Written by Tanya Wylde, BSc, ND
1) Cleanse your home of toxic household cleaners & change all of your cosmetics and body products to those that have natural ingredients, free of endocrine disruptors. Many household cleaners and cosmetic products have ingredients such as triclosan, triclocarban, bronopol, parabens, methylparbens, butylparabens, propylparabens and fragrances that are toxic to the reproductive organs and are endocrine disruptors (which means that they can be damaging to your ovaries, testicles, thyroid and other endocrine glands). So the goal is to find products that are as natural as possible and free of these chemicals! To find out what products Dr. Tanya recommends, click HERE. For more ideas go to http://lesstoxicguide.ca/
2) Cleanse your kitchen, fridge, cupboards and home of alcohol, sugars, caffeine, tobacco, marijuana, processed foods, gluten, saturated fats found in red meats, high fat dairy products & processed potato chips.
3) Chose organic foods when you go grocery shopping! Pesticides can act as oxidants damaging your reproductive organs. In 2005, the environmental working group tested umbilical cords of newborn babies and discovered hundreds of chemicals. For more information go to: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
4) Shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store and eat a healthy diet free of processed foods and full of fresh, organic foods including fruits, berries, dark green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, whole grains, safe fish and lean meats. For details on which fish to select, download a pocket guide here: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx and learn more here: http://seafood.edf.org/guide/ok/healthy
5) Lose weight if you are overweight or obese. When men are overweight the additional fat can reduce testosterone levels, increase estrogen stores (in the fat) both of which can affect sperm quality and quantity. When women are overweight it can affect egg quality and hinder ovulation, especially in women with PCOS. Aim to have a Body Mass Index in the healthy range of 20-25 so that you get pregnant more easily and so that you have a healthier pregnancy with less weight to lose post partum!
6) Sweat and exercise regularly to improve fertility and pregnancy outcome. Exercise improves the circulation to your pelvic organs. It also reduces stress and stress hormones can suppress testosterone in men and progesterone and estrogen in women.
7) Commit to effective stress management techniques. Potential examples include regularly getting 8 hours of sleep, practising yoga, meditation and Tai Qi Chuan. My patients have found acupuncture and meditations by Eli Bay and Circle and Bloom to be particularly helpful.
8) Follow a supplement plan customized by your naturopathic doctor. Ensure that you receive a customized plan for you and your partner. It takes two to make a baby and the right anti-oxidants can improve sperm quality; egg quality; and improve your chances of pregnancy, whether you are planning a natural or reproductive technology assisted pregnancy. The right supplements can also help with PCOS; auto-immune conditions; recurring miscarriage; endometriosis; premature ovulation failure; improved mid-cycle cervical mucus and luteal progesterone. It is important to first get properly assessed to determine the root cause of your subfertility before starting supplementation.
9) Get regular acupuncture treatments by a naturopathic doctor specially trained in fertility. Research shows that acupuncture can increase sperm motility and counts in men and pregnancy outcome in women receiving acupuncture. At our clinic doctors Tanya Wylde, ND and Eileen Park, ND have both received additional training in acupuncture for fertility. Eileen Park, ND has written an evidence based blog on how acupuncture works to boost fertility.
~Tanya Wylde, BSc, ND
Click HERE for Tanya’s Bio
For Tanya’s Facebook page: Dr.TanyaWylde, Naturopathic Doctor