Time is ticking, and with each day that goes by, we’re all getting older. When it comes to fertility, that means that a couple’s chances of conceiving fall as each partner ages.
Biologically speaking, there is a window of about 30 years that women have the best chance to conceive, between the ages of 15 to 44. The odds in favor of getting pregnant decrease as a woman’s body approaches perimenopause.
For a man, sperm health peaks in his thirties and wanes as the biological clock ticks, dropping off after 55.
But age isn’t the only factor that affects your fertility. So, if you’re somewhere in the fertility window, there are things you can do now to be proactive and optimize your chances of having a baby. Let’s cover 5 ways to boost your fertility at home.
What you eat has a huge impact on how your body performs. Think about that classic documentary “Super Size Me,” where Morgan Spurlock showed us all the effects of eating nothing but greasy fast food for a month straight. His dietary experiment resulted in weight gain of nearly 25 pounds, increased his cholesterol, and even caused sexual dysfunction.
If you’re trying to optimize your fertility, up your intake of foods that have healthy antioxidants. Antioxidants are healing molecules found in whole foods; their job is to remove free radicals from your system. High levels of free radicals can damage your body’s cells, including egg and sperm cells. Examples of antioxidants include folate, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Below is a small selection of the many whole foods that contain antioxidants:
While you’re increasing your antioxidants, don’t forget to incorporate more fiber into your diet. Fiber helps antioxidants get into and travel through your digestive system smoothly so that they can do their job. Fiber also helps keep your blood sugars stable. Studies have shown a correlation between diabetes and infertility. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes generally have high amounts of fiber.
Getting rid of your bad habits can also boost your fertility. It’s no secret that smoking is detrimental to your health. But did you realize that both smoking and alcohol can actually affect sperm counts, shape, and movements in men? Women also tend to have a conception delay with these habits. So if you’re trying to keep your reproductive cells in tip-top shape, you might want to try breaking these vices.
Caffeine is another stimulant that might affect fertility. In order to ensure that you’re giving your gonads the best chances, take it easy on the caffeine. That means consuming only modest amounts of soda, tea, and coffee. If you need to put a number on it, keep caffeine below 200 mg, that’s about one or two cups of coffee per day, so that it’s not messing with your chances of conceiving.
Eating healthy can be challenging in today’s fast-paced world, where convenience seems to trump the health factor. If you’re struggling to get all of your antioxidants and vitamins from your food, consider taking a multivitamin or a prenatal multivitamin if you’re a woman. Talk with your doctor during a regular checkup to see which multivitamin is right for you.
There are also some natural supplements that may increase male and female fertility. Here are a few:
Always talk with your doctor before beginning any new supplements.
Managing your stress levels can be easier said than done. But if you want to naturally boost your fertility, invest time in reducing your stress levels. When your body and mind are stressed, your reproductive hormone cycles can be thrown off, affecting fertility.
Here are some ways to reduce stress:
If you’re unable to get your stress under control on your own, talking to a counselor or therapist is another option that can help you process whatever is causing your stress.
The final straw–pun intended–is how much water you’re drinking. Dehydration can cause damage to eggs and sperm; it can also affect the viscosity of the fluids that carry egg and sperm to the proper meeting place. When you are drinking enough fluids and electrolytes, blood flow is improved, and organs can function better. A good test of whether you’re drinking enough water is by observing your urine. If your pee is light yellow, then you’re getting enough water. If it’s very dark or bright, then you may be dehydrated.
Fertility can be a bit of a mystery. Following the tips in this article, your fertility should be off the charts! If you’re trying to conceive now or in the near future, these steps are a good guideline to follow.
But it’s not uncommon for couples to be clueless about a fertility problem until they are ready to start having children. So you might be wondering if there’s a way to find out if you’re fertile before you’re even ready to start trying. The good news is–yes! And the better news is–you can test it from home!
My Virtual Physician has partnered with Orchid to provide our patients easy access to at-home fertility testing. Orchid’s fertility test kits are for both men and women, with both hormone and sperm analysis options. Contact us today to get your at-home fertility test kit and remove the mystery of your fertility.