-grain bread, cereal, brown rice or wholemeal pasta to 9 servings a day; and protein sources such as eggs, nuts, legumes, beans and peas to 3 servings per day. It can take 3 months to 1 year for dietary changes in the body to take effect so you may have to change your diet as soon as you decide you want to try to get pregnant and take advantage of all other infertility solutions as well.
The first three months of pregnancy are the most important when it comes to fetal development. During the first few weeks, all the major organs of your baby are forming. This is also the period when you may not even know you are pregnant. The safest approach is to assume you may get pregnant as soon as you discontinue birth control. At this point, you should stop smoking, drinking alcohol, taking certain drugs, and should reduce stress and caffeine intake.
A healthy diet is the best way to receive the nutrients necessary for pregnancy and make great infertility solutions, but you can take vitamin supplements to complement your balanced diet. You should consult with a qualified naturopath before taking any supplements. Vitamin A and Beta Carotene taken daily can help strengthen your baby’s bones and teeth. Vitamin D can help your body utilize calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin E is needed for healthy red blood cells.
Pregnancy is stressful for the body so it is important that you have adequate nutrient reserves. Minerals can help boost your fertility as well as improve your overall health. Calcium creates strong teeth and bones, prevents blood clots from forming and improves muscle and nerve function. Iron helps boost hemoglobin production in the body, prevents anemia, encourages a healthy birth weight and prevents premature delivery. Overall, minerals are great infertility solutions.
Herbal medicines have been used for a long time to aid fertility and act as promising infertility solutions. Herbs can be very potent and you should consult a qualified naturopath before taking any herbal supplements.
In a study by Dr. Alice Domarof Harvard Medical School she found that Yoga can increase fertility. In her study, infertile women were placed into a Mind & Body program for 10 weeks. The program included nutrition, gentle exercise, meditation and yoga. Around 55 % of the infertile women in the program got pregnant within the following year, compared to only 20% in a control group. Dr Domar also believes that over-vigorous exercise may reduce fertility. Yoga is a milder form of exercise. Studies have shown 45-minute yoga sessions twice every week can lessen stress and promote hormonal balance.
Meditation is the most researched stress reduction activity. If you suffer from chronic stress, the hormones your body produces in temporary response to a threat may stay in your system longer than normal. Meditation relaxes you and can help normalize your stress hormones and like other natural fertility solutions it can promote production of fertility hormones.
8. Avoiding toxins
Toxins can be found in your food, water, toiletries, home and environment. Even low levels of toxins can cause health complications, furthering the need for infertility solutions. The problem with toxins is that they “bioaccumulate”, meaning they build up in your tissues over time. For example Vinclozolin found in fungicides used in the farm industry blocks receptors that are normally occupied by androgens. Since the cell’s response to androgens is now reduced, development and function of the male sexual organs is affected. Methoxychlor or MCX found in pesticides affects women’s reproductive system and reduces the capability of the uterus to support the embryo.
Healthy regular exercise can help keep you in shape and lower stress. It can help you lose weight and improve circulation in the body and the reproductive system when there is a need for infertility solutions. But, excessive exercise can reduce female fertility. Studies have shown women who worked out for more than four hours every week were 40% less likely to have successful pregnancies from IVF. They are also at an increased risk (about 50%) for implantation failures and pregnancy losses. Healthy exercise levels are 45 minutes to 1 hour and a half per week (if you’re doing IVF) depending on your physical capability and the levels of exercise. If you’re not doing IVF you should aim for a minimum of 40 – 60min of walking a day if exercising at the gym is not your thing.
Your body heals and rejuvenates faster when you sleep. Adequate amounts of sleep can help restore your reproductive system, regulate menstruation, maintain hormonal balance and reduce sleep loss-related activities such as drinking coffee and reaching for sugar fixes. Remember, too much caffeine and sugar in your system is detrimental to your fertility.
Natural infertility solutions have solid research backing them up. They are healthy and cheaper alternatives to traditional medical interventions.
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.