Improving Fertility Health: Complementary Changes
In addition to the lifestyle changes recommended to improve your fertility, altering your daily routine and adding some alternative supplements may also aid you in your quest to conceive.
Many herbs that have been found in nature for thousands of years, like chasteberry, have the ability to increase the fertility of both men and woman. These herbs can be taken as a natural means to increase your fertility. In particular, chasteberry intake helps stimulate the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the secretion of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Another Chinese herb, Dong Quai, has long been used to solve menstrual problems as well as correct estrogen imbalances in the body.
All natural herbs are very potent and those opting to take these herbs should only do so after proper consultation from a trained professional.
Recently, acupuncture, the ancient Chinese technique using needles to treat pain, discomfort and allergies, has also been used to treat infertility in females. It has been observed that this innovative use of needles helps reduce stress hormones, normalises the flow of hormones needed by the ovaries, increases the blood flow to the uterus, improves ovulation and also improves chances of fertilisation in women undergoing IVF.
Before opting for this procedure, couples should however verify that the person doing the treatment is a qualified acupuncturist.
Less Stress, More Sleep
Though there has been no direct link found between stress and fertility, many physicians have noticed that those woman who undergo a stress reducing technique often have an easier time getting pregnant. Yoga, in particular, is known to help reduce stress levels and has also been found to help couple trying to conceive. Other relaxing rituals that can help ease stress include having a relaxing foot and body massage and meditating.
Sleep, too, is said to work wonders if one is planning a baby. Experts believe that the hormone leptin, which is required for appetite and weight regulation, also plays an important role in female fertility. If you do not get enough sleep, then your leptin levels tend to decrease and that may cause irregular ovulation.
Chronic sleep deprivation also makes the whole body system irregular including the menstrual cycles. If you are trying to conceive, set yourself on a sleep schedule, always waking up and going to bed at the same time, to make sure that you catch those eight hours of beauty sleep.
Charting Fertility Signs
Many couples have difficulty conceiving because they do not realise the importance of the ovulation cycle. Although most discussions say that women ovulate on day 14 of their cycle, or halfway through their cycle, the reality is that every woman ovulates at a different time. Some may ovulate closer to the start of their cycle while others may ovulate towards the end of their cycle. Additionally, just when you ovulate can change from month to month. This is why keeping track of your ovulation and menstrual cycle is so important when you are trying to conceive. An egg only has a 24-hour window during which it can be fertilised after ovulation; miss this window and you miss your chance to conceive.
Taking steps such as monitoring your basal body temperature (BBT), which usually increases at the time of ovulation, or observing your cervical mucus are good methods to understand your fertility signs better. By maintaining a fertility calendar, you can keep a track of you BBT and eventually know the precise time when ovulation is about to occur. Various fertility monitors are also available, which can provide you with an accurate idea of when to expect ovulation during your cycle and just when you are most fertile.
For fertilisation to occur, the sperm must be deposited as close to the cervix as possible. In order to help sperm on their way, certain sexual positions have been found to be better than the others. The missionary position in particular is known as one of the more helpful positions as it allows for deep penetration. Of course, the same sexual position can get rather boring, so you may also want to try:
Spooning: With both partners lying side-by-side, the can be both intimate and relaxing.
On All Fours: Also known as "doggy style," this position also allows for deep penetration
Keep in mind, though, that while experts recommend these positions, they haven't been scientifically studied to determine just how much they influence conception.
Other sex tips that may help with conception:
After sex, keep the hips elevated for 15 to 20 minutes; this will prevent extra semen from leaking out and increase the chances of fertilisation
Avoid positions that have you sitting, standing or on top; gravity will be working against with these positions
Have an orgasm! It's thought that the contractions that occur during a female orgasm help sperm get further along in the cervix.
Some lubricants, along with arousal oils and scented tampons have been known to be hostile to sperms, so it is best to avoid using these if you're trying to conceive.
For more information on improving your fertility check out our pregnancy videos.