Women's fertility enhancers can include foods, vitamins, herbs and a host of prescription medications. These therapies help many women conquer their inability to conceive. Deciding which ones are right for you, however, may take careful consideration.
There is much to do when preparing for a baby. After the nursery is painted and the crib assembled, some couples discover conceiving is not always the easy part. Some cases of infertility are a result of heredity, while others may be due to health conditions. Over two million American women between the ages of 15 and 44 are infertile (unable to become pregnant after 12 consecutive months of unprotected intercourse). An estimated 7.3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 have used infertility services.
Women's Fertility Enhancers
A healthy lifestyle is important when trying to conceive. The benefits of diet, exercise and stress management can go a long way in enhancing fertility, though sometimes these factors alone are not enough to advance conception. They are worth the time and minimal expense they may require before you explore other options.
Diet and Weight Loss
A healthy diet is critical to managing and preventing conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, insomnia and general aches and pains. Losing a mere 10 percent of your body fat can increase your energy and mobility. In addition, obesity is linked to multiple medical problems including infertility, and it relates directly to ovulatory dysfunction. Weight loss, however, can help increase pregnancy rates and decrease the rate of miscarriage in pregnant women.
Foods to Enhance Fertility
While weight loss should be the goal for women who are obese, a healthy diet should be the goal for all women, specifically those who are attempting to conceive. The following foods can improve your diet and enhance fertility:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Unprocessed foods (packaged foods like chips, crackers, and ready-to-eat meals)
- Nuts and seeds
Things to Avoid
Caffeine can prevent the absorption of essential vitamins, making caffeinated beverages a poor choice for would-be moms. Other things to avoid are:
- Alcohol, which elevates your prolactin levels and inhibits ovulation
- Unsafe medications, which can hinder fertility
In the past herbal remedies and natural medicines were the be-all and end-all of medicine. There were no pharmacies, over-the-counter concoctions or prescription medications. Herbs were, and remain, a significant aid in healing and supporting the body. Herbs that might enhance fertility include:
- Chasteberry has been used for thousands of years, to ease menstrual discomfort, stimulate the production of breast milk, reduce acne and enhance fertility.
- Red raspberry leaf
- False Unicorn
- Evening primrose oil
- Red Clover
However, these herbs represent an alternative option not scientifically proven to enhance fertility. You should always use caution when adding any herbal treatment to your regimen, as herbs and supplements are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can interact with some medications.
Medications to Enhance Fertility
Medications can help enhance fertility in some women and may successfully treat some conditions that can impede conception. Some women are able to stimulate ovulation with fertility drugs. Fertility drugs can either regulate or induce ovulation in women who have ovulation disorders. These drugs work like natural hormones in the body, but can increase your chances of getting pregnant with multiples. Oral medications carry a lower risk of this occurrence. Injectable drugs carry higher risks and can raise your risks of multiples by about 20 percent. Examples of commonly used fertility enhancing medications include:
- Ovidrel, Pregnyl
- Gonal-F, Follistim
Talk to Your Doctor First
A variety of women's fertility enhancers exist today and can be simple and practical approaches to help you reach your pregnancy goal. Talk to your doctor about any herbs or supplements you find over-the-counter.