In order to conceive, all mechanisms of our body must work together to create new life. In fact, fertility problems are widespread nowadays, with both sexes being equally affected. Many couples are often unaware of the factors that affect fertility and that simple measures are often enough to increase fertility naturally. Here you can find out what you should pay attention to to support good fertility so that nothing stands in the way of your family happiness.
Even if it seems obvious; our daily diet has an enormous impact on our health, including our ability to conceive. For optimal fertility, it is important to get all the essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs. Diet can affect a number of factors related to successful conception, including weight, hormone levels, cycle regularity, egg quality and sperm health.
For most men, poor dietary habits and unhealthy weight can alter hormone levels and cause problems ranging from low sperm count and motility to poor sexual performance. In women, nutritional deficiencies or being overweight or underweight can lead to hormonal imbalances, irregular menstrual cycles, or impaired egg quality and ovulation, all of which have negative impact on fertility.
When it comes to choose the right foods, go for those that are as close to their natural form as possible. A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean protein provides the body with all the essential nutrients that support hormonal function, healthy weight, and optimal fertility. These foods are packed with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, lutein, beta-carotene, and folic acid, to name just a few. Antioxidants help scavenge free radicals, which are known to damage the DNA found in cells. This DNA damage, particularly in sperm and egg cells, can be disastrous for fertility. A fertility-friendly diet also relies on amino acids. These are building blocks of health and products of protein metabolism. They form the basis from which all proteins in the body are made. If you’re trying to conceive, you should replace animal protein with plant-based protein from legumes to boost fertility.
Omega3 fatty acids also play an essential role in promoting fertility. They support male sperm maturity and viability, while studies have shown that even short-term omega3 treatment can help improve egg quality and reduce the risk of anovulation.
In addition, vitamin B deficiency should be avoided. This can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, poor egg development and progesterone imbalance. In men, a vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to low sperm counts. While vitamin D is important for bone strength and health, there is mounting data to suggest that it is also important for fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding. A high vitamin D level also seems to have positive effect on sperm motility and general sperm health, as well as the trace element zinc.
Another major factor that affects fertility is regular exercise. This not only benefits general health, but also the reproductive system. Sport helps to reduce stress, stimulate blood circulation (including in the reproductive organs), increase libido and restore hormonal balance. However, it is important that you avoid any exercise that is too strenuous. A 2009 study by Harvard University’s Institute of Reproductive Medicine found that women who engaged in strenuous exercise while trying to conceive were actually impacting their fertility. This can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle, especially in competitive athletes, which reduces the chances of conception. The key for both men and women is, to practice exercise in moderation. If you’re feeling stressed, sluggish, dizzy, or weak during your workout, it’s time for a change.
Moderate Training is the Key
Fat cells are responsible for producing hormones that are crucial for ovulation and pregnancy. A body fat percentage which is too high or too low can lead to an over- or underproduction of these hormones. Exercise is a great way to positively adjust body fat percentage, which also leads to a healthier BMI. Men should also watch the time they are exercising. Data shows that cortisol, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and repairs damage in the body, can affect male sexual health. When a man exercises excessively, cortisol is released into his system and affects his ability to maintain an erection, produce quality sperm, and maintain a normal blood pressure. This in turn has a negative effect on fertility. Moderate exercise is best for fertility as it helps to reduce body fat and regulates insulin secretion, which promotes balanced hormone levels. And: Even simple types of exercise such as yoga or going for a walk have a positive effect.
Researchers have studied women between the ages of 18 and 40 who experienced one or two miscarriages. They concluded that walking was the only physical activity that affected the likelihood of pregnancy in these women. For overweight and obese women, walking for just 10 minutes a day can boost fertility. In comparison, studies show that women who walked briskly for about four hours a week had a better chance of getting pregnant than women who did not exercise. Research has found that walking at least three times a week can also help to improve male fertility. For example, some studies show benefits for men who walk for about 20 minutes three to four times a week. Oxidative stress, which negatively affects sperm health, is reduced this way.
During sleep, your body performs the necessary regeneration, strengthens the immune system and releases hormones that fulfill important tasks in our body. When we develop poor sleeping habits, our body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for immune function and prevents harmful elements entering our body. However, constant exposure to cortisol can negatively impact fertility by reducing the amount of estrogen, DHEA and progesterone in the woman’s body. In this case, it is difficult to get pregnant. Some research also suggests that a good night’s sleep is important for IVF patients to increase their chances of conception.
Restful sleep also contributes to sperm maturation and healthy sperm production. Men with sleep problems often have lower sperm counts. New data has shown that men who sleep less than six hours a night have a 30 percent reduced chance of impregnate their partner. If you’re trying to start a family and are struggling, you should also take a closer look at your sleep. Try to practice a positive sleep hygiene by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding the use of electronic devices in the hours before bed, limiting your caffeine intake, and establishing a relaxing routine before bed. You should also eat foods that have a positive effect on cortisol levels, such as dark chocolate, green tea, bananas, and yogurt.
Stress is a natural part of life. However, if it occurs permanent and present to a large extent, it can have a negative effect on the female and male body. Men who are constantly exposed to high levels of stress often have reduced sperm counts and poorer sperm quality overall, making conception difficult and sometimes even impossible. In fact, DNA damage, largely due to oxidative stress, is one of the main causes of improper sperm function.
Women also suffer from the negative effects of stress. During times of chronic stress, signals are sent to the part of the brain that triggers ovulation. The so-called hormones that cause the body to release eggs are not produced, making conception unlikely. The egg cell reserve can also be negatively influenced by stress. In addition, affected women often have reduced blood flow to their uterus. This reduces the likelihood that a fertilized egg will implant in her uterus. Therefore, in order to promote conception, it is essential to take measures to reduce stress effectively. In addition to regular exercise, which helps to release happy hormones, it is important to regularly take time out and relax. Practices such as yoga, meditation and autogenic training can be useful.
Supplements like Melatonin
For years, melatonin has been a popular protagonist in sleep and circadian rhythm studies. However, researchers have found that the hormone may also be important for fertility. Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body that is produced as a result of day/night or light/dark signals to the brain. This natural sleep aid not only controls the body’s sleep-wake cycle, it’s also suspected to play a bigger role in fertility than initially thought.
Protection of Sperm and Egg Cells
For example, melatonin is said to improve the quality of the egg cells in women by protecting the ovaries from environmental stress factors. So, one way to increase the quality of a woman’s eggs is to take a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that supports cellular health. Proper melatonin supplementation can protect an immature egg from oxidative stress, especially during ovulation. It is also involved in oocyte maturation and embryo development. Melatonin can also increase the sensitivity of the ovaries and uterine wall to estrogen, which improves the chances of implantation. According to research, women who undergo IVF also benefit from melatonin.
But also men benefit from this essential hormone. Due to its powerful antioxidant effects, melatonin can help to reduce oxidative stress in the body and sperm, which can help prevent many problems associated with poor sperm health, including low sperm motility.
DNA fragmentation is an important aspect of male infertility, and it’s common for men who suffer from poor sperm motility or morphology to have high levels of this damage. Sperm DNA fragmentation is a difficult issue to overcome, as the damage cannot be repaired and can only be prevented from worsening. Studies suggest that by supplementing regularly with melatonin, prevention of DNA fragmentation and improvement to sperm health over time may occur.