Any couple that has considered their options for increasing fertility is no doubt a little worried about the possible results of hormonal or pharmacological means. Just look at what happened to octomom Nadya Suleman. Messing with your body chemistry could not only result in way more kids than you’re planning for, but it can also lead to uncomfortable side effects along the way, and there is no guarantee that a pregnancy will occur. And for the green would-be parents looking to reduce their carbon footprint, natural options are no doubt preferable. So here are a few easy adjustments you might make in order to raise fertility and optimize your chances for conception, sans pills, shots, and other unnatural treatments.
1. Adjust your diet and exercise. Being healthy and fit can only help to prepare your body for incubation, so your first efforts to improve fertility should fall in this area. If your regimen currently includes a lot of processed foods and very little exercise, there are several simple changes you can make. For starters, consider switching to natural or even organic foods. A diet that features mainly lean meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products (in proper portions) will help you to maintain or even lose weight. And adding moderate exercise 3-4 times per week in 30-minute sessions (as recommended by doctors) could help, as well. If you happen to be in good health already, you might consider whether or not your workout routine is rather extreme (90-minutes of intense exercise every day, for example) as this could also tip the scales. This applies to both women and men.
2. Take vitamins. Lowered levels of fertility may occur if your body is lacking essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. So get tested if necessary and ask your doctor to recommend ways in which you can increase any nutrients you are lacking. You might be able to get them through the foods you consume, but daily vitamin supplements could also be an option.
3. Avoid extra fluids. This doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water – hydration is essential to optimum levels of health! But there are certain areas where extra fluids could affect your fertility. So if you’re using lubricants (which can kill sperm) or douching (which can alter your pH balance and adversely affect the conditions that facilitate conception) you might want to give up the extra fluids for a while and see if it helps.
4. Ditch the briefs. Sperm seem to flourish in cooler conditions, so if dad is a fan of the tighty-whities, he could try switching to boxers and wearing looser pants in an effort to lower the temperature and ensure maximum levels of viable sperm.
5. Watch the calendar…and the clock. As you probably know, your best chances of conceiving fall during ovulation, which generally occurs between days 11 and 21 of your cycle (although this will vary from woman to woman and even from month to month). So you’ll want to focus your efforts on this time of the month. What you might not realize is that the time of day could make a difference, as well. Studies have shown that, on average, sperm count tends to be higher in the morning, so if your nocturnal activities haven’t yielded much success in forming the family cord, you might want to shift the hour of your efforts. Of course, these steps won’t technically increase your fertility, but they could just help you to target your strongest natural window for conception.