Infertility seems to be affecting more and more women these days. With approximately 7.4 million women experiencing infertility in their lifetime, there’s a strong chance that you know someone who has dealt or is dealing with infertility issues. Furthermore, 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or carrying pregnancy to full term, according to the CDC.
Of course, there are various hormone treatments – with in vitro fertilization being one of them – that women can take part in, but those treatments can cost upward of $12,000. If you’re struggling to become pregnant, try out these natural remedies first.
1. Remix your diet.
Ever heard of the “Trying To Conceive” (TTC) diet? Nutrition plays a major role when it comes to trying to conceive as your body needs the necessary proteins and fats required for hormone production. To increase fertility, try avoiding processed foods, sugars, starches and dairy. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens (lettuce, kale, spinach, etc.), organic dairy products, and healthy fats from foods, such as avocados and coconut oil.
Get more protein from plant foods like beans and less from red meat. Plant protein (from beans, nuts, seeds and tofu) comes with healthy fats and is relatively low in calories and can be helpful for weight loss.
Add in more seafood. Seafood is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, and according to some scientists, these essential fats may have a positive effect on fertility. Research suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate ovulation, improve egg quality, and even delay aging of the ovaries.
Omega-3s are also important for a baby’s brain and eye development and could have many other pregnancy-related benefits. These include lowering your risk of preterm birth, reducing your chance of preeclampsia, and easing depression.
Get more whole grains. A woman trying to conceive should eat as many nutrient-rich foods as possible, and whole grains are a great place to start, says nutrition specialist Cynthia Stadd.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food guidelines recommend that you make at least half of the grains you eat each day whole grains (such as bran cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, or whole wheat bread).
Refined carbohydrates (like white bread, pasta, and white rice) won’t directly lower your chance of getting pregnant, but they do shortchange your body because the refining process strips grains of key nutrients such as fiber, some B vitamins, and iron.
Last but not least, be sure to drink enough water on a daily basis – aim for eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces total). It’s also a good idea to cut back on caffeine and sugary drinks.
2. Change your lifestyle.
A couple things to keep in mind when you’re trying to conceive:
- Do you smoke? If so, then quit. The same goes for alcohol and drug use. If your partner smokes, drinks or uses drugs, then he could also be jeopardizing your chances for a baby!
- How often do you exercise, if at all? Believe it or not, it’s possible to get too much exercise! Limit your time at the gym to just a few hours per week.
- Did you know that not getting enough sleep lowers your chances of having a baby? Lack of sleep prevents your body from being able to properly regulate adrenaline, cortisol and insulin – all essential hormones needed for conception.
- Have you been stressed out lately? This one may be easier said than done, but…