Infertility is the inability to achieve pregnancy after having unprotected intercourse for more than a year. Infertility affects up to 15% of couples around the world.
And in the Philippines, one out of 10 Filipinos suffer from this condition.
Infertility may be due to either male or female problems, or both.
Genetics and other environmental factors affect a couple’s ability to conceive. However, there are also ways to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally.
What causes infertility in men and women?
How to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally starts with knowing what might cause infertility.
Infertility may result from an issue with either the male or female, or a combination of factors. It can be due to an underlying health condition, past injuries, surgical complications, or poor lifestyle choices.
Male infertility can be related to issues such as the following:
- Overall sperm health: This is indicated by sperm motility, count, and appearance
- Medical condition: This includes obesity, hormonal imbalances that affect testosterone levels, and varicoceles, the enlargement of veins around the testicles
- Genetic defects: Down’s syndrome or cystic fibrosis can impair functionality of the reproductive organs
Meanwhile, female infertility is mostly associated with ovulation problems. This is usually hinted at by having irregular periods, or none at all. If you want to know how to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally, it is important to know the following causes:
- Hormonal imbalances: The most common conditions include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). PCOS is associated with high levels of male hormones which disrupts ovulation. POI occurs when the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40.
- Blockages: Pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis can cause blocked fallopian tubes.
- Uterine fibroids: These are benign tumors that grow along the walls of the uterus. If not treated properly, it can lead to pregnancy complications.
A variety of medications and drugs can also affect fertility rates. Chemotherapy and other forms of radiation therapy can affect reproductive systems of both males and females.
Anabolic steroids and recreational drugs reduce sperm production. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are leading causes of pelvic inflammatory disease among women. Additionally, how to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally has a lot to do with your lifestyle choices.
It is cited that weight, tobacco use, and frequent intake of caffeine can reduce the odds of pregnancy.
How to increase chances of pregnancy naturally?
Knowing how to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally makes all the difference. From diet and exercise, to understanding the best time to have sex, will improve your fertility.
The following also includes natural remedies to get pregnant fast:
Improve physical health
How to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally starts with taking care of our bodies. Maintaining a healthy weight can enhance your reproductive cycle. For men, having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above can affect sperm quality. For women, being overweight may lead to taking twice as long to conceive, but being too thin could impair ovulation. Moreover, one study showed that if both parents are obese, it may prolong attempts at pregnancy by up to 59%.
Exercise regularly—and within reason
Weightlifting activities can help with weight loss and gain muscle strength. Yoga helps with posture and balance, which is ideal for childbearing. Swimming and aerobic exercises help proper blood circulation. The key is to stay moving. Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle often leads to higher risk of infertility.
You increase your chance of getting pregnant during the ovulation period. This is the time when your ovaries release an egg each month. Women have varying menstrual cycles. A normal cycle lasts up to 28 days, while others have shorter ones (25 days) or longer (35 days). Ovulation happens mid-cycle. You can track this by recording the duration of your period using a fertility calculator or calendar. There are other methods to track ovulation, some of which include:
Basal body temperature (BBT)
This measures your body’s lowest temperature when at rest. If it rises to 0.6 degrees or more within 10 days, it means you are ovulating. Tracking your BBT for months will help you identify your most fertile days.
A woman’s cervical mucus changes in quality and quantity throughout her cycle. If the discharge increases and becomes thinner and slippery in appearance, this means you are close to ovulating.
Timing your intercourse
Having sex on your most fertile days increase chances of pregnancy. This is referred to as the fertile window. This spans five days day prior to, and the day of ovulation. This schedule helps ensure that healthy sperm is inside waiting for the egg to be released.
Excessive intake of unhealthy food can impair your reproductive cycle. This leads to infertility. Your diet should include the recommended vitamins and nutrients to enhance overall health and wellness. Eat food rich in antioxidants which can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and essential fats. How to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally includes incorporating the following in your daily diet:
- Fiber: This helps maintain hormonal balance, and keeping blood sugar level normal. Fiber can come from whole grains and nuts.
- Protein: This supports fertility by increasing hormone production. Opt for leaner sources of protein like white meat poultry, beans, and legumes.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 regulates production of reproductive hormones. This is found in leafy vegetables, eggs, bananas, and beans.
- Vitamin C: This improves sperm health in men and helps maintain normal ovulation for women. This can be found in citrus fruits and berries.
- Zinc: Zinc deficiency in men leads to low testosterone levels. Eat more whole grains, peas, beans, and eggs.
At the same time, know which food to avoid and limit, this includes:
- Caffeine: High levels of caffeine intake can increase female infertility by 27%. It is also linked to miscarriage. Consume plenty of water instead.
- High-fat dairy: Low-fat products can impair the ovulation process.
- Red meat: High red meat diets can cause endometriosis.
- Refined carbs: This is found in most sugary food and drinks as well as processed grains, like white rice and bread. If you have PCOS, your ability to conceive can be affected, if consumed in high amounts. Opt for complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and several vegetables.
- Processed food: This includes most baked goods, fast food, and fried food. These contain high amounts of trans fats which affects ovulation.
Lessen alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
How to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally also involves eliminating those things that pose harmful effects to your body.
Excessive alcohol intake can affect sperm quality in men and increase female infertility. Chemicals found in cigarette smoke damages the woman’s ovaries and reduces a man’s sperm count. Smoking is also associated with ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage. Recreational drugs such as marijuana should also be avoided.
Take your vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins can help load your body with the necessary nutrients for childbearing. Make sure to consult with your doctor first before taking them. Supplements with folic acid are recommended.
Folic acid not only increases fertility but also prevents birth defects in the baby. Some women also take multivitamins to support ovulation. These should also contain folic acid as well as B vitamin.
Infertility affects up to 15% of couples. It is accounted for by both male and female factors, or a combination of the two. Genetic conditions, environmental factors, and poor lifestyle choices can cause infertility.
For men, fertility depends on sperm health. This includes sperm count, motility, and appearance.
Female infertility, on the other hand, is mostly associated with ovulation problems. These can be treated with certain medications and procedures.
However, there are also ways to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally. A healthy lifestyle encourages fertility. This includes proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Couples can also make use of ovulation kits and methods to get pregnant fast.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.