About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the U.S. have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy after adequately trying for 12 months.
Infertility is a very commonly overlooked unless it is something you are dealing with and for me, it hits close to home. If you have read our story on why we created Zoey Naturals, you already know we struggled with infertility. There are several potential causes for infertility. Infertility can be caused due to medical issues, lifestyle, and unknown causes.
Regardless of the cause, I can testify infertility is very stressful and it is easy to lose hope along the way. For Danny and me, we knew we wanted to start a family and we had a plan. We never thought twice about not being able to get pregnant. We quickly realized it may not be that easy. Our plan got pushed back a couple years, but we were very fortunate to end our infertility battle with a little medical intervention and had our beautiful daughter Zoey.
We now have our second daughter Kinsley. Some people battle infertility a lot longer and don’t have the ability to ever get pregnant no matter how much they try.
There are a couple of organizations that could be helpful to you including the National Infertility Association and of course, Planned Parenthood.
Some people like to try natural methods to increase their fertility and below are some suggestions gleaned from industry experts.
- Eat Foods That Are Rich in Antioxidants Taking an antioxidant supplement or eating antioxidant-rich foods can improve fertility rates, especially among men with infertility.
- Eat a Bigger Breakfast Some studies suggest that eating more calories at breakfast and less at your evening meal can improve fertility.
- Avoid Trans Fats To boost fertility levels, avoid foods high in trans fats. Eat foods rich in healthy fats instead, such as extra virgin olive oil.
- Cut Down on Carbs Following a low-carb diet may improve hormone levels associated with fertility, especially among women with PCOS
- Eat Less Refined Carbs Eating a diet high in refined carbs can raise insulin levels, which may increase the risk of infertility and make it harder to get pregnant.
- Eat More Fiber Fiber may have beneficial effects on fertility. However, too much fiber may interfere with ovulation. More studies are needed.
- Swap Protein Sources Eating more protein from vegetable sources, instead of animal sources, may improve fertility levels in women.
- Choose High-Fat Diary Replacing low-fat dairy products with high-fat versions may help improve fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
- Try a Multivitamin Taking a multivitamin may help boost fertility if you're not getting all the nutrients you need from your diet.
- Get Active A sedentary lifestyle is linked to infertility, and exercise can improve fertility. However, exercising too much can have the opposite effect.
- Take Time to Relax High stress and anxiety levels can reduce your chances of conception. However, managing your stress level can increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Cut the Caffeine Caffeine may negatively affect fertility, but the evidence is mixed. Women trying to get pregnant may want to limit their caffeine intake.
- Achieve a Healthy Weight Being either underweight or overweight can reduce your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Increase Your Iron Intake Consuming iron supplements and non-heme iron from plant-based food sources may decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.
- Avoid Excess Alcohol Excess alcohol intake can reduce fertility. To improve your chances of getting pregnant, consider limiting or avoiding alcohol.
- Avoid Unfermented Soy Products Evidence linking soy products to decreased fertility is limited to animal studies. However, you may want to avoid unfermented soy products if you're trying to get pregnant.
- Natural Supplements Certain natural supplements have been linked to increased fertility. These include: Maca, Bee Pollen, Bee Propolis and Royal Jelly.
If you are battling infertility just know you aren’t alone; we are all in this together. Here's a picture of my first positive test result. :)
Wishing you always the best,