We all know the stories of fertility throughout our friends and family. Some women seem to have no trouble getting pregnant (I tried three times and ended up with four babies), while others try for years and years to wind up childless.
There are many ins and outs when it comes to fertility. Learning about your body and ovulation is your first step. Trying to get pregnant during your ovulation window will give you the best odds. Also, healthy diet and exercise is always key when you want your body to literally perform miracles. However, even with a healthy body, many women struggle to get pregnant for months or years.
There are many different medicinal avenues women can take to become pregnant. There is: in vitro fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), donor eggs and embryos, and more, more, more.
The list of prescription medicines available to women struggling to conceive is even longer and more difficult to pronounce with side effects in abundance. However, many women forget to explore the avenue of natural ways to increase fertility. Not only is this an easier, less invasive way to kick start your body, but it's much less expensive than drug and fertility treatments currently available. There are the tried and true, but, today, we want to discuss the lesser known natural ways to increase your fertility and, hopefully, allow you to become pregnant much more quickly and painlessly.
Here are our 15 favorites:
15 Redesign The Bedroom
Say, what? I told you we were giving you unusual techniques. This one comes from the ancient Chinese custom of Feng Shui which advises us to create the optimal love-making area in order to promote conception.
Feng Shui is all about energy and blockages. The bedroom is the most important area to focus on balance for making babies. You want to make sure the design is both female and male or yin and yang. Basically, the best way to envision this is to think about the crisp, clean of a hotel room. That is the goal of achieving yin and yang for conception.
Unlike hotel rooms, your bedroom needs to be all about sleeping and making love. So, that means adios to your television, smart phones and computers. Also, make sure no running water can be heard while you're in bed. This can drain your internal energies.
When being intimate, it's better to cool off with a standing fan than a ceiling fan in order to keep energy balanced in the room.
It's very important the woman lay on the right side of the bed and the man the left in order to harmonize the couple's energies.
14 Eat Your Beans
Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat the more you...get pregnant? That's what one Harvard study is proposing for women trying to conceive in a more natural way.
The study analyzed nearly 19,000 female nurses trying to conceive and found that women who consumed more plant protein than animal protein had a 39% higher fertility than women who ate more meat.
If you're like me and always eat your burritos sans beans, there are other plant-based protein options besides beans. Lentils, tofu, edamame, and nuts are equally high in protein. Otherwise, you can attempt a chili, toss them in your salad or bean burger recipe that hides the beans a bit more than eating them plain.
We're not talking sit around and eat a can of baked beans and cross your fingers, but, along with proper exercise and diet, replace some of your "meat dinners" with beans throughout the week. Another option would be to implement a Meatless Monday where you skip the meat and make high protein vegetable dishes.
13 Make Baby Space
While creating a nursery may be two steps ahead, according to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, it is still important to have space in your home for a baby.
Before you race to IKEA for a crib, it's not about shopping and assembling, Feng Shui is more about creating space for the energy of a baby. So, you'll need to start purging and becoming a bit more minimalist in your home. Get rid of junk and clutter so your energy feels there is space for more people in your living areas.
Hiring an organizer or cleaning service will not only help the energy in your home, it will also reduce stress on your body. A less stressful body is always a better environment for conception.
If you purge and still feel like you don't have the space for a baby, this can be considered an energy block and it might be a good idea to move on to a more roomy environment and start planning out your space for when the baby arrives.
12 Choose Unrefined Carbohydrates
If you've ever dieted, ever, you have heard the woes of carbohydrates. It's always, "Carbs are the devil! No carbs for healthy bodies!" While this is somewhat true, to increase fertility, you'll want to eat unrefined carbohydrates.
During the same Nurse's Health Study performed at Harvard University, the diet analysis found that those women with a high glycemic index were a whopping 92% more likely to have ovulatory infertility compared to those women who ate unrefined carbohydrates.
Instead of eating white breads, potatoes, cakes and noodles, pick from these items to increase your chances of becoming pregnant:
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain pasta
- Whole-wheat bread
- Beans (again with this magical food!)
