Natural Fertility Tips

Natural fertility tips is a very small selection of studies that highlight the many ways that you may be able to improve fertility and IVF success naturally. You should always ask your primary care provider before making changes to your diet or nutritional supplements. This information is purely for educational use and is not a substitute for medical or dietary advice.

 

Ginger may help menstrual cramps & inflammation. In a study published in Alternative and Complementary medicine ginger powder (250mg 4 times a day) was found to be equally effective to ibuprophen (400mg 4 times per day or mefenamic acid (250mg 4 times per day) for menstrual cramps.

 

     In Chinese medicine, menstrual cramps are a sign of energy or Qi imbalance affecting the uterus. Resolving such Qi imbalances with acupuncture allows the uterus to be more balanced and harmonious, which makes it more ready to conceive.

 

Are low iron levels interfering with your fertility? Many women simply take a multivitamin instead of a prenatal vitamin when trying to conceive. However, Prenatal formulas generallyhave much higher iron levels and low iron levels have been associated with sub-fertility. A blood test for ferritin combined with an iron level and iron binding capacity will tell you if you have a problem. Dr. Tietelbaum, MD recommends that your ferritin should be at least 40 ng per ml for optimum fertility. Iron is especially important if you don’t ovulate regularly. a Harvard study has indicated that women who have high dietary iron levels had a 60% lower incidence of ovulatory dysfunction.

     Ask your physician to test your iron levels if you are having trouble conceiving, especially if you have a history of anemia.

A new way to check FSH. If you are one of the many women without health insurance and you want to keep a check on your FSH without an expensive office visit yo can now test FSH at home. First Response sells a $25 test kit (2 test sticks) in pharmacies. FSH should be tested on day 3 of your menstrual cycle to give an idea of your ovarian reserve.

     FSH may not be the most accurate way to measure your fertility. Other valuable tests, such as AMH, can give extra information about how fertile you are and how your ovaries are aging. In depth ovarian reserve testing can help you make the best choices regarding your fertility treatments.

Fruit & vegetables help endometriosis. In a study published in Human Reproduction women who ate greater quantities of beef or other red meats were 100% more likely to experience endometriosis than women who ate meat under three times per week. Women who consumed green vegetables twice a day were 70% less likely to have endometriosis than those who had greens under 6 times a week. Eating fresh fruit at least twice a day was associated with 40% less incidence of endometriosis.

     If you have endometriosis, ask your health care provider about an anti-inflammatory diet.

Get to know the “dirty dozen.” Certain fruits and veggies are known to harbor more toxic pesticides and other toxic compounds than others. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) you can reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides / fungicides / other chemical residues by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Check the latest list at ewg.org.

Think outside the box when Clomid doesn’t work. When Clomid fails to induce ovulation the next step is often gonadotrophin injections or IVF both of which can be very costly. A few studies have now shown that just 2 months on monophasic oral contraceptives can help dramatically improve response to Clomid. In one study of 48 women, the treatment group (24 women) who had previously failed with Clomid were given a continuous monophasic contraceptive for 42-50 days and after withdrawal bleeding were given 100mg of Clomid on days 5-9 for up to six cycles. An astonishing 71% of the women ovulated, and almost 60% conceived. In the control group the sam edose of Clomid was given, after which just 8% ovulated and only one woman became pregnant who later miscarried. Study by Dr. Emmet F. Branigan of the San diego Fertility Center reported at the meeting of the Pacific Coast Obstetrical and Gynecological Society.

     Asking your physician about innovative ways of using fertiltiy medications can save a lot of money and may be surprisingly effective.

Should you avoid alcohol in the month or more prior to IVF? A study in Fertility and Sterility discovered that alcohol consumed in the month or even longer before IVF can have a deleterious effect on egg retrieval, pregnancy success, and miscarriage rates.

Should men avoid alcohol too? In the study above by Dr. Chen, alcohol consumption by male partners in the month prior to IVF also had a negative effect on pregnancy outcome by increasing miscarriage rates. Dr. Chen advises that men limit alcohol to a maximum 1/2 to 1 glass of wine per day.

Minimize your PFC exposure. Avoiding non-stick cookware, canned foods, and stain protected fabrics and carpets may help reduce PFC exposure and help your fertiltiy. A study of 1240 pregnant women at the Universityi of California, Loss Angeles showed those with higher blood levels of PFC’s (perflourinated chemicals) took longer to become pregnant. PFC’s are used to form protective coatings on pans and fabrics and to line food cans. While some exposure is unavoidable, it makes sense to avoid what you can.

Avoiding Bisphenol A. This compound is used to produce rigid plastic food and beverage containers and is known to leach into food and drinks. In a study at the University of California, San Fransisco bisphenol A was found to decrease the division of uterine cells which may affect implantation. When possible opt for glass containers and think carefully about ways to cut down on plastic packaged foods. BPA has been found routinely in canned fruits and vegetables, sodas, and even baby formula. According to the CDC, 95% of us have BPA in our urine. Presented by Lusine Aghajanova at the ASRM annual meeting, Nov 2008

Choose your cosmetic brands carefully. Cosmetics are known to be a potent source of phthalates. Studies show that phthalates can interfere with hormones causing irregularities in ovulation and negatively affecting sperm as well. Consider choosing phthalate free brands of product that you apply to your body.

Learn to relax deeply for 10-20 minutes twice a day. In a study at Harvard Medical School, group therapy more than doubled conception rates in women who had previously found it difficult to conceive. Alice Domar, PhD., the lead researcher, recommends learning a relaxation technique such as meditation, autogenic training or progressive relaxation for just 10-20 minutes twice per day.

     Many of my clients love using my Breathing CD and meditation program that teaches easy but powerful breathing techniques that quickly become part of your day.

Prayer and IVF success. Having a prayer group pray for you during your IVF may increae the odds of conceiving. In a study in Cha Hospital, Seol, Korea, 219 women aged 26-46 years who were doing IVF were divided into two groups. One group were prayed for by prayer groups in the US, Canada and Australia. At the end of the study, 26% of the non-prayer group conceived and 50% of the women who were prayed for. J.Reprod Med 2001 Sep; 46 (9): 781-7

Could his cell be zapping his sperm? A large study in India has shown that there may be a direct correlation between the length of time a man talks on his cell phone per day and his sperm count. The researchers suggested that when a cell phone is in use it may be able to interfere with the function of the hypothalamic pituitary axis in the brain. Given the vital importance of the hypothatlamic-pituitary axis to women as well, it may be a good idea to use land lines as much as possible and minimize cell use when trying to conceive.

     Purchasing a good headset can shield your brain from most of the electro-pollution of a cell phone. I like the headsets sold through mercola.com.