Becoming pregnant is becoming increasingly more difficult for many couples nowadays.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while but nothing is happening, don’t give up hope.
Here in this article, I am going to share with you ten ways to increase your natural fertility from a Chinese Medicine perspective.
Top 10 Ways Tips Enhance Fertility Naturally
Mix up your exercise
Cut back on strenuous workouts and incorporate more gentle exercises.
Evidence has shown that excessive or strenuous workouts can raise cortisol (the stress hormone) levels whilst more gentle exercises such as walking, swimming or some types of Yoga will decrease cortisol.
Increased cortisol can actually lead to weight gain and inflammation, therefore, having the opposite desired effect.
Consider Food energetics
Getting your diet right is beneficial for any female health issue, whether you are struggling to conceive or going through the menopause.
Eat less cold and raw foods and increase your consumption of more warm, slow-cooked foods.
‘Cold Uterus’ is a common diagnosis of infertility in Chinese Medicine and by eating warmer slow-cooked foods we are encouraging our body to warm itself from the inside out. These foods also require less energy to digest than cold, raw foods.
If you’re struggling with your diet and not quite sure if you are eating the right things to help you get pregnant, I provide my clients with dietary information specific to their individual needs when they come to see me for fertility acupuncture.
Keep your lower abdomen and back area warm by wearing a kidney warmer or vest.
The lower abdomen stores “fire” in Chinese medicine so also try warming your abdomen gently from after your period until ovulation. You can use a hot water bottle for 20 minutes in the evenings.
Track your basal body temperature (BBT) daily, this will give you an idea of exactly when you are ovulating as it’s not always around day 14.
You may be ovulating much earlier or later and missing your fertile window. This is also a much less expensive way of monitoring your cycle than using ovulation sticks.
Diagnostically, tracking your BBT can give your Chinese Medicine practitioner a clear picture of what needs addressing to balance your hormones.
Monitor your periods
Being aware of your monthly cycle will help you understand your body’s natural fertility. The two main things to think about are: Is your period regular and is your cycle shorter or longer than the average 27-29 days?
Knowing the answers to these two questions will also help in determining if and when you are ovulating. It’s also good to be aware of any symptoms either around ovulation or pre-menstrually that may point to underlying conditions. These can include painful or cramps, lower backache or bloating.
Visit Your GP
If you have been trying to conceive for around one year with no success then make an appointment to visit your GP to have the necessary health checks completed.
Comprehensive fertility checks are available which should be able to eliminate any of the more common problems that can hinder conception.
Have Sex Regularly
This may sound obvious however sperm can survive in the reproductive system for up to 5 days.
Many people who have been trying to conceive for a while will wait to have sex on or after ovulation however more regular sex will increase your chances of conceiving. Plus it helps to relieve the stress which can be caused by fertility issues!
Stop smoking and drinking
From a Chinese Medicine perspective alcohol introduces a ‘cold’ energy to the digestive system which is something to be avoided when trying to conceive.
The occasional drink is not thought to do much harm however there is plenty of evidence to show that moderate drinking can substantially decrease a woman’s chance of conceiving.
It’s not just female fertility that’s affected by alcohol either. Studies have shown that alcohol lowers testosterone levels and sperm quality and quantity in men.
Smoking has also been proven to have similar effects on both male and female fertility, specifically on female egg quality.
Get a good night’s sleep
Going to bed at a similar time most evenings and waking at a similar time will support your circadian rhythm which is your body’s natural clock.
Your circadian rhythm affects amongst other things your hormone production so it’s easy to see how poor sleep patterns can affect natural fertility.
One fertility study showed that night shift workers had an 80% increase in infertility-related issues compared to day time workers.
Aim for a good 7-9 hours each evening with a relaxing wind-down routine such as reading or meditating.
Finally….reduce your stressors
Whilst studies into the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone, and fertility are ongoing with no proven outcome.
We do know the effect elevated cortisol has on other areas of our health including weight gain, inflammation and fatigue therefore it would be desirable to avoid increasing your cortisol whilst trying to conceive.
Try going for a walk, yoga or meditation or simply doing things you enjoy on a weekly basis and surrounding yourself with people that make you feel good whilst avoiding unnecessary stressful situations.