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Fertility is a particularly sensitive topic for women, especially because society tends to unfairly judge those that are yet to have children and are struggling to overcome this challenge.
This is often a painful experience for most women. Many health companies tend to take advantage of women’s eagerness and desperation for children by often marketing products that they know won’t give much results.
Studies have shown that only 40% of infertility factors relate to the woman and the majority 60% are caused by other factors. Still, women are often blamed when there are problems with conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
What is infertility?
Medically, infertility is the inability to conceive a child after frequently trying for at least a year. Yes. A year. This shows that many of us are too quick to jump and label ourselves infertile when we are not. We simply have to keep trying.
You have to try on your own naturally for at least a year before you can say there is a problem with your or your partner’s fertility.
Statistically, more than 50% of couples that initially labeled themselves infertile actually get pregnant by the second year with non-invasive adjustments or without any medical intervention.
This shows that it is important to make all the little changes in your diet and lifestyle before checking with your doctor after trying for a year.
My best advice is that, if you want to get pregnant soonest, you should begin with easy and safe improvements such as in diet, lifestyle, habits which are discussed below before going for a drastic remedy with a medical professional.
Factors Affecting Fertility
There are many factors that can prevent a woman from conceiving and carrying a healthy baby full term in her body. Some of these are health factors, dietary factors, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
It will be difficult for us to discuss the foods and herbs that can increase our fertility without briefly mentioning the other factors that significantly affect fertility.
This is because even if you were to use the herbs to be mentioned but there are other factors around you lowering your fertility, these herbs will not work for you and naturally, you will label them as ineffective.
These factors include:
This is one of the leading reasons for problems with conception in both men and women.
Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, sexually transmitted diseases especially gonorrhea and chlamydia, fibroid, pelvic inflammation disease, etc. are all ailments that can significantly affect fertility negatively
You can read further about these conditions here. Some of them can render one infertile while others reduce the possibility of getting pregnant but the good news is, most of them are curable so don’t lose hope yet
Other health problems that can hinder conception are being severely underweight or overweight, hormonal imbalance, stress, etc. These are different from the mentioned health issues above because they are more easily corrected with almost no effect on the body.
On that note, take some time to read the article I wrote on correcting hormonal imbalance with natural herbs and foods. In the article, I outlined how to easily rebalance your hormones without much stress and how to maintain it as well.
If you are suffering from hormonal imbalance, it is very important that you learn how to correct a hormonal imbalance naturally without further worsening your fertility problems with the wrong remedies and advice as I outline in the article I wrote on hormonal imbalance.
Good food is the basis of a healthy body and mind. There is almost always a food or dietary factor when we are facing a health problem. With this modern lifestyle, our food and water are polluted with many nasty chemicals.
This is a major factor in the declining fertility of all genders around the world. These harmful substances that are in our food result in lowering our immunity, cancers, organ diseases, fertility issues, etc.
It is important for those that are trying to conceive to be very conscious of their diet. Healthy foods should be your focus as you prepare your body for another to live in.
It is better to avoid or at least take a lot less of junk foods, soda, packaged foods, foods with trans-fat and all those foods you know are not good for you but you still eat them anyway.
Now is the time for you to seriously clean up your diet.
The body needs to be very healthy and have enough minerals, vitamins, and other components that are important for human health so that it can nurture a healthy baby.
Be the healthiest you can be so that you can easily conceive, be healthy while pregnant, the baby can be healthy and you will have a safe delivery.
Below are foods that are known to be very good for women’s health and reproduction, fertility, hormonal balance, etc.
- Sesame seeds
- Whole grains e.g wheat, oats, barley
- Mono saturated oils e.g avocado and olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole diary products not low-fat diary product etc.
These healthy foods aid in ovulation, balancing hormones, egg health, consistent menstruation, preventing miscarriage, etc.
Lifestyle and environment
Sleeping late at night, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and other caffeine-heavy foods, proximity to heavy metals, pesticides, and harmful household chemicals, etc. These are known to lower or disrupt not just fertility but also overall health.
It is important that we are conscious of how harmful behaviors and our surroundings can be detrimental to our health and in this case, fertility by disrupting the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
Other factors that can lower fertility even if it is just for some time include drugs, stress, Pollution, family history, etc.
