🎉 Celebrating 10 years of service, First Fertility proudly announces our NASDAQ listing in 2024. 🎉

How can a woman increase her fertility?

Introduction: Facing challenges when trying to conceive can be a source of stress and uncertainty for many couples. At First Fertility, we frequently encounter individuals who are struggling with infertility and are seeking guidance. IVF and other fertility treatments, though viable, can be costly. Before considering such options, there are practical lifestyle changes that can significantly enhance fertility. In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies women can adopt to boost their fertility, from maintaining a healthy diet and weight to managing stress and timing intercourse, all aimed at increasing your chances of becoming pregnant.

Understanding Fertility Challenges

If you and your partner have been trying for a baby for more than a year and have not had any success, one or both of you may have some undiagnosed fertility issues. Infertility in women is perhaps more common than many think, although many of the problems are relatively minor and can be addressed through lifestyle changes.

As one of the best fertility clinics in Bangkok, we meet lots of couples each year who are having problems conceiving. After a series of tests have been conducted and discussions held with doctors, we can usually identify fairly quickly where issues may lie. We appreciate that IVF and other fertility treatments are expensive, so in most cases, we always encourage couples to make lifestyle changes before embarking on intensive therapy. In this article, we will investigate some of the relatively simple changes that women can make.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight and Diet

One of the most common causes of infertility in women is obesity and poor diets. A study conducted by Dr Van der Steeg of the Academic Medical Centre in the Netherlands found that women who have a higher than normal BMI (18.5 to 24.9) had a reduced chance of becoming pregnant. Indeed those that were classed as being obese (a BMI of over 30), had between 23-43% less chance of becoming pregnant when compared to those with a BMI of below 25.

To lose weight, we would strongly advise eating more lean protein, fruit and vegetables as well as partaking in regular exercise. Where possible, you should choose fresh food and avoid anything processed as they tend to be higher in fat, sugar and salt. Nutrition is a vital part of increasing fertility, and this applies to both men and women.

A healthy meal consisting of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

A healthy meal consisting of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

While you must eat a healthy diet, good quality vitamin supplements are an excellent way to give your body a little helping hand. It is particularly important if you are trying for a baby or are pregnant. We would always recommend that women take folic acid supplements as well as other B-complex vitamins such as B6 and B12. Indeed, B12 is also beneficial for sperm production so you may wish to suggest that your partner also takes the supplements.

In addition to folic acid and B vitamins, you should also ensure that you consume enough Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C and E, as well as Beta-Carotene. It has been suggested that all of these nutrients have an essential role to play when it comes to female fertility.

Avoiding Cigarettes and Alcohol

You really shouldn’t need to be told that cigarettes and alcohol are bad for you, but they are particularly an issue if you are trying to conceive or already pregnant. Smoking releases toxins into the bloodstream, which can reduce fertility and libido while alcohol can also affect hormone production as well as being one of the leading causes of obesity. If you are planning to start a family, we would suggest stopping smoking at least three months before you start trying to conceive and abstain from drinking alcohol.

The male should also follow these guidelines as both tobacco (and recreational drugs) and alcohol have been proven to affect testosterone and sperm production as well as affecting libido and causing erection problems.

Managing Stress

Reducing stress is crucial when trying to conceive. Stress can have significant negative effects on both female and male fertility by modifying hormonal levels and overall health. Finding effective stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, yoga, or counseling, can play a vital role in increasing your chances of conception.

Stress and Fertility

Stress is known to have a significant impact on fertility, and females with high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) as well as alpha-amylase are estimated to have a 29% less chance of becoming pregnant. While reducing stress is often easier said than done, taking time out and having some “me time” can help. If you enjoy walking the dog or other activities, you should do these where possible as well as incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine.

If you are still experiencing problems controlling stress levels, we would suggest consulting your doctor and seeking their advice.

A woman practicing yoga in a serene environment.

A woman practicing yoga in a serene environment.

The Number of Times You Have Sexual Intercourse

There are a lot of myths surrounding the number of times you should have sex if you are trying to become pregnant. Some believe that you should have sex several times a day, while others believe once a week is enough to allow sperm quality to improve. In truth, both of these lines of thought are inaccurate. Indeed, frequent sex is suggested if you are trying to conceive, but this means three to four times a week. Tiredness can reduce fertility, so keep this in mind and don’t wear each other out!

Many fertility experts suggest having sex on alternate days to increase your chances of becoming pregnant, and while there is plenty of logic behind this idea, there is little evidence to support it.