- Vegetables (without starch. Sorry, potatoes)
Make sure that while you are increasing your unrefined carb intake and other food items we suggest, you are pairing the new menu with sufficient exercise and lower (if not eliminate) alcohol consumption.
11 Put Your Undies On The Roof
You may be put on Neighborhood Watch for this one, but according to the African Congo's Yansi people, if you throw your underwear on your roof during a full moon, your fertility is increased.
However, it's key to remember you can't just throw them up and grab them down before your neighbors' eyebrows raise, you have to keep them there until the New Moon and retrieve them that night or all bets are off.
One thought process behind this is poor circulation can hinder fertility in both men and women. So, everything is free to flow if nobody is wearing underwear. Therefore, the custom isn't exclusive to women wanting to get pregnant, men are free to toss their undies on the shingles in an effort to get things moving along.
Maybe it's just ancient legend, but maybe there's something to getting some rays where the sun don't shine. Who knows, doesn't hurt to try.
10 Lube Things Up With Egg Whites
Yes, sticking some egg whites where the sun don't shine, can help you fertilize your own eggs more quickly.
First, using the egg whites as lube means you aren't using over-the-counter man-made lubricants. These can be known to cause a downward spiral in fertility.
Secondly, egg whites are known to guide lost sperm to the motherland (pun intended). The whites act just like natural mucus found in the vagina and this allows sperm to travel through the cervix rather than out the vagina.
However, make sure you are separating the yolk from the whites since the yolk can cause bacteria to get trapped and give you an infection.
Merely track your ovulation dates, know your most fertile days, separate the yolk from the white and insert the whites into your vagina. This does not need to be done during intercourse as the egg will continue to lubricate throughout the day.
9 Drink Baboon Urine
While we doubt you can run to Whole Foods and grab a bottle, it is believed that chugging down some fresh baboon urine can increase your odds when it comes to baby making.
The good news is, the Zimbabwe tribe that recommends a shot of primate pee says it works best in a mug of beer. Even better news, your partner can drink this cocktail too as the ritual is said to increase fertility in both men and women. I'm sure he was pretty worried he would be missing out on this one.
The Zimbabwe people believe this increases fertility since the urine has such high volumes of hormones that affect fertility. However, not shockingly, doctors in Africa believe the cocktail might not be the best for pregnant women health-wise, so be warned before you run to the zoo with your thermos, it might be merely an old wive's tale.
8 Eat A Big Breakfast
While you still will need to be healthy about what you consume, eating a big breakfast to jump start your day has proven to increase fertility in some women who've struggled with conception.
A 2013 study published in Clinical Science found a heart morning meal may increase fertility for women who tend to have irregular periods.
The study followed 60 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is a hormone imbalance that affects periods as well as the development and release of eggs in roughly 10% of women of childbearing age. The women were broken into two groups: one ate more than half their calories (980) for the day during breakfast and the other group ate the same amount for dinner.
This went on for three months and the women who ate beefy breakfasts had a higher rate of conception than the dinner group.
7 Don't Just Do Missionary
The myth that missionary position is the best for conception has been disproven, don't feel like you have to keep things vanilla in the bedroom to conceive quickly.
Not only does this break things up a bit, it also avoids things getting boring. It's not so much the position as it is the timing. So, if you don't think sex will be boring, there is more of a chance you will want to do it which means you're more likely to have it when you're ovulating.
Remember, the most optimum times to get pregnant are the five days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation. It is recommended to have sex every one to two days during this time with the last two to three days of ovulation being the most important. You may want to hop in the hay multiple times a day to increase your chances of a baby, but doctors warn doing it too much can cause undo stress and backtrack all your hard work.
6 Turn Out The Lights
Nowadays the bedroom is far from total darkness. There are TVs, phones, tablets, alarm clocks, diffusers, nightlights, humidifiers, fans, smart watches and more than can be emitting enough light to affect your fertility.
A review of studies published in Fertility and Sterility showed that having light in any form in your bedroom can prohibit your bodies natural creation of melatonin -- what your body makes to help you fall and stay asleep. Not only does melatonin help you get much needed rest, it also plays a key role in protecting your eggs from corrosive free radicals during ovulation.