This shows that fertility is a complex and sensitive health concern that requires an experienced and trained doctor to properly diagnose and advise on the best fertility route for you.
Other recommendations include:
- Excercise well during this fertility-boosting period. Avoid living a sedentary life as much as possible
- Avoid using feminine hygiene products, sanitary pads with chemicals etc. Just anything that contains harmful chemicals, keep them away from your under areas. You don’t need them to disrupt your PH down there hence, setting you back while trying so hard to boost your fertility
- Stop using birth control. This might seem obvious but it is important to note that stopping the pill one month but preferrably fourth months before you begin attempting to concieve because it does continue to affect your body until months after use. If you are having difficulty with your hormones, ovulation, menstrual cycle after using the pill, you need to see a doctor soonest
herbs for fertility
For those that have a healthy lifestyle and diet and do not have any known health problems preventing pregnancy, the following herbs will be very helpful in setting up your body for conception.
These herbs are most effective for those that are having unknown reasons for infertility, ovulation irregularities, structural issues in the reproductive system, etc.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an old medicinal and is also a culinary herb dating back to ancient Egypt. It has been used for medicine and food for centuries. It is still a common herb/spice added to the Italian herb seasoning combo.
Even in the English language, a sage is a mature person of distinguished wisdom.
Sage is well known for its support for fertility and the female reproductive system. It supports ovarian function, balances estrogen, treats menopause issues, irregular menstruation, etc.
The way to use it is in high doses as proven in this study that found out that in small doses, the herb was not effective in improving fertility
I have personally has an indirect experience with this herb through a friend who has been trying to conceive for about a year. A naturopath recommended her this herb. After using it, she was able to get pregnant but unfortunately had a miscarriage. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow her story to find out what happened.
This is a pretty good herb to start with when you are trying to get pregnant.
How to use:
Use as prescribed on the supplement bottle. You should take the herb for two months consecutively according to the naturopath I consulted.
She explained that these herbs have a cumulative effect on the body before they start to have a significant impact on the reproductive system.
As for the daily dosage, just remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, a range of recommended daily intake is indicated.
In this case, it is 1-3 capsules recommended in a day. but remember to take not more than one capsule at a time
Take the higher dosage and not the lower dosage. As the study above showed that it works best in higher doses.
It is a very safe herb for most. In the worst-case scenario, it causes no harm. Give it a try with the lowest dosage for the first 3-4 days to make sure you are not allergic or having adverse reactions to it.
This is recommended when you are starting to use any new herb, supplement, or food.
Where to get it:
You can find it in health shops and online health stores however, I will recommend the Viridian sage extract which is more powerful than the sage leaf extract.
Viridian is a health company that I like very much. They have ethically and sustainably sourced supplements with good quality and reasonable prices.
You might see this herb around this blog especially when I am discussing hormones and women’s health.
Fenugreek is one of those herbs that cannot be overstated because of its high medicinal value and importance to the health of both men and women.
The main function of fenugreek in the body is that it restores balance. When balance is destabilized, it will not function as it should. This is why it is very important when trying to conceive.
How to use:
- Take half a teaspoon of the powder (if using the powder) in the morning and evening. Be careful not to take more than a teaspoon in a day. This is because it is a very potent herb.
- Use as prescribed on the bottle if bought in a capsule form
- Use for upto 3 monthscontinously
As I explained earlier, the naturopath recommends long-term use because it has a cumulative, not immediate effect that is only realized after continuous use for some time.
Where to buy:
It is easily available in the supermarket in the spices section or in the local markets or in health stores.
The issue with such fenugreek is that it is probably adulterated with other substances.
You will need to buy 3 bottles because one bottle will only last for 1 month.
I wish you the best.
Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) is made from the seeds of the evening primrose plant which is native to northern and southern America.
It is widely used for many female health issues and other general health problems such as acne, arthritis, diabetes, etc. It is mostly available in capsule form.
For fertility, studies show that this oil is rich in omega 6 fatty acids mainly containing two important fatty acids that are needed to for a healthy cervical mucus.
A good cervical mucus quality is necessary for the sperm to be able to reach the egg successfully for it to be fertilised into a baby.
