How To Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
As someone who’s been through 5 IVF cycles, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take care of yourself during this process. The stress alone is enough to make getting pregnant even more challenging. So how do you increase your chances of getting pregnant and stay sane in the process?
A big part of fertility comes down to the quality of your eggs. Your eggs need to be what doctors call chromosomally normal to conceive and carry a baby to full term. As we get older, more of your eggs have genetic abnormalities, meaning it’s harder for an egg to implant in your uterus. This happened to me several times during IVF before I had my daughter. Luckily, if you follow the right practices, you’re more likely to improve egg quality so you have less inflammation and oxidation while balancing out your hormones.
Are you ready to learn what you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant this year? Read on for my best tips for increasing your chances of getting pregnant the healthiest, most stress-free way possible.
Take the right supplements to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
After reading all the books, blogs, and articles while spending hundreds on OPKs and online programs, I still got that negative pregnancy test. But taking the right supplements helped a ton during the IVF process. Supplements like folic acid and COQ-10 are great options for boosting fertility. Over-the-counter supplements like Mucinex have even been found in some women to help thin vaginal secretions so sperm can more easily find your egg (just make sure you get the additive-free kind!).
Just because something says “vitamin” on the label doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for your fertility. Be sure to take supplements that truly support your goals and ask your doctor about anything you take to make sure you don’t have any interactions that could negatively affect you. These vitamins and these nutrients are a great place to start as you’re auditing your medicine cabinet!
If you want to deep dive into the topic, I HIGHLY recommend It Starts with the Egg by Rebecca Fett. It’s an authoritative guide that gives you everything you need to improve your egg quality in just three months. She also recommends several fertility supplements on her website.
Remove household toxins.
Toxins can be a huge drain on your fertility. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to cut down on your household toxins so your home is a safer, more fertile environment as you’re trying to conceive.
Do a Marie Kondo-style clean and get rid of all BPAs in your kitchen along with toxic cleaning products like Lysol or Windex. Trade out plastic for BPA-free glass, throw out the plastic water bottles in favor of glass or stainless steel bottles and skip storing anything in metal cans.
Your toxin cleanse should extend into your bathroom, too. Make sure you and your spouse switch to nontoxic makeup and skincare. Don’t stop your cleanse in the kitchen. Switching to non-toxic beauty products free of parabens (which disrupt your hormones, much like BPA) and other ingredients like lead, mercury, and phthalates ensures that you’re not surrounding yourself with inhibiting factors that will only decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Luckily, there are TONS of non-toxic beauty brands selling products at an affordable price, so this isn’t too difficult a switch to make!
In the bedroom, don’t forget to take a close look at the type of lubricant you’re using, if any, to ensure that it’s fertility-friendly and pH balanced so it’s not killing sperm before it can meet up with your egg.
Reduce your stress levels.
Easier said than done— I KNOW—but this is incredibly important. After all, it’s been proven that women who are going through infertility experience just as much stress as women suffering through cancer, heart disease, or AIDS.
Before I conceived, I excessively charted my fertility and tried to time everything just right. But every month I didn’t get pregnant, I returned to a stressed out, defeated mindset that signaled my stress hormones. That’s not good for your reproductive organs, which hear the message loud & clear that you’re in fight-or-flight and can’t conceive. Even though so much of infertility has to do with improving the way our bodies work, a key part of that is working on our mindsets so we can live positive, thriving lives even in the middle of such difficulty.
Start a meditation practice, and commit to it regularly to find more peace in your challenges. Do what you can to add self-care to your day. Keep a regular, solid routine in place so your body can stay regular, hydrated, and calmed down. Each night, wind down without screens so you can have relaxing sleep, another key to fertility success.
Engage in fertility-friendly workouts.
When you’re on the lookout for the right workout routine, don’t engage in exercise that raises cortisol levels. This only serves to increase your fight-or-flight response, which we definitely don’t want! The standard recommendation for wellness is 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Emphasis on the word moderate. Remember, you don’t want to overexercise, as this can make you lose weight and shift your hormones too much.
Cardio workouts like Zumba are still okay, just keep them to an hour or less. Walking, yoga, or aerobic exercise is also generally great as well if you’re giving yourself rest and breaks to ensure you’re not overworking your body.
Clean up your diet and remove processed foods.
Since fertility is an extension of our health, you can’t neglect taking care of yourself at every step. The first key to natural fertility is a healthy diet. To boost your fertility, revamp your diet to include more fresh food. That means cultivating a strong diet of fresh foods that are strong in Vitamin C (which promotes progesterone!), like leafy greens, tomatoes, and berries, as well as foods that balance out your estrogen, like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. You’ll also want to trade out coffee for caffeine-free tea, say goodbye to alcohol, and go for nuts like almonds, peanuts, & cashews, and antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries.
But remember: fresh food isn’t always better than frozen. Something to keep in mind is that organic foods often sit on the shelf past their peak. Sometimes frozen actually is better than fresh because most produce is bagged and frozen as soon as it’s picked off the vine.
Some other foods high on the list are whole-grain breads and fortified breakfast cereals. It also goes without saying that you should drink 8-10 cups of water a day. We already know it flushes out the organs but a little-known fact is that it also increases quality cervical fluid.
It also matters when you’re eating. Always make sure you eat within an hour of waking, have snacks or meals every 4-5 hours, and don’t eat anything after dinner to give your body time to detox and digest.
My general rule? Don’t obsess or overeat any one type of food. It’s all about balance, so just make sure your diet is full of a variety of healthy, fresh, and nutritious foods.
Are you trying to get pregnant this year? Having a fertility coach’s expertise can provide physical, mental, and emotional support as you navigate infertility.
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