How to Improve Your Fertility – 10 Tips to naturally boost your pregnancy chances
By Eli Huang
As an acupuncturist, I see many patients who are having problems falling pregnant for many different reasons. This could be due to age, hormones, irregular periods, male infertility factors (40% of infertility are due to poor sperm quality) or for unexplained reasons.
Some couples have been trying naturally for 6-12 months with no success, while others have been through several rounds of IVF and have still not fallen pregnant.
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as a natural treatment to increase IVF fertility chances, as well as an effective treatment for both female and male infertility.
Most couples who are trying to conceive want to fall pregnant as quickly as possible. Therefore the sooner you start trying the better your chances. However, in many of my patient’s, I see a common pattern behind their infertility problems.
Below are 10 tips based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and my expertise to help you improve your fertility through natural or IVF conception.
1. Avoid COLD drinks
I find too many people love their cold drinks, especially ice water, soft drinks, juices etc. This is particularly bad for fertility as it causes cold stagnation in the stomach and uterus areas. Refrain from cold drinks and have warm drinks only – tea and warm water are best.
2. Don’t eat raw, cold foods
Many people have cold salads and diets that contain a lot of raw uncooked foods. Our stomachs and digestive systems prefer warm nourishing foods. Cold, uncooked foods and salads tend to create a cold environment for fertility. It is far better for those trying to conceive to eat warm, cooked foods that are easier to digest.
3. Cut down on sugar
Excess sugar turns too heat in the body and leads to muscle cramping and overheating. The less sugar in the diet the better. This includes fruit high in sugar – especially bananas and grapes.
4. Shed that extra weight
Being overweight can affect fertility. Losing some excess weight, even if its 5kgs will improve your fertility rates. Having a healthy weight and BMI can help with conception. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight, and over 29 is considered obese. Stay at a healthy BMI of 19-25 when trying to conceive. With better metabolism it can assist in stimulating ovarian function and improve the egg quality and sperm quality in men.
5. Cut down on alcohol and coffee
In our society we tend to drink a little too much. Excess alcohol is also not good for fertility – or for the liver. Cut down to one drink per night if you are having problems conceiving (this applies to both partners). Having more than two alcoholic drinks a day reduces the chances of fertility by 60%. Also cut down your coffee consumption to 1-3 mild coffees a week, and only 1 tea a day.
6. Get regular acupuncture
Acupuncture can help to improve fertility chances, by improving blood flow to the uterus, help increase the receptiveness of the uterine wall to implantation, help regulate your menstrual cycle, treat irregular hormones, PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, painful periods, fibroids and unexplained infertility by regulating the body’s own energy.
Acupuncture can also help male infertility, sperm count and quality. Regular acupuncture also reduces stress levels and assists in weight loss, which boosts fertility.
A recent review in the BMJ or British Medical Journal which had over 1366 women from 4 different countries showed that those women who had acupuncture treatments before and straight after their embryo transfer increased their success rates of pregnancy by up to 65% than those who didn’t get any acupuncture. It also showed twice the amount of live birth rates.
7. Take Chinese Herbal Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine his has been used for more than 2500 years. Many couples in China and worldwide have seen the benefits of Chinese Herbs for treating infertility. Trained practitioners in Chinese Herbal medicine will prescribe a customised formula for your specific signs and symptoms and get to the root of the problem. It can assist in ovulation, egg quality, sperm quality, regular your periods, treat cysts and fibroids, PMS, painful periods etc.
8. Get your timing right
Timing is everything! Many couples who aren’t aware when they’re ovulating are missing out on the vital fertility window and opportunity. The fertility window is only 24-48 hours. We suggest you observe when you are ovulating by using an ovulating test, noticing discharge and time intercourse accordingly. If you’re unsure when you’re ovulating, it’s best to have intercourse every day from day 10-15 of your period cycle, or at the very least every second day. So to all the women out there, make sure you know where you are in your cycle!
9. Reduce your stress levels
Stress severely affects fertility and can even stop a woman from falling pregnant. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, acupuncture and herbs, going on holidays and taking the proper supplements to reduce your stress levels. Work out what’s causing you the stress and try different methods to treat it if it’s impacting on your fertility chances. Women who are more stressed during IVF transfers have been shown to have reduced embryo implantation rates than those are more relaxed.
10. Believe in the miracle of a baby and stay positive
Many women become negative if conception takes longer than expected or after miscarriage. Mentally, we could be losing the connection between heaven (symbolising a baby, which is a miracle) and earth (our bodies). By believing in the miracle of a baby and that it is possible to fall pregnant, there’s a huge shift in your emotional energy – this sends correct the signals to your body and allows for conception. Surround yourself with baby pictures, posters and people with babies. Stay positive and don’t lose hope. This significantly sends the right energy to the universe!
If you have any questions regarding your fertility, or would like more information about how acupuncture can help your pregnancy chances, contact Acupuncture & Beauty Centre to make an appointment on 9728 6176 or send us an email via our contact form.