One’s overall health and well being certainly plays an important role in infertility and trying to conceive. Doing things to improve one’s health, such as exercising, changing your diet and taking supplements can help to increase your ability to become pregnant.
Decreasing inflammation in the gut and throughout the body, provides a more ideal place for conception to occur. This can be done by eating a diet that is limited in processed foods and junk food, and by eating more olive oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish, pasture-fed meat, and live yogurt (or probiotic supplements). All of which have been shown to decrease inflammation throughout the body.
Nutritional supplements, specifically one’s that contain chasteberry, L-arginine, vitamins (including folate) and minerals, have been shown to improve pregnancy rates and could be used in conjunction with conventional infertility therapies.
Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and tobacco not only improves fertility, but prepares women for pregnancy when those things should be stopped completely.
Being overweight can also contribute to infertility. Improving your diet and exercising to decrease your body weight by as little as 5% can improve infertility significantly.
Studies have shown that a diet consisting of fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains improved motility up to 11% compared to those who eat red or processed meat, refined grains, snacks and sweets. However, red meat is also rich in carnitine, vitamins, iron, protein, and natural animals fats, all of which are are important to overall health, so cutting it out of the diet completely may not be necessary.
There is also evidence that a diet high in trans fats, such as margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and to a smaller extent in meat and dairy products, leads to an increased level of trans fatty acids in sperm, which is related to lower sperm concentration.
Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana or tobacco can also decrease sperm count and motility, so this should be eliminated while trying to conceive.
Certain dietary supplements, such as L carnitine, Acetyl L carnitine, CoEnzyme Q10, Vitamin E and Selenium have also been shown to improve sperm count, morphology (shape) and motility. More importantly, a 2004 study showed increased pregnancy rates with infertile men that used these vitamin supplements (21.8%) versus placebo (1.7%). These are even available in a single supplement, called Proxeed.
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