Fertility 101: What Helps & Hinders Babymaking
It’s no secret that fertility is my passion as a naturopath. So I thought I’d share some of the basics about reproductive health, and what factors can help and hinder the baby-making process.
What can affect fertility
Our hormones can be impacted by many different factors. Some of the most common ones include:
Stress levels and stress hormones
Lifestyle factors such as exercise
Alcohol, smoking and drug use
Skincare and makeup use
Other environmental chemicals
As you can see, there is a lot going on when it comes to reproductive health! Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to keep it all in mind. But some factors we can’t control, so there’s no point in stressing over those. Of those that we can control:
Excessive stress, poor sleep, chemicals and poor food choices HINDER fertility
Managed stress, quality sleep, regular exercise, sufficient sun and wholefood food choices HELP fertility
Common fertility myths
These are some of the common things I hear people saying about fertility that are just plain wrong!
I can’t have children because I have PCOS/endometriosis/MTHFR/another health condition
Just because you have a health condition doesn’t mean that you can never have a child. It just means that you have a lower chance. So what we do is we work the odds in your favour by boosting all of the other factors to help you have a baby.
The situations where infertility may be permanent include if you’ve have a hysterectomy or have permanent scarring that inhibits pregnancy.
Fertility is just about the woman
To make a baby, you need a sperm and an egg. The male has just as much of a role to play. In fact, miscarriages are more likely to be due to a male issue than a female. So if you’re on board with your pre-conception plan, but your partner isn’t, it’s time to pull him into line!
Fertility only matters if you want to have children
Happy healthy hormones aren’t just there for baby-making. Even if you never want children, hormones affect your entire body. So having the right balance of hormones can help you to manage stress, grow and maintain strong bones and have beautiful, smooth skin!
Steps to boost fertility
Want to optimise your reproductive health, or get ready to make some babies? Here are some simple steps to get you started.
Don’t fear fats – we need good fats to form our hormones! So ditch the chemical-laden low-fat foods. Enjoy good fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds regularly.
Manage your stress – our stress hormones can throw out our sex hormones, and vice versa. So if you’re running round like a headless chook all the time, your hormones are going to do the same. Find something to manage your stress, whether it’s exercise, napping, meditating, reading or something else. Just try not to make it a bottle of wine every night!
Get plenty of quality sleep – if you’re not sleeping, your body won’t repair itself. And a body that’s not repaired is not going to be a good space for a baby! If you’re waking up in the morning and still feel exhausted, you need to work on getting more sleep, better quality sleep, or both.
Get a checkup with your naturopath – we’re here to help you address any problems, or just help you to be your healthiest you!