Surprisingly, even turning on a bathroom light during a bathroom trip while you're still going to be sleeping more can affect your egg production. Doctors advise women who are trying to conceive at least eight hours of total darkness a day for optimum results when it comes to getting pregnant.
5 Go Makeup Free
While I jump for joy at any excuse not to have to wear makeup, some women may be less than enthused about the prospect of going makeup free. However, it could help when it comes to making the baby you so desperately desire.
Phthalates are a synthetic chemical found in plastics and some makeups. Yes, there are makeups out there phthalate-free which is what you should be looking for if you just can't bear to go barefaced.
According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology last year, phthalate exposure can mess with both a man and woman's fertility. The study further showed that women with highest amount of phthalates in her system was twice as likely to have implantation failure when it came to in vitro fertilization compared to the women with the lowest amount of phthalates.
4 Take A Grape Seed Oil And Vitamin C Combination
There are thousands of vitamins on the market for women, especially those trying to get pregnant. One combination of nutrients that has been proven to be one of the best when it comes to conception is grape seed oil mixed with vitamin c.
This combination -- especially the grape seed oil -- works best in increasing fertility for men. The oil naturally improves antioxidant health in the body which directly affects sperm count and motility. It also contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins which are very vital antioxidants that protect anyone's cells from free radical damage. Not only that, but grape seed oil also contains antho-cyanidins which is vital in maintaining overall male sexual health.
According to research, 10-40% of men suffer from infertility issues. Not so surprisingly, most men can improve their ability to conceive merely by having better diet and more exercise.
Since vitamin c is also one of the lead defenders of overall immune system health, the combination of it and grape seed oil can be healing for both men and women alike.
3 Buy A Fertility Statue
Okay, I know what you're thinking. Come on! A statue has nothing to do with what happens in my womb. However, the thousands of women who became pregnant after touching them might change your mind.
For instance, a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum obtained a pair of these statues in 1993 which were hand-carved by the Baule tribe from Africa's Ivory Coast. The Baule tribe attested that thousands of women who touched these statues were pregnant shortly afterwards.
The crazy part? When the museum put the statues on display in 1993, within months, 13 women became pregnant after visiting the tokens. This was not just visitors, but museum staff, as well.
How it works is the pair of male and female statues are placed at each side of the doorway to the bedroom. As they enter the room, the woman and man touch the statues to increase their chances of conceiving while inside.
2 Don't Limit Sex To Ovulation Days
While, as we discussed, there are set days each month that are the best when it comes to conceiving. However, keep having sex on the other days as conception is still a possibility.
You are still able to get pregnant one to two days after your egg is released. Sperm can live up to five days inside a woman thanks to cervical mucus and it takes active sperm six hours to reach the Fallopian tubes. So, if the sperm is still hanging in there when the egg is released, that egg is fertilized rather quickly.
Typically, a woman's fertility window occurs on the 14th day of a 28 day cycle. However, not all women have a 28 day cycle, some have upwards of 32 day cycles. That's why it's important to take the tests and speak to your physician about your specific ovulation calendar.
1 Limit His Hot Tub Time
Does your man like coming home from a long day and soaking his cares away in a hot bath? Maybe he enjoys a beer in your hot tub? This mind be the reason you're struggling to get pregnant.
Testicles are very sensitive organs. When they are subjected to increasingly warm temperatures for extended periods of time, this can affect sperm count making the odds of pregnancy much lower.
Now, this doesn't mean he needs to quit his relaxation time altogether, studies show the only men affected were continuously exposed to warm temperatures. Doctors advise to just be aware of your time spent with increased temps around the testicles. This can also mean just standing up more at your desk and letting things breathe a little bit down there.
Just remember, not all semen are healthy semen. So, hot tub usage may not be the cause of infertility woes. However, limiting the time spent with heat on the testicles for regularly heat-exposed men can improve sperm count.
Sources: Parents, University of Pennsylvania, Telegraph, Baby Center, Conceive Easy, Huffington Post, Health, Women's Health, Baby Med, Orlando Sentinel, American Pregnancy Association, Fertility Centers of Illinois