Timing Intercourse Around Your Cycle

It is a well-known fact that your best chance of becoming pregnant is to have sex during ovulation. Ovulation happens between 12 and 14 days before your period begins, assuming that you have a regular 28-day cycle. Women are at their most fertile for a period of around 12-24 hours so we would recommend using ovulation tests to find out precisely when this is. Although this may sound scientific and a little clinical, if you are experiencing fertility issues, this is something which may help.

Ovulation predictor kits (OKP) are available at most pharmacies and range significantly in price from a few hundred baht to several thousand baht. However, putting a little effort into tracking ovulation can significantly increase your chances of becoming pregnant. If you are unsure how to use the kits, or don’t understand the results, you can consult the pharmacist, your doctor or you can speak to us.

More Information

If you would like more information on increasing female fertility or indeed any other fertility-related matter, we would be happy to help. Our experienced and professional team are on hand to answer any questions that you may have. You can call us on +66 (0) 2 652 0150-4 or alternatively, you can contact us directly via our website. Your complete discretion is guaranteed.

Conclusion: Increasing fertility is often achievable through manageable lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a nutrient-rich diet, reducing stress, and avoiding harmful substances like cigarettes and alcohol. Tracking ovulation can also play a crucial role. By adopting these practices, you are taking proactive steps towards enhancing your fertility. For personalized guidance and support, do not hesitate to reach out to professionals at First Fertility. Your journey towards conception is significant, and expert assistance can provide the knowledge and reassurance you need.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Does Maintaining a Healthy Weight Affect Fertility?

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for fertility. Women with a BMI outside the normal range (18.5 to 24.9) may experience reduced chances of conception. Obesity, characterized by a BMI of over 30, can decrease the likelihood of becoming pregnant by 23-43% compared to those with a healthy BMI.

2. What Dietary Changes Can Improve Fertility?

Improving fertility through diet involves consuming more lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding processed foods high in fat, sugar, and salt. Fresh, wholesome foods contribute significantly to better reproductive health.

3. Are There Specific Vitamins That Can Enhance Fertility?

Yes, taking certain vitamins can enhance fertility. Folic acid, B-complex vitamins (B6, B12), Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta-Carotene are all essential nutrients that support female fertility. B12 is also beneficial for sperm production, so both partners can consider these supplements.

4. Should I Avoid Cigarettes and Alcohol When Trying to Conceive?

Absolutely. Both smoking and alcohol can adversely affect fertility. Smoking introduces toxins that can reduce fertility and libido, while alcohol can disrupt hormone production and contribute to obesity. It is advisable for both partners to quit smoking and abstain from alcohol when planning to conceive.

5. How Does Stress Affect Fertility?

High stress levels can significantly impact fertility. Elevated cortisol and alpha-amylase levels are linked to a 29% reduction in the chances of becoming pregnant. Managing stress through relaxation activities, breathing exercises, and seeking medical advice can help improve fertility.

6. How Often Should Couples Have Sexual Intercourse to Increase Chances of Conception?

Frequent sexual intercourse is recommended for couples trying to conceive, ideally three to four times a week. This frequency increases the likelihood of sperm meeting the egg during the fertile window. Overexerting can lead to tiredness, which may negatively affect fertility.

7. When Is the Best Time to Have Intercourse for Conception?

The best time to have intercourse is during ovulation, which occurs 12-14 days before the start of a period for women with a regular 28-day cycle. Women are most fertile for about 12-24 hours during this period. Using ovulation predictor kits can help identify the precise window.

8. Are Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) Effective?

Yes, OPKs can be very effective in identifying the fertile window. These kits are available at most pharmacies and can substantially increase the chances of conception if used correctly. For assistance with how to use OPKs, consult a pharmacist, doctor, or a fertility expert.

9. Can Both Partners Make Lifestyle Changes to Improve Fertility?

Yes, both partners should adopt healthy lifestyle changes to improve fertility. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, quitting smoking, abstaining from alcohol, managing stress, and taking recommended vitamin supplements.

10. Where Can I Get More Information on Increasing Female Fertility?

For more information on increasing female fertility or any other fertility-related concerns, contact First Fertility at +66 (0) 2 652 0150-4 or reach out via their website. The team is available to provide expert advice with complete discretion.

  • Published on : Wednesday October 14, 2020
  • Last updated : Thursday July 4, 2024
Avatar photo

About the author

Michelle Tan is an IVF Consultant with 12 years of experience in fertility consulting. Having personally undergone IVF and surrogacy, she brings firsthand insight and empathy to her work. Based in Singapore, Michelle frequently travels to clinics in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Bishkek, sharing her expertise and supporting patients on their fertility journeys.