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How To Improve Your Fertility: Diet, Exercise & More

1 in 7 Couples Struggle to Conceive

According to the National Health Service around 1 in 7 couples struggle to conceive.
Struggling to get pregnant can place a strain on both you and your partner, emotionally and physically. There are various options available for couples to improve their fertility and chances of conceiving, including prescribed medication, medical procedures, and natural methods.
It’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before you try to conceive to make sure you’re a healthy weight and that any medications you take would not affect getting pregnant or harm a fetus.
June is ‘World Infertility Awareness Month’ and today we are discussing 4 natural ways to improve your fertility.

Fertility & Diet

Being overweight or underweight can lead to irregular periods or stop menstruation, which will obviously have a direct impact on your ability to conceive. Achieving a balanced and fresh diet is key to overall health and can have a positive impact on your fertility.
Reducing trans fats, a form of saturated fats, can be helpful to your fertility as research shows that these fats can be linked to ‘ovulatory disorder infertility’.
However, not all fats are bad and it’s important to include healthy fats in your diet.  
Healthy Fats to Include In Your Fertility Diet
Unsaturated vegetable oils such as avocado and coconut oil.
Organic butter
Pasture-raised eggs and meats
Nuts and seeds
Full fat dairy
Healthy Carbs to include in Your Fertility Diet

Wholegrains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa
Whole fruits

Oily fish is good for a fertility diet, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, because they contain omega-3 and omega-6.

Folic acid is recommended during pregnancy and this can be found in your diet (although it is advised to take a supplement too). Foods such as green leafy vegetables, some spreads, and cereals contain folic acid.

Vitamins and Minerals to Help Fertility

It’s important to check with your doctor about the right prenatal vitamins for you to take to ensure you are getting the right balance of vitamins leading up to conception. These include vitamin D, iron, vitamin C, and calcium.
Most women are advised to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before conception until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is to prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.
Your doctor may prescribe you additional folic acid as some women need more due to other medications they may be on and other women may need to take folic acid longer than 12 weeks.
If you don’t buy a prenatal vitamin you’ll need to check that your multivitamin doesn’t contain too much vitamin A, as this can be harmful to the baby’s development.

Exercise and Fertility

Exercise is important to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity and ill-health, including having an impact on fertility.
Exercising too much can also have a negative impact on your fertility, especially if you are already within a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range.
In order to support fertility, it’s ideal to exercise in moderation, have a regular workout plan, not to be too vigorous, and listen to your body.

Common Chemicals and Fertility

Research has shown that some chemicals can have an impact on biology and can cause problems with the body’s endocrine system. This can affect various areas of the body including reproductive, neurological, and cardiovascular systems.
Harmful chemicals and materials such as dioxin, non-organic cotton (contains dicofol & trifluralin), polyester, and some pesticides, can be found in a range of everyday products including, paper towels, toilet paper, make-up removal pads, non-organic tampons, and pads.
The vagina is made up of fatty tissues and glands which are very absorbent. By using non-organic pads and tampons we are placing harmful chemicals into, or next to, our vagina’s. Chemicals that are on these products can be absorbed into the bloodstream and can disrupt levels of estrogen.

More research is needed before a strong link is established between harmful chemicals and infertility. However, potentially harmful chemicals are being used in many cosmetic and personal hygiene items. Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not, making the switch to reusable or organic period protection is a step towards improving your overall health and the environment.

In Conclusion

There are many reasons why a couple may struggle to conceive, but with a doctor's guidance, trying natural ways to boost your fertility can be a positive step towards better health.
Eating the right foods, ensuring you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing exposure to harmful chemicals are good options to continue the journey to becoming pregnant.