Welcome Guest Blogger, Dr. Katie Corazzo of Balanced Care
Have you and your partner been struggling to conceive? Looking for an alternative to prescription medications for pregnancy? Would you prefer to use natural treatments for your fertility? Are you preparing for IVF/IUI and want to be sure it is successful? Is IVF too expensive? Are you having irregular menses and concerned about becoming pregnant in the future? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone! The good news? There are strategies you can use to improve your fertility. Guys, listen up, these tips are for you too!
1 in 6 couples are affected by infertility. About 35% are due to male factors, 40% female and 25% from a combination. Visiting your doctor is important, because there are numerous potential causes of infertility. Increasing age and lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol, drug use, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and intercourse frequency can impact your fertility. Even celiac disease has been shown to cause 4-8% of infertility cases. Both partners should see their Naturopathic Doctor or MD for a complete work up. Hormone testing, semen analysis, and imaging may be required. Below are 8 tips to improve your fertility.
To be diagnosed with “infertility”, you should fit into one of the following categories:
- Less than 35 years old and trying to conceive for more than 1 year.
- 35 years or older and trying to conceive for more than 6 months.
Regardless if you have been trying for 2 months, 8 months, or 2 years, the following tips will help you improve your fertility.
1. Maintain a healthy body weight
Women should maintain a body mass index (BMI) between 19 and 29, while men should be below 29. Click here to calculate you BMI if you are unsure. A study showed that overweight and obese men had a 21.6% reduction in sperm count and concentration. Overweight and obese women have more difficulty becoming pregnant and also have an increased risk of complications throughout pregnancy. Studies show an increase in pregnancy rate and ovulation in women who lose between 5-10% of their body weight. If you need help creating a diet plan, contact myself or Nichi for help.
2. Start moving
Exercise can increase your chances of becoming pregnant. This is not the time to start training for a marathon. Start small if you haven’t been active lately. Exercise during pregnancy is safe. Starting a new regimen while pregnant is not. The type of exercise program that is most effective in improving fertility is unknown. Find something you enjoy and stick to it. Walking, jogging, strength training, aerobics classes, yoga, pilates, or dance are great options. Hire a trainer if you are new to the gym or want help in developing a program that is best for you.
3. Stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake
Smoking increases your risk of infertility and miscarriage. It’s best to consume 1 drink per day at the most. If you think you might be pregnant, please avoid alcohol. You child’s brain development largely occurs during the first 1-2 months.
4. Have sex
Duh right?! Have intercourse every other day beginning at least 6 days before ovation until 2 days post-ovulation. Have fun with this – buy some lingerie, try something new or make reservations at the bed and breakfast. You get the idea. 🙂
5. Avoid water based lubricants that can affect sperm motility. Longer foreplay may be required.
6. Reduce caffeine
1-2 cups of coffee per day is acceptable. Energy drinks with a lot of sugar should be avoided, but a cup of coffee with coconut creamer is ok.
7. Stress Reduction
Go on vacation. Plan a date night with your significant other 1 night per week. Laugh. Meditate. Walk. Run. Do yoga. Say “no”. Read. Write. Laugh. Find a hobby.
Easy for me to say right? I know, there are road blocks preventing you from being completely stress free. Pressures at work, a sick parent that needs help, or a partner who travels for work. Stress is unavoidable, but we can reduce it when possible, and find healthy ways to relieve stress when it inevitably arrives.
8. Visit your Naturopath
Trying to have a baby can be stressful and overwhelming. Let me reduce your confusion, answer your questions, and start you on a path toward optimal health for you and your baby. As a naturopathic doctor, I work with patients to uncover the cause, recommend appropriate testing, and create a treatment plan tailored to their needs. If you have a condition such as PCOS, hormone imbalance, hypothyroid, or endometriosis I recommend seeing a Naturopath for a full work up and appropriate treatment recommendations.
I wish you well in your journey from infertility to fertility,
Dr. Katie Corazzo, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Edina, MN at Balanced Care, within the Bhakti Wellness Center. Dr. Katie treats chronic conditions with a focus on women’s health, digestive problems, nutrition, and anxiety. Addressing the root cause of disease, she uses safe and effective natural treatments. Dr. Katie is passionate about nutrition and feels the diet can have a huge impact on our health. Call her today to schedule your complimentary 15 minute consult 612-564-2218.
1. Jensen T.K., Andersson A.M., Jorgensen N., et al: Body mass index in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormones among 1,558 Danish men. Fertil Steril 82. 863-870.2004; Abstract
2. MD Consult – http://www.mdconsult.com/das/article/body/425585783-9/jorg=journal&source=MI&sp=25900578&sid=1478376419/N/1115480/1.html?issn=0889-8545