If you’re ready to get pregnant, there are simple, accessible, and science-backed ways to boost your fertility naturally.
As a functional nutrition and women’s hormone expert with a passionate interest in hormonal biochemistry, functional nutrition, endocrinology, epigenetics and chronobiology, I’ve spent the past 15 years researching how to boost fertility naturally. Here is what I recommend:
1. Evaluate Your Hormone History
- Have you been on the pill for years?
- Have you taken many rounds of antibiotics for chronic infections?
- Do you have a history of extreme dieting or eating disorders?
- Are you struggling with a menstrual diagnosis like PCOS, endometriosis, or fibroids?
- Do you have a history of miscarriages or other complications?
- Are you over 35?
Understanding the potential obstacles to your fertility is critical to your fertility-enhancing plan. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might need to spend 3 to 6 months boosting your micronutrient levels, healing your gut, and eliminating excess estrogen before trying to conceive.
2. Understanding Your Monthly Cycle
When you ovulate, do you have symptoms of excess estrogen-like breakouts? Do you experience serious PMS, which is an indication of progesterone insufficiency or delayed cycles?
3. Reduce Your Exposure to Chemicals
We live in a world of dangerous chemicals. From your sunscreen to furniture polish, the chemicals in many everyday products may put your fertility at risk.
Research from the National Institutes of Health show that many of these chemicals are bioaccumulative and highly toxic, which means that once they’re in your system, they stay there, damaging your delicate endocrine system and harming your fertility. This same report shows that “metals and chemicals in air, water, food, and health-and-beauty aids are damaging fertility in many ways. These toxicants are causing men to experience relentlessly decreasing sperm count and function while women are suffering progressively worse anovulation, impaired implantation, and loss of fetal viability.”
I recommend replacing chemical-laden cleaning supplies and beauty products with hormone-friendly alternatives.
4. The Pill = Micronutrient Depletion
Even if you don’t want to get pregnant right this very second, I encourage you to address the micronutrient depletion effect from taking this medication now.
The pill has long-term health consequences for reproductive health, damaging the gut microbiome and suppressing symptoms of hormone imbalances that can interfere with fertility. The NIH has released reports showing that the pill also drains your body of the essential micronutrients you need to get pregnant. If you’ve been on the pill for any length of time now or in the past, your first step should be to consult a licensed healthcare practitioner about coming off the pill, as well as starting a new supplement routine.
Then, in concert with your doctor, I encourage you to consider taking these essential micronutrients that are drained from the body when you take the pill:
B6 — Vitamin B6 is essential for the development of the corpus luteum, the group of cells that are produced in the ovary after the egg is released. The corpus luteum is responsible for making progesterone during the luteal phase of your cycle — and during the early stages of pregnancy. A deficiency in vitamin B6 will have a negative effect on your reproductive health.
Magnesium — The body needs magnesium to make progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone, and you need those three hormones to conceive. You can eat foods high in magnesium, of course — dark chocolate is one! — but so many everyday factors deplete our bodies of magnesium (things like sugar, stress, and caffeine) that I highly recommend taking a supplement.
D3 — A staggering 93% of women dealing with infertility are deficient in vitamin D3, and women with higher vitamin D3 levels are four times more likely to conceive via IVF than women with low levels. As the NIH reports, robust levels of vitamin D is a critical factor in getting pregnant.
Probiotics — A healthy gut is essential for conception because a specific community of gut flora called the estrobolome produces an enzyme that supports the metabolization of estrogen. The better you’re able to metabolize estrogen, the more balanced your hormones and the likelier your chance of conceiving.
Zinc — Zinc helps to boost testosterone production, and it blocks the enzyme responsible for turning testosterone into estrogen, which helps guard against estrogen dominance. Low levels of zinc have been associated with a longer time to pregnancy. As mentioned above, estrogen dominance is a contributing factor in infertility.
5. Eat for Optimal Fertility
Food is medicine when it comes to getting pregnant. Start by eating to balance blood sugar, which means emphasizing healthy fats and clean proteins and reducing the amount of processed sugars and refined carbohydrates in your diet. Eating the right type of healthy fats might be especially important. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have shown that avocados, which are rich in monounsaturated fat, are an ideal food for increasing the successful outcome of IVF.
6. Support Egg Health with Supplements
Certain nutrients and plant compounds are specifically nourishing for your ovaries and the quality and health of your eggs. It’s important to consult with a licensed healthcare provider before starting any new supplement routine. I encourage you to ask your practitioner about these specific supplements for fertility:
- Melatonin — Getting enough high-quality sleep is essential for reproductive health and overall health. Getting good sleep is part of any comprehensive stress-reduction plan, and research on sleep and infertility hints that dysregulated sleep may be its own contributing factor to fertility struggles. Taking low-dose melatonin is a healthy, fertility-supportive way to improve sleep quantity and egg quality.
- CoQ10 — Women who are trying to get pregnant, but who have poor ovarian response (POR), can find conceiving a challenge. Research suggests that taking the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps improve ovarian response and embryo quality in young patients with POR.
- MyoInositol — Supplementing with myoinositol has been shown to increase the clinical pregnancy rate in infertile women who are undergoing IVF. It may also improve the quality of embryos and reduce the required amount of stimulation drugs used during the IVF process.
If you take these steps, you will dramatically enhance your body’s ability to conceive… period.
About the Author
Boost Your Fertility Naturally — Sources
NIH – Chemicals in every day products
NIH – The Pill and Nutrients
NIH – Estrobolome & Estrogen Levels
NIH – Vitamin D & Pregnancy
NIH – Sleep and Pregnancy
NIH – Sleep, Sleep Disturbance and Fertility in Women
NIH – Zinc Levels
NIH — Coenzyme Q10
NIH – Myoinositol Supplements
Harvard School of Public Health