You can also search online success stories of women who have used primrose oil to conceive such as on the pregnancy forum and the community of what to expect. There you will find many that attribute their conception either wholly or partially to primrose oil.
This study among others showed that we should not expect immediate results from primrose oil just like the other herbal supplements mentioned, it takes a while before the improvements begin to be obvious in our body.
It is recommended to take the oil for 3-6 months but not more than that.
A point to remember, primrose oil contributes to our overall body health beyond just reproductive health. While taking this supplement, you might notice some improvements in your menstrual cycle and hormones, skin, bone health, etc. when you are taking this supplement
How to use:
Take as described on the bottle for a period of 3-5 months after meals.
Where to get it:
You can buy it in health and natural products shops in person or online. If you would like organic primrose oil for best results, spectrum essentials evening primrose oil is a great choice. It is about $30 for 90 capsules each containing 1300mg of the oil. You can get it at Vita Springs.
The organic primrose oil has much better quality but whatever ever you use should work.
Just remember to calculate how long you wish to try the primrose oil for fertility. It is important to complete the minimum use advised by doctors. For each month of the 3-5 months, you will need about 60 capsules. For a total of 3-4 months at least, 180-240 capsules are needed.
To be on the safe side, be vigilant of any changes in the first week of using this oil. It is a very safe oil for most of the population but be cautious.
Caution: Discontinue the use of evening primrose oil once you get pregnant as it can negatively affect ovulation.
Vitex or chaste berry
This Supplement is helpful by lowering the prolactin hormone and normalizing menstrual cycle irregularities.
The prolactin hormone in high levels inhibits the hormones that trigger a woman’s ovulation which is necessary to get pregnant.
This hormone is higher than average in breastfeeding women which is one of the reasons they are less likely to get pregnant during this period
High prolactin can also lead to a short luteal phase which leads to low production of progesterone hormone and an underdeveloped uterine lining that cannot support a healthy egg to be fertilized
How to take:
Use as directed on the product packaging but many doctors advise on taking it first thing in the morning before breakfast or on an empty stomach.
For best results, it should be taken continuously for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 6 months before discontinuing the supplement.
You can read more on extended fertility.
Where to get it:
While Vitex is a common supplement you can find in most health stores, Gaia herbs vitex berry extract is a good quality product that I will recommend.
It took me a while to select the most appropriate brand to recommend to you guys based on some factors such as quality, the content of the herb per serving, cost, etc.
This organic vegetarian vitex capsule is an alcohol-free extract of the vitex berry which means it has a stronger concentration of herb than the herb powder.
It has 60 capsules (1 bottle lasts for a month or so), is organic, has an alcohol-free extraction, 500mg/capsule, etc. It costs about $16 for a bottle. It is available on Vita Springs website.
Vitex is largely considered to be a safe herb for most but it can have mild and reversible side effects in some people.
Some doctors have advised against the use of vitex without your doctor’s approval for those with hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers, endometriosis, fibroids, etc. because it can affect hormone levels in the body as a fertility aid.
Vitex can also affect your moods, cause tender breasts, and gastrointestinal discomfort, and change the menstrual cycle as experienced by some.
If that happens to you, you might need to reduce the daily dosage and if that doesn’t help, then you will have to try another supplement from this list and leave out the vitex supplement.
Can I take these supplements at the same time?
It is advised that one does not use more than one fertility supplement at once. You will need to finish using one supplement before trying another one if it didn’t work for you.
I know it might then take a while before you find the right supplement that will help you because of the recommended 3-6 months period for most natural supplements conceive but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Another point is that if you combine them, they may negatively interact with one another, and also if any of them did the magic for you, you might never know which of them worked for you best.
Try and be patient of your fertility journey dear reader 🙂
These natural foods and herbs for fertility were not easy to find believe me it took more effort and more time than other blog posts that I usually write.
I had to consult with some professionals in the health area before arriving on this list. I am positive that these are effective in helping the body to increase our chances of conceiving.
Please do try them and let me know in the comments below if they helped you to improve your chances of conceiving or you saw any difference or changes in your body and its behavior.
I hope you enjoyed your time here with us (me and my readers).
Don’t forget that it is incredibly important to have no health issues that are blocking your chances of getting pregnant, your body is healthy and in a tip-top condition to be able to nurture a healthy baby.
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Have a nice day.