Almost 10 million couples in the united states suffer from fertility challenges, and about 40% of those are related to male sperm count issues. The remaining 60% has to do with female fertility issues. Either way, fertility enhancement is a big issue in the United States. Thankfully, almost half of all couples will eventually conceive, although not necessarily those who seek fertility treatments. About half of the couples who eventually conceive never seek medical intervention. In many cases, they simple keep trying until it works. Here are some natural ways to increase the odds.
Causes of Infertility
First, let’s take a look at some causes of diminished fertility in men and women:
- Pesticides & other environmental toxins: Toxins from household or industrial poisons, especially pesticides, can damage the reproductive system in both men and women. Other harmful toxins include automobile exhaust and smoke.
- Low sperm count: Sperm counts lessen as men get older, but counts can also be negatively affected by prostate problems and some medications.
- Tight underwear: Constrictive underwear for men does not in itself lower sperm count. Rather, it interferes with the body’s ability to regulate the temperature of the testicles and, therefore, the sperm. A delicate temperature balance is required for successful fertilization to occur. Similarly, there is some evidence to suggest that cooler climates produce more male offspring, whereas warmer climates produce more females.
- Food toxins: MSG, caffeine, sulfates, and nitrates are some of the food toxins that can interfere with the reproductive system in both men and women. Women should be especially careful to avoid such additives when pregnant to assure a successful pregnancy and birth.
- Alcohol and tobacco: Too much alcohol can reduce sperm counts in men, while smoking reduces sperm counts by around 15%.
- Bad timing: Sometimes, just knowing when to make love has a large effect on fertility. For some couples, honing in on the ovulation period is essential for success.
Treatments to Increase Fertility
Studies show that standardized fertility treatments do very little to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. But you can increase your chances of pregnancy. Here are some natural ways that might be helpful:
- Women—track your menstrual cycles, so you know when you are ovulating. Making love just before and during ovulation increases your chances of getting pregnant.
- Take red raspberry leaf tea before, during, and after pregnancy. This herb is shown to fortify the female reproductive system. Other herbs include blessed thistle, black cohosh, maca, and ginseng. Maca root has been used as a fertility tonic for centuries by the people of the Andes, who suffer from difficulties conceiving due to the high altitudes.
- Men should take zinc supplements, and stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Men should ejaculate less often, as time between ejaculations increases the density of sperm and ejaculate. Try having sex only during your partner’s ovulation.
- Care for your prostate. Don’t sit for long periods, get plenty of exercise, and reduce toxins that harm your prostate. See Prostate Health for details.
- Both men and women should avoid food toxins and environmental toxins and consider a blood, liver and colon cleanse. See Liver & Gallbladder Health and Colon & Intestinal Health for more information.